Tobold's Blog
Friday, July 10, 2009
Taking a break from blogging

Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break, and to re-examine whether what you are doing is in fact well aligned with your goals in life. So I'm asking myself, why do I blog?

I do not blog to maximize the number of visitors, as I don't run any scheme which would turn visitor numbers into revenue. I do not blog because I think my writing will influence game developers to make better games, there is little hope of that. I do not blog because I want to influence players, what could that possibly bring me? I blog because I like to voice my ideas and opinions, and would like to have some polite and intelligent discussion about them. I don't ask for people to agree with me, or thank me, or anything, I just want a place to hang out and chat in a mature fashion, among friends, or at least sympathetic strangers.

Right now I don't feel I'm succeeding all that well. I might simply have a too thin skin for the rough place that is the internet, and can't simply grow a thicker one. But I have the impression that even at the moderate success level of this blog, the audience is becoming too wide to communicate with effectively. Some people misunderstand my motivations, others feel entitled to something I never promised and couldn't possibly deliver, and some simply can't or won't stick to discussing opinions in polite terms. At best these people end up disappointed, at worst they voice their disappointment or disagreement with me in various forms of personal attacks against me or my blog. Intellectually I am fully aware that the attacks come from a vocal minority of my readers, I should just ignore them, "illegitimi non carborundum" and all that. But emotionally I find that the attacks and having to deal with them to avoid threads being derailed simply drains all the fun out of blogging. What I'm doing doesn't get me closer to my goals, so I'd better stop.

Thus I will use my summer holidays to take a break of at least three weeks from blogging. Hopefully that will shrink the audience, and make some of the disaffected go away. I will use the time to think whether I want to restart after the break, or stop completely, or voice my thoughts in other ways. Commenting will remain enabled, but will automatically switch to moderated mode after two weeks. Suggestions in this thread on how to become a happier blogger are welcome. I can also be reached by e-mail, but won't necessarily read it every day. Have a nice summer!
Have a good summer! Going to miss reading your blog everyday and hope to see you back.
Have a wonderful summer, Tobold. Game on, my man!
Too bad, but have a nice summer! :)
Happy holidays and I hope you'll be back!
Your blog is a very good place to discuss and it's always a pleasure to read every single entry. Actually it has become a habit of me to check your blog every morning (- even if I don't always agree with you.. perhaps because of that).

I wish I could write in such an elegant and smart way.
> "Suggestions in this thread on how to become a happier blogger are welcome."

1. Put Google Ads on your blog
2. ???
3. Profit!

Okay so maybe money can't make you happy, but at least it can make it easier to live with any negative comments :)
Tobold, you tend to write too much. You don't have to give people as much as you do. You'll stay relevant if you posted a couple of articles a week. Writing two or more a day is, well, probably not a sustainable or beneficial practice.

That said, good luck finding a more balanced path. You've been an inspiration to me. You're one of the reasons why I started That's A Terrible Idea. Thanks for everything and I hope you come back invigorated and with some real interesting stuff to say. :)
I'm sorry, that link didn't work properly. I meant to say: That's a Terrible Idea.
Have a great break...

You got to do it for yourself... and look after yourself...
Have a good summer.

Hope you decide to come back. You don't have to pump out posts just to keep your 1+ post a day regularity of late. If you don't have anything to say, don't.

Take a break, and if you have any interesting ideas when you come back, throw 'em on here. I'm sure you'll still have thousands of people waiting for you (and checking every day until you do).

Hope to see you(r posts) soon.
Enjoy the break. As an idea wrt the blog, how about you change the title from MMO blog to gaming blog? I always enjoy reading your game reviews and ideas, whether it is MMO related game or single player. Also, to prevent you from becoming frustrated with comments, disable commenting but for the Sunday blog entry, for example. That way you protect yourself against the harmful comments.
" I do not blog because I think my writing will influence game developers to make better games"

How wrong you are ;)
Everyone needs a holiday.

I'd be curious to see how "successful" a Blog that didn't allow comments would be, though. I suspect the main reason most people read Blogs is the same reason most people write them: we like to hear the sound of our own voice. Just a shame people can't always do it in a civil tone.
Aw, I'm really sorry to hear that, Tobold. I hope you have a relaxing holiday! Good luck and hope to see you back soon :)
I've not always agreed with you, but I've always found you thoughtful and I'll miss your updates.

Have a good break and take care Tobold.
enjoy your vacation :)

recharge the batteries is something we all need to do
Oh, the backside of e-fame. I'm glad I'm not in your position. I don't think I could cope with it.

If you still enjoy writing and exchanging thoughts,and just can't hadle a too big audience, an idea could be to start a new blog without telling anyone that it actually is you, Tobold, who has moved on.

It will take some time until you have enough many readers to sparkle a discussion. But knowing the quality of your writing I'm pretty sure you won't get disappointed. comment on the blogs that you like and they'll find their way to your blog.

you've always kept your online identity a secret, which is something you'll benefit from in this situation.
Have a great holiday :) Recharge your batteries and get some decent gaming in.

If you start getting bored of the MMOs, I'd suggest some Fallout 3, it's really worth getting into. As another suggestion for a single-player game, the new King's Bounty is awesome fun. Turn-based combat FTW.
Have a good break :). And blog a bit less afterwards, you're burning yourself out ! A few posts a week is more than enough.

One more thing: Dont let the bastards get you down ;).
Have fun and thanks for the many hours of entertainment your writings have provided me these last couple of years.
It's great to see someone write passionately, yet lucidly, about a mutual hobby.
Have a nice Summer Tobold !

My feeling is, the mmo-industry today is in stasis. Nothing really new or innovative to write or read about. Discussions on blogs and sites like Massively are often redundant - only with a different game in the title - because a lot of the games change more and more from wow-a-likes to wow-clones (LotRO eg.) and the devs ar too afraid or market-driven to be innovative and there aren't nearly any potential hits on the horizon (mayby SW:TOR). Your blog was and is a welcome exception to this and i hope you will continue blogging after your break ;-).
As others have said, "Don't let the bastards grind you down."

The one bit of advice I'd give is to slow down a bit. Even if you don't believe that you're influencing others, there's something to be said for a more thoughtful pace. I've never really posted as often as you do, but I'm currently really happy with my 1-2 times per week schedule. It allows me to cover topics I care and lets me engage in conversations on my blog about those topics.

Anyway, hope you have a good break. I don't think you'll lose too many readers; this is the age of the RSS reader and most of us will see your new post when you get bored. :) But, feel free to post a bit less often and go into more depth on the areas you truly do care about.

Have fun!
Well I never commented before but I read your blog all the time and find it a pleasure to read and interesting and I hope you'll find the time and enthusiasm to keep it up after a little break.

I don't always agree with everything you write but it's clearly thought through, and anyway where would the fun be in reading only things I agree with?

have a good break :)
Enjoy slackermode. Recharge batteries, and hopefully we get to see you return.

It is not just about having a well written blog, its about finding good topics - and you see and reflect on things that is worth reading about. Like many others have said, we will enjoy it just as much even if you slow down.

Happy holidays.
Enjoy your break, and good luck with whatever you do decide to do. I know you've been a big inspiration to me and to lots of others also.
I've had a blog in some shape or form for 7 or 8 years now..... every time I stop for any length of time an itch to post starts building, and eventually it gets unbearable and I simply have to start writing again. Here's hoping you're as obsessed as me. ;)

My suggestions for keeping yourself happy as a blogger AND maintaining an audience have already been said here:

a) Set yourself a reasonable post frequency, and stick to it. (I try for one a day.)

b) When you don't meet your target, don't sweat it!

As for dealing with comments.... well, I'm a product of the political blogosphere and it's as rough and tumble as they get - having a big blog means that eventually you'll get readers that read in order to disagree with you. It can be tough to handle.

Be firm with people who are abusive and don't allow that to continue, but at the same time don't take every comment that disagrees with or disputes a post as a personal attack; often people who love your site and mean you no harm will not be 100% behind every word you write. And sometimes it can be bloody hard to figure out where that line is.

Anyways - summer is a great time for a break, so have a good one!
You have a great summer too Tobold! Blogging should be a hobby, not work, and as i mentioned in an earlier post, it seemed to me that it had become just that for you. I have a blog myself, but not the audience you have (or the regularity, content-wise). Also, i dont have a specific goal for the blog to work towards, it is just a place where i can publish about stuff that interests me. That fact alone is enough to justify its existence for me. I guess a more goal oriented or professional blog leads to more personal involvement and thus more chance for burn-out or 'hurt feelings'. Just speculating here. (i always wondered why you *seem* to take negativity on your blog so personal).
Ah, well see you after the summer:) (in which for me only a lot of work awaits..:(
Have a nice summer Tobold, take stock, relax, and I hope you'll be back. Your blog makes the long slow mornings bearable.

Like someone mentioned in the comments previously, I have read for ages but never (that I can remember) commented- we enjoy your blog and would miss it if it went away. Well, if that gives you just a small reason to keep blogging then that'll do me.

Bye for now.
Have a good break mate :)
Completely understandable, and probably a good call.

I'll be interested to read your future writing, in whatever form!
Have a good break! Will miss your posts... I guess Its back to the football blogs ;)
I've enjoyed your insight and opinions, don't stay away too long.
Enjoy your break, Tobold. I do hope that some of the sillier comments don't put you off posting altogether.

Perhaps I could make a couple of (hopefully constructive) suggestions for when you resume:
- There's no need to post every day. Whilst I enjoy reading your thoughts, it's very easy to burn out that way;

- Seek help with moderating the comments. Rather than taking on the burden yourself, ask a friend to take on that part of the workload. That way the one doing the moderation isn't the one doing the posting, so it's possible to do it in a calmer way.
I understand this completely, Tobold, though I hate to hear it. You're one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place; I saw how successful a well-written, intellectually driven blog could be, so I wanted one of my own.

I hope you find the heart to come back because you really are in the minority when it comes to gaming blogs--yours actually says something.

Enjoy your break.
Long time lurker here. Enjoy your break Tobold, but I hope you come back in a few weeks.

Agree with you or not, I still enjoy the posts. Perhaps you should do as others have suggested and limit the blogging to a couple of times a week for a while.

I'm sure you will have plenty of interesting things to say upon your return.
You forgot the most basic rule of the world, and of society and that is

"Sticks and stones...words may never hurt me..."

You let written words get the better of you (as I have seen other major bloggers do as well). You took what is said in this infinite space we call the Internet, where faceless 1's and 0's exist and let them have the power to control your feelings.

I think taking the break works.

It did for me when I dealt with the same issue. I took it upon myself to show those who would think their words had power to turn around and put it back in their face.

But, like I said, you can either let the words become "sticks and stones" or you can learn that a bunch of letters put together are just that, and have no real power or purpose.

You decide.
Peace Tobold, you will definitely be missed.
Good luck with the break. I can sympathize with your burnout. Remember, though, that there are those of us who rarely comment but love your writing. Your posts are the highlight of my gaming reading. You post like no one else does and make me think far beyond my own little box. Thanks for what you have written and I hope you continue to write after your break.
You've been blogging for quite a while Tobold, and I've been following you since the beginning of the Burning Crusade. That level of commitment and effort can take a lot out of you. Sit back and enjoy the world a bit if that is what you need to do.

A few weeks back you posted regarding ad hominum attacks against you on the blog and I commented that you should ignore them as best you could. As your blog becomes more successful you were going to attract more (and varied) people. And we know how people will often behave. Particularly in groups, and anonymously.

Easy for me to say don't let it get to you, but in all honesty I'm not sure you do yourself any favors by thinking you need to step beyond the narrow confines you've set out for yourself and for this blog. Ignore anything that falls outside that and stick to what you want to do.

Anyway, come back refreshed. Key word is COME BACK! We'd be a very much poorer community without you.
Sorry to hear you won't be blogging for a while. I've looked around and I have been unable to find any other site that consistently offers the kind of interesting and insightful commentary on the MMO industry that I find in your articles.

Know that your writings will be missed!

- Matt L.
Have a great break, I hope to see you back. I really enjoy hearing your perspective on larger gaming market.
Hurry back!!!
Hi, I'm one of your silent readers, from faraway Singapore. I never post any comments, because I don't have the expertise nor inclination to do so.

Yours is one of my regular stops as I make my way across the Internet. Just because I keep quiet doesn't mean I don't find your contributions valuable and insightful.

In fact, I've printed a few of your posts so I could read and think about them during long train journeys.

You aren't the first blogger to carry unsavory readers around, and you definitely won't be the last. My opinion has always been, though, that the blogger owns the blog. If you don't like it, simply stop reading it.
Seconding Teut in saying that you actually are influential on game developers - I am one :)

I know this would probably go against the basic idea of blog as discussion, but I for one wouldn't mind if you turned off the comments. Though they are sometimes very interesting, I certainly don't have the time to sort through all the noise; so most of the time I just read your article, not the comments, and trust you to find the gems and write about them in your next post.

Actually, let me reshape this idea: I don't know if that's possible, but some kind of "private commenting" would be great: only you see them, so you don't have to moderate, and you can cherry pick the ones you deem interesting as a basis for the next post.

Anyway, enjoy your break, but please do come back, your blog is great.

Enjoy your break man, your a huge inspiration to me, when I started video game blogging.

Take care.
The problem with the internet is that the scum always floats to the surface, and covers the good stuff underneath.

Have a good summer break, and I'm certain your readership will have been chlorinated by the time you get back. (To carry on the pool cleansing analogy...)

And if not, I'll happily apply bleach to those irriating spots that won't go away.
Although I've never really commented much, I've been reading this blog since at least year or so. I figure I should at least at this point express my enjoyment of reading your blog and opinions.

It's pretty hard to keep writing and updating with something to interesting say everyday on top of dealing with trolls. So I just wanted to say that if you decide to quit after your break, it's totally understandable. In any case, enjoy your time off ^^
Tobold, I hope you have a good break. In general I am amazed at how frequently you post, often multiple times per day. I would never have the time or patience to blog at such a manic pace. I have however, enjoyed most of your posts and hope you return to blog again in the future. It would be a loss to the MMO community if you didn't.
Have a good summer Tobold. I'm going to miss reading what you write. You are one of the very few bloggers who posts with his head and not his heart. (You don't let flavor of the month games blind you of quality)

I'm going to miss your refreshing honesty.
Tobold, just wanted to add to the cavalcade of people countering the naysayers and saying we love your blog and want to keep hearing from you. I feel enriched when I read your blog, because you tend to have solid and well-reasoned opinions and an interesting and honest perspective, whether or not I agree with you 100% of the time.

We are the silent majority.
Sitting at something like a tenth of what you're at, I can relate somewhat - as my audience has grown, the number of unfriendly comments has grown along with it. The only figure I really take pride in is that nearly half of my traffic are "returning" visitors (probably some of the "new" ones too, if they don't take cookies), which to me says that I'm doing something right.

I hate to suggest this for selfish reasons, since I wouldn't know how to find you anymore, but have you considered starting over under a new pen name? I realize that you'd be leaving behind a huge number of things, including your traffic, search results, a decade of archives, etc. On the other hand, it really does seem like you've been getting increasingly frustrated with the added attention that has come with being the dean of all MMORPG bloggers. Perhaps starting over would let you get back to writing for the sake of writing.
There isn't anything you're interested in playing right now. Personally I'm amazed you've continually posted as much as you have and as long as you have. I've taken tons of long long breaks to do other hobbies. Plus if you're not interested in checking out Aion's PVP endgame deal, I'm not sure what major game on the horizon is of interest other than SW:TOR, which might not come out until 2011. At least Bioware's choose-your-own adventure writing, the cover system, and the (probable) absence of a healer will be new gameplay mechanics worth checking out.

I checked out free trials of V:SOH and ROM for the first time last night, and was left feeling like each was a decently polished if slightly bland WoW clone... after 30 minutes of each, it was like why bother? So I know where you're coming from.

Enjoy the summer!
I like many of the suggestions above on how to become a happier blogger. The ones I like best, plus a few of my own:

- Enlist a friend to help moderate, or at least filter the more abusive comments.

- Cherry-pick, and don't feel required to publish every comment.

- Write on anything you feel like: politics, non-MMO games, books, or other things you are enjoying at the moment.

- Write at least once a week, but don't feel pressured to write everyday. It's like raiding -- a repetitive job can lead to burnout.

- Mix it up by reminiscing on your past fun experiences in MMO and other types of games, or fun experiences in blogging.

- More "Open Sunday" threads, but only semi-open, in that you dictate a question and have people answer it. Again, feel free to cherry-pick the comments. :)
Negativity is an intellectual hand grenade dropped in the middle of a discussion. It is the last-ditch effort of the weak-minded who insist that if they can't produce a good idea all by themselves then nobody can.

I will miss your posts over the coming months, but as a late-comer I have plenty of archives to visit. Fare well!
thanks for all you did so far toby. Hope you have a good time.
Have a wonderful summer, my friend!
Hey Tobold,

Just wanted to chime in for the silent majority: I very much enjoy your writing and look forward to reading your blog each day. Enjoy your vacation, and I hope you decide to return to blogging afterward!
Enjoy your blog holiday, Tobold. I'm sure that distance will give you better perspective. You'll either find yourself eager to return to the keyboard or you won't miss it at all. I will be missing your blog while you are away.
Hey, today is my first day reading any of your blogs, and I'll have you know that I really enjoy them. I'm a huge fan of RPGs, so this is a good place for me to watch/talk. Have a good three weeks!
Such a shame. You are such a prolific writer, I could always count on you for some entertainment. Guess I will see you later this summer. Enjoy the break.
alot of good suggestions on how to be a happier blogger. I must say that your monitoring of trolls must be pretty good, considering I've never noticed one before.

The only suggestion I have is grow a tougher skin, my mom always told me, people make fun of you because they're jealous. You're here intelligently speaking your mind, and conversing with plenty of regulars who respect you without knowing you. You're in a position where what matters is what you say and not who you are.

With that being the case, I'm not sure how anyone can personally attack you, though attacking the blog is possible, it doesn't matter. The blog itself has no emotion.

The question is why does their expectations of you matter? If it matters, then you want to do what they expect but don't. If it doesn't matter, then why does it bother you?

Eitherway, I hope you're able to enjoy your break, grow some scale mail skin, and come back as bold as ever.
I love reading your posts and opinions, so I'll definitely be here when you (hopefully) come back!

Have a great break!
Have a great vacation - we're going to Hawaii for 2 weeks also :)
Whatever you decide, I've enjoyed your blog. The reasoning behind your posts has usually seemed pretty solid to me, for what it's worth. Don't have any advice other than enjoy your break!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and come back rejuvinated and ready to report on more gaming goodness.

I have not read all of the previous 63 postings, so please forgive me if this has been repeated:

You are currently the 800lbs gorilla of MMORPG blogging. I know this because other bloggers refer to you in that way.

Have you ever considered teaching a summer college class on creating a successful Blog?

I know you have given tips here, but I am sure that 1 or 2 day class would be very popular.

Anyway, I have enjoyed your blog for several years now, and I look forward to your return.
Love your writing, Tobold. I read almost every day at work. I "get" your viewpoints and appreciate that you branch out into other intersting topics. Don't let the buttheads get you down. I'll keep checking back when and if you decide to get back into it.

Now get out there and reinvent yourself!
I don't know how people blog in the first place. All work with very little reward. Not to mention insults from people who feel justified even though they themselves have done nothing.

I wouldn't blame you if you never came back. I love your blog but do yourself a favor; if you do not enjoy it, stay away from the anonymous cowardice that is the internet.
I don't blame you for wanting to take a break, everyone needs one at some point. You might consider just doing 2-4 blogs a week when you return, it would probably be more enjoyable for you if you had a few days off from blogging during the week.

Have a great summer!
Like many others have said, this is a great blog, I will sure miss it should you decide to stop after your holidays. But don't feel obliged to anything, it's your time, I just figured I should leave this comment to say how much I've appreciated your blog. :)
I will miss reading your blog. Although I don't always agree with you, your blog is well written and one that I look forward to reading every day. That being said, everyone needs to recharge the batteries eventually. Best of luck to you on your break, I hope to be reading your blog again in the not too distant future.
Enjoy your break, Tobold. Relax, recharge and refocus. Now, time to read a few years worth of archives, I guess. :)
Btw, you have now made it onto some of the big gaming news sites. This made me smile a bit when I saw it. :)
Enjoy the vacation!
I've always enjoyed your blog immensely. You are one of the most intelligent people writing about games anywhere. I would miss it if you stop writing.

I suggest you turn off comments completely. I've stopped reading comments on this blog ages ago. They are not worth the time it takes to read them. Readers' comments about games are mostly worthless. People feel too passionate about their games - particularly MMOs - so rational thought goes out the window. Just turn off comments.
I've been reading your blog almost daily for a very long time.

I enjoy your writing style. While there are certainly times I may not agree; the vast majority of time I do and learn something as well!

Have a good break. Recharge your "batteries". I will look forward to you returning to enlighten, entertain and inform all who come to sit around your "campfire".

OH - by the way - thank you.
I speak form personal experience that increasing the range of you blog makes it a much more fun experience.

I used to write only about WoW, but I have gradually expanded it into films, music, photography and work-related topics.

I know it's called "Tobold's MMORPG Blog", but it maybe exploring a variety of topics will make it more fun for you.
It depends what you want to do. If you just want to blog, turn the comments off, and your readership will decline. You can correspond with your favorite commenters usually through their own blog anyways.

If you like to discuss with other people, I'm afraid that's a problem of the net. I'm surprised personally that you haven't encountered this in MMO's themselves. There's always the bad side to that, and its better than some other venues-good luck trying to be a religious person even in their own religious chatrooms on the net, for one.

In any case, best of luck. A break is something everyone needs.
I like omk's idea of "private commenting" where only you can read the comments, but I also like reading the reader's responses now and then (ignoring the trolls and igno-rants as best I can).
I think I've been reading your blog for a few years now, and it has enriched my thoughts on game design (board games, in my case). I don't always agree, but that's a good thing.
I'll be checking back in August, looking forward to your insights.
I'm one of your silent but avid readers. Haven't found any read as interesting about the subject of MMORPG as your blog.

Take a break, enjoy it, but do come back (no need to post on a daily basis)!
Working in an macroeconomics-related environment myself, I very much enjoy your analyses and the food for economic thought they offer.

As a frequent reader of the wow forums, I know just how frustrating aggressive and stupid comments can get. But to reader Kyressar, you make a difference! And as I am blogging myself, I understand your motivations perfectly - even if you still have to repeat them a 100 times for the vocal minority ;-)
I hope your summmer break goes well :) I'll miss my daily scrounge of Tobold's - your ideas and thinking are advanced and well presented, I like the style of your blog.

Having also followed some of your recent posts about negative feedback, I really understand you taking a break. For my part I hope that you come back refreshed and feel like you can start blogging again - it would be a loss to us all I think if you went radio silent.

Go sit in the sun and have some cocktails, you've earned it :)
Take a nice break. Why not? Don't let the buggers get you down though.

If you want to write in the meantime, just jot down your posts as they come to you in Word then publish them in a bundle when you're ready.

Or make up a name and hit some new forums and get your angst out that way.

You won't be recognized without the hoodie.
Long time lurker, first time commenter. :) You will be missed, Tobold, and I hope you come back soon. Your posts are always well written, thoughtful, and fun to read.
Heyas Tobold,

I hope that you will take a well-deserved break and come back with posting. I've been reading your blog for a long time, and have made some gaming decisions based on it, I'm not afraid to admit. We had a signifigant disagrement in the past, but I think we worked that out fine and ended up on good terms. At least *I* felt so! =)

Perhaps a less-active blogging style, like Scott "Lum" Jennings has done. Remember when he used to blog daily or even multiple times a day? That's exhausting. You tend to post a large article daily, much like Zubon over at where I hang my hat. I envy your time and committment, but it has to be a drain.

Awaiting your return,

Oz of KTR
Enjoy your vacation, Tobold.

On becoming a happier blogger, I have the following suggestions:

1. You are The Admin. You wield the BanHammer. Wield it with great justice, and smite your foes like the fist of a righteous God.

2. You are The Moderator, armed with the Blade of Deletion. Wield it not like a scalpel, excising those posts which offend, but as a Claymore; mangling them and rending them from your comments.

Don't put up with their BS; you'll be much happier for it, especially if you just delete/ban and don't look back. Well, unless you want to give them a second chance.
have a great break!

a couple of things from my own experience of reading your blog:

- "sometime ppl misunderstand your motives" - well sometimes, I think you misunderstand your own motives, and try to pretend they're not what they are. Have some humilty around the idea that you are blind to yourself at times. Everyone has blind spots.

- writing is hard. Its not easy. You're not subject to the normal market pressures that weed out bad writing from good in a blog. Bear that in mind. Maybe you need to improve your writing skills, in order to make it more fulfilling.

Maybe you need to improve your writing skills, in order to make it more fulfilling.

Love this kind of suggestion. Perhaps you should improve your living skills in order to be more happy.

Tobold doesn't do anything wrong. He doesn't write too much, he definitely has the writing skills and allowing us to seriously discuss his ideas in the comments section is great.

It's perfectly normal to like to take a break every now and then.
Have yourself a great vacation, Tobold.

I certainly hope you come back. If you do, I'd suggest simply blogging about what you want, when you want. Don't worry about the negative comments, as they come no matter what you write.

Don't worry about people who misunderstand you, mock you, or simply act like tools. Just stand back and ask yourself if you are happy with what you are doing.

If the answer is yes, you're a success, no matter what the naysayers think. I've got several projects going now, so none of my sites get updated near enough, but as long as I (and my sometimes employers) am satisfied, I consider it a success.

Either way, best of luck to you. I have enjoyed being a silent reader over the years.
Enjoy your vacation Tobold. Everyone needs a break from time to time.

Hope you come back refreshed. :)
I'm coming out of from under the rock I abruptly crawled under 17 months ago (and left my readership scratching their heads) to say...

Don't go!

For crying out loud, you have the best content out there. Nothing comes close. You can tell you have a passion for this, you enjoy it and everyone has a good time reading this blog.

Bowing out because of Trolls (I never got big enough to get any of my own) simply gives them control over what you should do and what you shouldn't do.

Here's my recommendation - find a way to handle the few dregs who fling their poo because that's all they know how to do. Talk to other bloggers who are doing well and have had to deal with these growing pains. And there are plenty of suggestions here.

Find away to handle the challenges. Look at this as an opportunity to grow personally. From where I sit, you handle the comments quite well. My guess is you need to find the way not to let the negative comments weigh on you.

I'm rooting for you! I know you can do it.

/shake pompoms

Do what you enjoy. There will always be people you cross paths with in life that want nothing more than to bring you down to the miserable level they are. While not many, they are memorable :) You are better than that. You are smarter than that. Focus on the masses...not the minority.

Enjoy the break


Miss your writings allready
If what you like is discussion about your posts, but don't like moderating the discussion then you need a forum where a few people can moderate the discussion for you.

I am sure any number of readers here would have the interest and qualifications necessary to moderate a forum based on discussing your posts.
Have a good summer Tobold!

Here are some thoughts from around the blogosphere:

Ta-Nehisi Coates runs a really tight comment section. Get too snarky, insulting, or arrogant, and it's a permanent ban. A pain in the ass, I imagine, but as a result he has such regular, trusted commenters that he lets them post for him when he's on break. That's another thought--bring in some guest bloggers from time to time.

Andrew Sullivan, probably the biggest single blogger in the world, doesn't have comments at all. Instead, he encourages people to email and posts what emails he finds interesting. That way you can just delete the crap and you don't have to argue or police the comments.

There's always comment moderation too, but that seems annoying.
Og said "Focus on the masses...not the minority"

As long as you take that to mean your moderation or actions, but NOT your writing, I think that's a good idea.

One of the reasons I read this blog and others like it is for their own individual voice.

Definitely meant the sentiment of the masses vs. minority. That is, ignore obnoxious comments that result in personal attacks because they lack the mental capacity and maturity to do anything else.
How to become happier my friend? Continue to do it for yourself. Even if you have to turn off comments to make that part of it clear.

Enjoy the holiday!

One last random through from me, since I just finished cleaning up some dead links - if you decide to hang it all up, put up a post saying that, even if it's with comments off.

The world still wonders what happened to Foton. Hello World indeed.
I miss you already! Please come back! :'(
Bummer. Just as I started reading your blog. :/
Have a good summer and take care Tobold!
I am absolute certain, that this entry deserves 100 comments. That's why I post the #100 now.

If nothing else, this should be a reason for you to continue your outstanding work, Tobold. :)
The world will still be turning
when your gone.
Hope you come up with some good shit
like WoW is the reason the economy
sucks or something.
You are always were good for a laugh.
I've seen a couple other people post this, but I think adding googles adsense would not be a bad idea. I don't think making money should be why you have a blog, but it is nice being able to get something tangible from your blogging. I start a new blog about a week ago and got adsense, and it does add a little something. Please check out my blog if you want. :)

If you ever decide to quit for good, don't tell anyone...Just choose a successor like the Dread Pirate Roberts!
Hope you're having a wonderful summer! We'll see you in the Fall (Autumn), hopefully recharged!
Have a good summer Tobold.

Dreken, be constructive, write your own blog.
Oh wait...
I thought so.
Hope you have an enjoyable and relaxing break from blogging Tobold, nobody deserves it better.
I hope you have a nice break!

I also hope you come back. I do enjoy reading your blog from time to time.
I read your blog on a daily basis, and since you have not been posting, there is a void in my reading.

People talk about agreeing or not agreeing with you, but for me, it's not even about that. You provide information, entertainment, and provoke thought. Much more than I get for many services I pay for.

I will truly miss your writing if yo do not return to blogging. Thank you for the years of enjoyment you have provided via Tobold's MMORPG Blog.
Hope your getting those batteries recharged ! Always enjoy your posts.
Silent reader here. I agree - in spirit - with SolidState. Not the Google part.

Hobbies are expensive, whether it's time, money, or both. A little personal reward for your dedication probably wouldn't hurt.
I read your blog daily, never really a commenter. I hope you are having a good break, but my RSS Reader just seems EMPTY without your name lighting up with new posts (espcially as you are #1 on the list). Hope you come back soon, I'm missing the intelligent insight on the matters that others just "report."
I'm an occasional commenter and I wanted to put my two-cents in.

Don't go Tobold. You wouldn't have been doing this so frequently for so long with you didn't love it.

I don't think turning off comments is the best option, but if that's what it takes, it is fine. Being able to voice our opinions (tastefully) to your posts is part of what makes the internet great.

I don't always agree with you, but I think you think through your posts well. You makes mistakes and correct them. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the internet makes some people jerks. Don't take it to heart.
I think it's time for you to get another community platform than Blogger. Why not have a two layer website?

One layer for the general public, where you would post "some" of your writing (even maybe mixed with other people content). Comments would be turned off.

And another layer, where you would have a community of people that would be on invite only. Comments would be turned on.

I feel that you are in the following situation: for a small amount of good intentionned posts, you receive alot of crap. Sadly, that's the internet of today...

I guess, you already have many constructive poster, who followed you throught good times, and bad time. Why not create a community that would gather all these people who likes your style, and simply remove all the haters ?

The internet is a tool, and you don't have to fit in the "blogger for everyone category".

I hope you find your place !
It's been awhile, and I miss reading your great posts.....

hope to see you writing again...
Come back Tobold! I love your writing style and your clear, thoughtful analyses of gaming topics. You were truly a beacon of light in this fetid, shallow pool called the internet, and it is worse off without you!
Daily Tobold fix withdrawal :-(
Missing you Tobold!!
Checking everyday if you changed your mind already ;)

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