The Newbie Blogger Initiative – 1 Year Later

Would you look at that… a full year has passed, and Casual Aggro is still up and running. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. Although I had a few warm-up posts, I claim the real starting date of this blog to be May 1st, 2012, when Syp of Massively and Bio Break started a movement to help new bloggers find their footing in this crazy interwebz.

So, Happy Anniversary to all my fellow NBI brethren! To which, I’m happy to say, there are many still around.

After taking a look at the full list of blogs posted back on May 30th, 2012, there were 111 new blogs formed during the initiative. I opened up every single one to take a look and see how many were still active (yes, I had 100+ tabs open in Chrome and my PC didn’t blink… this thing is a BEAST), and the results surprised me. One would expect a great number of these blogs to have slowed down or stopped updating entirely, and a great number did. However, a large number did not close up shop and are still updating today! In figuring these numbers, any blog that has updated anytime in the past month qualified as being “active”.

And, guess what? Out of the 111 starting blogs, 28 are still active today, giving a retention rate of over 25%!! So, yeah, I’d call it a huge success!

So, out of the 28, I’d like to spotlight a few of them as blogs that you should add to your RSS feed immediately.


Spearheaded by the fantastic Ravanel Griffon, Ravalation is all about the adventures and misadventures of her time gaming in Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. She is also the most prolific blogger in the entire group of 111, and her words jump off the page with so much energy that you can’t help but be a fan! I know I am. If you check out one blog from the NBI 2012 group, make sure it’s this one.

Most recent post: LOTRO’s 6-Year Anniversary!

MMO Juggler

If there’s a game-jumper who even out-jumps myself, it’s the MMO Juggler. Everything from Lord of the Rings Online, to Age of Wushu, to EVE Online, to Guild Wars 2, to The Secret World. You name it, he’s probably played it and has a comprehensive write-up about it. Now THAT’s dedication.

Most recent post: GW2 Lowbie Zone Exploration

MMO One Night A Week

No, I didn’t just pick Kanter‘s blog because he based his latest blog post after something I wrote (which I’m very flattered about, by the way). I’ve been reading his blog for the past year, and I love the premise as it’s a universal one: Not enough time, but a love of gaming. Although most of his gaming time is spent in World of Warcraft these days, a game I’m not too terribly fond of, I still like to hear about his exploits from the perspective of an uber-busy gaming fan.

Most recent post: MMOs and Gambling

Conveniently Placed Exhaust Port

Forgive me Jason, but I did not start following you on Twitter until today. However, I’ve been following your blog for quite a while!

For those of you who aren’t Jason, yesterday’s rant on Candy Crush Saga, for example, is a must read. Seriously. Go check it out. Jason mixes his impressions of games with a humor that is spot-on and 100% relatable.

Most recent post: The aforementioned Letter to Candy Crush Saga

Trust me when I say that these are not the only worthwhile blogs out there from the Newbie Blogger Initiative group. Here is a list of the remaining active blogs, please go and check them out:

Why I Game / Healing Mains / Stynlan’s Musings /  Neurotic Girl / Warp to Zero / Dreadblade / White Charr / FunSponge / World’s End Tavern / Wynniekins’ Adventures / That Was An Accident / Altaclysmic / The Adventures of Danania / Red’s Roid Rage / Bloodthorne / Unwavering Sentinel / Sephora’s Closet / Warlockery / Elfkina Vezicka (Slovak) / Beyond Tannhauser Gate / Noob Raider (Japanese) / The Delver / Geotia’s Letters

That’s a much easier list to swallow than the whole 111 that started.

So, again, I wanted to give a huge Thank You to Syp for starting the movement in the first place, and an even bigger Thank You to all of my friends, supporters, and readers who make me look forward to creating my future posts.

You all rock!

// Ocho

P.S. – I still can’t believe I lost the “Promising Star” Award by only 3 votes… to a blog that is not even active anymore! Ah well. So it goes…

23 thoughts on “The Newbie Blogger Initiative – 1 Year Later

    • I wonder if our figures match. I’m sure I made a mistake here and there. 😛 I just looked at the last post date and went from that. If it was in April, I considered it “active”. I think if I included all the ones that posted in March as well, that it went up to 33%, but still… early March was almost two months away. Not exactly “active”. Right now, I’m trying to hit a stride of once every 4 days, but if I go over, I’m not going to kill myself. I’ve found the hardest part to not be coming up with ideas to talk about, but simply just finding the time to sit down and write (instead of, you know, gaming). Working full time and having a busy social life do not help in this endeavor and sometimes I find myself writing more than gaming, which doesn’t exactly lead to noteworthy stuff. 😛


  1. I’ll lend my scrawny weight to this and join you in thanking Syp for that initiative. I was just missed being new enough to be new, but I really enjoyed seeing all the really new blogs – and discovering the older ones that I didn’t know about too. It was a lovely thing! – Av


    • Right! More than anything, it helped foster more of a community and introduced the new people to the ones still around. That, by itself, was the most true value in the initiative. It’s easier to do it as a group, despite it being an individual blog. 😛


    • I hope so, too. Having a big and supportive community helps, too. It’s like we all feed off of each other for ideas and push each other to keep going. It’s a great thing. 🙂


  2. I used 3 categories, active, semi-active (posted in last month or so), inactive or closed. I think it give a bit more accurate idea but regardless, the numbers in either case are great to see.


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  5. One year of Casual Aggro, whoohoooo! 😀 *cheer*
    It’s been a pleasure reading your stuff.

    And thank you for the call out, I’m so honoured! *blush*

    I really loved the NBI. You’re right, it created a sense of community. For me it was really a big discovery that there were so many amazing gaming blogs around. I had only discovered like 1 or 2 before… NBI brethren… xD we should all have a secret sign (badge) or something. *dusts the Bamboo off*

    /NBI brethren signing off


    • I’m not quite sure where I really started in the following blogs thing. I think I just started reading Massively, annoying the authors directly, sending people whole bunches of screenshots, then seeing a friend of mine who has a tech blog and thinking “I can do that. How hard can it be?” I think after I made the decision, it was only a couple weeks later that I got an e-mail from Syp about the project, and I decided to go all-in with it. At first he wanted me to be one of the veteran voices… but with only 3 posts and less than a month’s experience under my belt, I felt I was more apt to be one of the Newbies instead.

      If I had any talent at digital art at all I’d make us a badge… eh… who knows, I may still attempt it. 😛


  6. I’m sad that this completely skipped my mind. Looking back now, participation seemed to slow down around the 6 month mark. It’s nice to see many going strong though. Keep it up!


    • There was a slow down. But I wonder many blogs would have died a quicker death—or might have, in the case of those still active—if not for the NBI. When I first started blogging, it was the encouragement of the community and the friendships I was able to form with other bloggers that kept up my enthusiasm. 🙂 Heck, that’s still the case for me today.


      • Yes, exactly. I feel that it really is all about the community. If you join the community, you are 1000x more likely to keep going. In high school I ran cross country, and every race, and every practice I always hit that wall that screamed at me “Why the heck are you doing this? Are you crazy?! You still have 6 miles to run!” But then I’d look at my good friend who was doing it as well and knew that if he could do it, I could do it. Having others around pushing you forward is a huge drive to keep it up. 🙂


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  9. Did NBI disband or close down? What happened? I’m a new blogger looking for some insight, have quite a few questions.


    • It was a one-month drive last May (2012), from what I understand Syp shuttered the forum. You can find links to NBI advice indices on my page (click my name), about 3/4 down the right column just above Ravanel’s NBI logo. The community is still around on Twitter and/or G+ if you have questions.


    • Well, it didn’t disband, as our community is still going strong, and all of the sponsors are around as well, but the forums did shut down (when last I checked, it was forums for that Survivor TV show? Who knows…). But yeah, if you have questions, contact any of the bloggers whom I listed above, ask questions here, check out the advice columns that I’ve recapped here: , or all around just join in on the community. Follow our blogs, comment, and just jump in. 🙂


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