Amplifying the Blogosphere (v2021-06-06)

The Comingling of Gratitude, Inspiration, and Sharing

, I received a notification on Reddit. Someone had sent me a note of appreciation for my blog. Just thinking about the note, leaves me smiling. We started chatting, and I learned that they just started blogging at Augury Ignored: games and sundry weirdness.

I went looking, and it sank in: I had seen one of their posts a week earlier. I had even come close to writing a quick post to amplify their blog post.

However, I let it slide. I was in a read my Rich Site Summary (RSS 📖) feed mindset, and didn’t step out of that mindset to respond.

So I’m taking as an action item to reduce the friction of writing responses. From a technical stand-point, I’m going to write an Emacs (Emacs 📖) function to quickly populate a Hugo (Hugo 📖) template for posts in this new series—Amplifying the Blogosphere.

Then, as I’m reading, I can more quickly capture interesting posts and share them outward. For now, the function will be adequate, but I’ll need to pay attention to the workflow to see if it warrants further Emacs functions to assist in these captures.

Over at, John Mettraux posts an end of week links. Each week I read through those to see what John’s finding and sharing. Great stuff! And one of the points the inspiration for my post.

I’m not going to rehash what John wrote, but instead send you all to their Eow Links 23 page.

Situation Mining

Augury Ignored: games and sundry weirdness posted Situation Mining: Umbar After Sauron. I love these moments where someone synthesizes a moment in time (either fiction or history) and creates the seed of a campaign.

In the above post, the author does the work of fleshing out:

  • an after the defeat of Sauron situation
  • character traits for a few Tolkien cultures
  • belief prompts for an Umbaran ship-noble, ex-priest of the Dark Lord, Gondorian envoy, and Haradrim merchant

This format builds on Judd Karlman’s Situation Mining posts. I also have a few Situation Mining posts.

Helping Someone Become a New GM

The Five tips for teaching someone to be a Dungeon Master post provides some guidance on recruiting new Game Masters (GMs 📖).

  • Plant the seeds by inviting a player
  • Keep it small and simple
  • Be a helpful player at their first game
  • Don’t let them delay the game
  • Run them through practice scenarios

I hadn’t previously thought about “don’t let them delay the game”, but this one makes a lot of sense. Set a date for the game. And play it!

I know for myself, I can delay and defer, but set a date and jump in sounds like great advice.

Bugwump’s Gift to the DM

In Bugwump’s Gift to the D.M., Judd describes a role-playing encounter that’s both cool and connects characters to the world.

I previously ran Tomb of Annihilation 📖, and loved the Heart of Obtoa encounter. Our’s went a different direction, but that encounter strongly shaped the exploration of Omu.

I saw some follow-up discussion elsewhere—alas I lost those links. The discussion talked about shifting Omu from lots of puzzles to more factions. I highly recommend that!

With that said, the puzzles do help the players practice their puzzling skills and prime them to think about puzzles. That practice is quite useful for the final dungeon.

Recommendation Engines and “Lean-Back” Media

I suppose Recommendation engines and “lean-back” media by Cory Doctorow was the third inspiration for this post.

Personal blogs have weathered a lot of storms, and continue to be a mechanism for sharing. I want to use this little platform I’ve crafted on the proverbial shoulders of giants to continue to lean forward in conversations.

And with the announcement of Google looking to integrate basic RSS feed into Chrome, I wonder what twists and turns are in store for the venerable blogging ecosystem.

After all, I publish this content for free. Might Google be looking to entice me to charge for content through their platform? And they could take a cut of that charge?


I suppose that’s enough for this installment, don’t expect regular posts in Series: Amplifying the Blogosphere. Then again, don’t expect regular posts. Any long time reader should know, I don’t have a publication schedule and write whatever is close to mind.