17 Sep 2010

The Meta-Cataclysm

It feels like Cataclysm has become a euphemism for change. My favourite TV show just cataclysm’d. My car needs an oil cataclysm. “Cataclysm I can believe in”. You get the idea.

It’s no surprise then to see the Web of Warcraft go through it’s own mini-cataclysm. WoW.com has gone back to being called WoW Insider, and has moved to a new address under the Joystiq brand. Although it’s a strange move at first glance (wow.com is a great domain name), it makes sense in other ways. Readers will be more likely to check out the rest of the Joystiq site for the rest of their gaming needs, the site gets more page impressions and generates more revenue.

It also means there’s a chance for cross-pollination. The talented writers at WoW Insider might have more of a chance to create content for the wider Joystiq site. This helps them move from Warcraft journalism through to videogame journalism, and possibly even to the wider entertainment scene. This can only be a great thing.

The other interesting news was that Curse are considering setting up a site that’s heavily editorial-based. This also makes sense – pretty much everyone uses MMO-Champion for up-to-the-minute news, but WoW Insider tends to be the destination for opinion, comment and features. Providing some diversity in this area can again only be a good thing – it’s great to be able to get alternative views and opinions on the various in-game happenings. Plus it gives the chance for more writers to gain exposure and reach a wider audience, which again is great.

Let’s not forget the blogsphere though. There’s probably a thousand Warcraft blogs, hundreds of podcasts and buckets of YouTube producers. All of these people are creating content, sharing their thoughts and opinions on the game with others. That they’re all tirelessly working away to create stuff that’s entertaining, insightful and useful for free is something that’s incredible. Despite the headline sites like WoW Insider, there will always be a place for bloggers.

The Mana Obscura Cataclysm

My own blog will also be going through a fair few changes over the coming weeks and months, partly in response to some excellent feedback from readers.

The big one is that the Obscurecast will be moving to a new home. The podcast has been a great success for Stu and I, and we’d like to give it a proper home rather than being stuck as a part of Mana Obscura. It’s grown beyond our expectations as well, so it’s about time it had a proper home. We’re also looking at making some small changes to the format, but we’ll reveal those in due course.

It also means that for people who don’t follow the podcast, you’ll be able to follow the blog without podcast posts turning up in your feed.

For the blog, it means that I’ll be posting less as well. I’ve often attempted to post just as a way of padding out between podcasts, and I think the quality has suffered as a result. You’ll see me blog less often, but hopefully in a more entertaining and enjoyable way. The place will also be getting a bit of a make-over as it focuses more on being a home for written content.

The two sites will be linked – you’ll be able to see when new blogposts appear or new episodes are up – but they’ll have their own unique style.

I hope this makes sense to everyone, and I’m really interested in your feedback. Both Stu and I are excited about the things we have planned, and I can’t wait to be able to share them with you in more detail.

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