Tuesday, 28 August 2012

My favourite blogwrecks

If the internet wasn't virtual and the remnants of webspace were cluttering up or endangering normal service, we'd be in a world of pain. The total size of the web has multiplied many times over since the early 1990s and much of it is derelict and gathering virtual dust. A special category of this internet waste is dormant weblogs.

Over the past two decades, a significant part of humanity has tried it's hand at blogging. In most cases they've given up at some point, moving on to less time intensive forms of selfcasting like Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

I myself blogged earlier in 2006-2008, and gave up trying to document everything I did: concerts, books, games, trips, personal stuff etc. It was all too much like work and I decided to quit and focus on other stuff (slacking mostly).

The internet is therefor strewn with the wrecks of sometimes great but short lived attempts at blogging. I've listed a few favourites here (in no particular order) as a memorial, but if possible, I'd like them brought back to the surface and see them sail again.

Derk's Miniatures Blog
The first is actually three blogs by Derk Groeneveld. In this first one he recorded much of his miniature painting. Not only is Derk a very good painter, his investments in camera also paid off. You can see some beautiful examples, and there's hints and tips as well.
Last activity: July 20, 2010

Napoleonic Hussar
The second is Derk's reenactment blog, concerning the Dutch hussar regiment Van Boreel during the Waterloo period. Records some of the work he put in for it, like saddlery and of course reenactment meetings.
Last activity: September 1, 2009

This One's Split
This One's Split is a fantasy ruleset based on the card driven mechanism used by Too Fat Lardies. Derk really put his heart in it and went through various drafts, but it never got finished and Derk moved on to other stuff. A pitty because some earlier drafts were really cool. As with all Derk's stuff, the quality of painting is astonishing.
Last activity: January 24, 2010

Why Derk needs to start blogging again: my hope is that Derk merges all three blogs in one. He still paints quite regularly and he has moved on to other periods for reenactment and miniature rules. If he would focus less on text and more on images, it would be easier to maintain. And nice pics is what the best modelling blogs are about.

Hail Hail to Freedonia
A shortlived blog by Jim Wallman to document a number of toy soldier games he ran in backyards and rooms using H.G. Wells Little Wars rules over the summer of 2011. The battle reports were hilarious and the pics are great.
Last activity: September 2, 2011

Why Jim needs to start blogging again: Of course, Jim has moved on to new projects, but I think many would be happy to see the Freedonian aggression flare up again. Sometime warm and dry. But I'd as much welcome a blog documenting all his projects, or Jim's ideas on game design. After he is a deep fount of ideas and experience when it comes to game design, and I think others can only learn from him. On the other hand of course, it would detract him from actually designing.

Chapel's Brain
Mike Chapel is a boardgamer with the right kind of rugged attitude. He did some great reviews of games but also movies and I think it's a pitty he quit.
Last activity: February 3, 2011

Why Mike needs to start blogging again: because he now wastes his time in online fora making trouble instead of contributing in substance. He doesn't have to do it all by himself. The best blogs are actually those where a number of people cooperate.

Frank van den Bergh
On March 29th 2011, Frank van den Bergh suffered a stroke. Friends set up a blog to keep his many friends and acquaintances in touch. After a few weeks, Frank took over the blog himself as he slowly began to recover. Through short posts with many spelling mistakes at first, Frank documented his frustrations of recovery but also the joy of friends and family visiting.

Frank had always been very active in his gaming club in Nijmegen, Casus Belli, but had also built up a wide network of relations as conservator of the Groesbeek Liberation Museum and his involvement in Market Garden memorial associations. So highlights of the summer were Frank's visits to his colleagues at the museum and the commemoration of Operation Market Garden.

Then suddenly on October 8th, Frank died of a heart attack. Speeches made at his funeral are the last additions to the blog. It now stands as a monument to his remarkable success in befriending people.
Last activity: October 29, 2011

Why it's a pitty Frank won't be blogging again: Frank's wide knowledge of military history and games and his frank observations on his own condition would have provided endless entertainment.

And finally a blog lost at sea forever: Playing with Girls, a moving account of a father and his attempts to draw his children into gaming.
Last activity: September 6, 2011


  1. Hi Jur Fascinating snapshot of another world:). Reminds me how creative, active and adventurous-minded you are:)

  2. Hi Nicki,

    Thanks, we're indeed an interesting bunch. That's assuming you meant us wargamers rather than me in particular

  3. This is an increasing problem, old sites littering the place with the digital tumble weed blowing down their digital streets.

    Perhaps I am a natural librarian but people should end their blogs. I know there is a sort of nagging oh dear moment about actually deciding to end a blog, but all blogs can be taken off line and archived. This is what I have done to two of mine after they had finished their day.

    Thanks for the post, Jur, it has made me re-think what I should do with my four current blogs.

  4. There is a difference between ending a blog and removing it. Even if you don't update, the info on the blog ight still be valuable. It's like a book you've read. You can put in on a shelf for later reference or throw or give it away or sell it.


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