They build ‘em, I link ‘em. Tons and tons of new Druid blogs to share with you this week! Information on how I decide who to feature included below!
- A Tale of Two Druids
Nasirah of Muradin (US) knows Druids. Seemingly experienced with (and interested in) all aspects of our class, her blog is a great resource for Druids of all shapes and fur patterns.
- Aspect of the Hare
Tawyn “Pike” of Silver Hand (US) writes a Hunter blog packed with personality. One of the most immediately endearing blog designs I’ve seen.
- Crusader Aura
Written by Twalkins of Dark Iron (US), Crusader Aura is Azeroth from the perspective of a once-Retribution, once-Protection, now-Holy-specced Paladin.
Unwilling to commit herself to a single spec, Artemis of Khadgar (EU) writes refreshingly of her quest to level to 70.
- Feather Duster
Nalik of Moonglade (EU) seeks to bring some “balance” to the Druid blogosphere by writing as a European, Tauren, Balance Druid. If there were affirmative action for groups, he’d definitely be getting in!
- Our Warcraft Family
Arethadruid of Drenden (US) writes about her unique experiences playing with her husband and children on Our Warcraft Family. Oh, and she and her husband both play Druids!
Ceera of Turalyon (US) writes about her purple kitten of doom (+2 Vorpal). Bonus points for selecting a guild called Renegades of Funk.
- The Rambling Bear
Surania of Steamwheedle Cartel (US) was born a ramblin’ bear. She’s doing her best to pay repairs. (Okay, that was a little weak, I admit.) Feral goodness abounds at The Rambling Bear.
- The Hidden Grove
Tarhoguk of Khadgar (EU) is building a resource dedicated primarily to Moonkin tanking.
- Yashima Plays
World of Warcraft, of course! Yashima of Terrodar (EU) is a Druid with experience playing all three talent trees. She shares her thoughts on all aspects of our class: tanking, DPS (spell and melee) and healing!
- Xial: Just another WoWer
Xialey of Bleeding Hollow (US) writes about her adventures, particularly soloing dungeons (a practice seemingly popular among Hunters) as she levels up.
And, while not necessarily directly related to World of Warcraft specifically, I’d like to highlight a recent find of mine, Girls Don’t Game. Featuring a kickass design and five equally kickass (female) writers who don’t attempt to shove girl power down your throat, GDG includes articles on video gaming — both retro and contemporary — and the gaming industry in general. A new favorite of mine to be sure!
Q. How do you find all of these people?
A: I watch the list of incoming links to Resto4Life.com through StatCounter. So if you link to me and someone follows that link from your site to mine, I might find your blog. Usually that happens within the first couple of weeks you’ve started writing, and it’s rare for me to immediately feature it, especially if it’s so new the paint hasn’t dried. Instead, I’ll add it to my bookmarks under “Blogroll Possibilities.” That way, I can browse through my folder of links to pick out a group of new ones to feature (it usually takes me a couple of days to transfer these links to my blogroll). Of course, if I find another Druid author has added you to their links list, I’ll bookmark you as well.
Q. What criteria do you have for features/additions?
A: Criteria differ for Druid and non-Druid blogs but aren’t particularly rigid. Here are a few of the factors that help me decide:
- Druid Blogs
Serious bonus points here. We Druids have to stick together and prove our superior verbosity over the Hunters and Priests (the other two classes who seem the most prolific).
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I appreciate intelligent, well-written articles that demonstrate an understanding of sentence structure. Super duper extra bonus points for making me laugh or smile, though!
As someone who has designed a lot of web sites over the years, I appreciate the effort that goes into crafting not only words but the stationary upon which they’re presented. Certainly, substance should come before style, but a nice design will get me visiting rather than only subscribing via RSS.
It should go without saying, but the blogs I feature are all WoW-centric in one way or another.
- Math and Theorycraft
They crunch numbers so I don’t have to? Yes, please!
For non Druid blogs, I’ll usually wait to see if a blog has more than a handful of posts before featuring it. Both Druid and non-Druid blogs should have been updated within the last month. (This reminds me that I probably need to do some pruning based on inactivity.)
- RSS Feed
It’s rare for me to feature a site for which I can’t find an RSS feed, mostly because I know many readers prefer syndication to keep up with the multitude of great blogs that exist.
Even if the blog doesn’t necessarily link to Resto4Life, making the gesture of wanting to be part of the blog community is often good enough for me. Having no links at all makes a blog seem anti-social.
Showing ads all over a blog — especially if it’s a new blog — makes it seem like the author might be blogging more for profit than out of enjoyment. And if she isn’t enjoying writing, chances are I won’t enjoy reading. Extra demerits for gold ads! If you’re determined to display advertising, please filter what you allow to be advertised. If I want to see gold ads, I’ll log onto the game and accept random level 1 group invites
- Ability to Describe
This is really a personal limitation. It gets really difficult to think of something to say about the 8th or 9th link I’m adding. If I can’t easily determine a blog’s purpose, I may leave it in “Blogroll Possibilities” to return to later. “About” pages can really help with this.
While by no means a deal-breaker, having a self-hosted blog — especially with its own domain name — is a strong indication of dedication and that a blog is more likely to stand the test of time (and vacations).
Q. Why do you do it?
A: It’s a lot of work, especially writing the interesting description each blog deserves (something at which I know I need to get better). But I also remember how hard it was when I first started, trying desperately to find people willing to read what I’d written. And when I got my first (non Valenna) comments, I was so thrilled. Without that initial encouragement, I might not be here today!
Q. How do you choose who to feature?
A: An unfortunate result of wanting to share all the quality blogs that I find is that I can’t possibly hope to include them all on my sidebar. The ones that I do feature are my personal favorites, generally represent “best of breed”, and are usually well-established blogs. It’s rare for me to make an addition to my “Favorites” though I do subscribe to everyone I feature and add to my blogroll.