Saturday, June 6, 2009

A *TENTATIVE* look at Achievement Blogging

As promised, I've been around the web looking for blogs primarily about achievement points, which is surly a small niche of the game blogging population. I didn't approach this with the same rigor I did my MMO work (I was getting paid and getting credits for that, where this way just a casual interest), but I found what I could. The challenge is there are many sites that offer blogging within that site (1-up and Gamespot as examples), and I haven't thought of an efficient way to sift through those blogs to see if any are primarily about this hobby or not. So, all the blogs here are affiliated with with Blogger, which is a dedicated blogging site, and much easier to track.

I make no claim that I found every achievement blog out there. I'm certain I didn't, which is why I call all opinions here tentative and should be taken with a grain of salt. (And I apologize if any of the numbers are a little off, or I fudge up the title of someone's blog a little bit)

Blogs will be looked at by the order they established themselves, number of followers, and number of posts, then I'll make some general comments.

First, to give a rough timeline for the growth of this niche hobby, I'll present the list of blogs I looked at in the order they appeared (first post)

Blogs by Appearance Date

2008BoldThe Mind of Marx0r June 30th
Fro's Awesome Sauce** July 26th
1 Million Gamerscore September 29th
Follow My Game (Apple x360a) November 30th
Birk-a-Blog December 2nd
The Realm of Endar December 4th
360 Gamerscore (Xylofreak) December 15th
ThrawnOmega's Blog... December 21st
Fro's Awesome Sauce** December 31st

JJB's Gaming Habits Blog Januray 1st
Hammer's Blog on Gaming January 3rd
Sabre x360a Military Gamer January 19th
Crubie January 19th
Bishop's Gaming World March 2nd
Jackanape's Blog* April 29th
DarkTharen's Gaming Life* May 28th
The Irish Dream (NJC Omega) June 2nd

* These blogs existed before the indicated date, but this begins the day I'm counting. DarkTharen had one on 1-up that I didn't look at extensively (but I'm now following on Blogger), and Jackanape has posts from years back that don't relate to achievements.

** Why is Fro listed twice? The first entry marks his original posts, the second marks when I feel he began posting again in ernest (there were several dead months inbetween).

was surprised to see Stallion wasn't the first achievement blogger out there, as I had previously assumed. So far, it looks like it's Marx0r (I'm sure that'll make his ego happy ^-^) As you can see, there was quite an increase in blogs from November through January.

Blogs by number of followers (estimated readership)
ote: This isn't a great indicator of readership, but it's the only thing I could think of, so take it for what it's worth. For example, I have 27 followers and 2 feed subscribers, but I average 40-50 hits every day. Stallion has 127 followers, but his blog probably gets 10x that much traffic)

Million Gamerscore 127
ThrawnOmega 27
ollow My Game 23
Crubie 23
Mind of Marx0r 21
Fro's Awesome Sauce 21
Hammer's Blog 20
Sabre x360a 16
Birk-a-Blog 14
Bishop's Gaming World 8
JJB's Gaming Habits 7
360 Gamerscore (Xylofreak) 7
Jackanape 7 (follow this blog!!!) {Lets see if you get a 'Thrawn Bump'}
ealm of Endar 5
The Irish Dream 4
DarkTharen 1 (Me!)

Again, take these numbers for what they are worth. Some of these blogs are dead, others get more traffic than their number of followers indicated.

chievement blogs by total posts (Who is the most prolific?)

ThrawnOmega 113 (Includes this post)
1 Million Gamerscore 88
ind of Marx0r 44
JJB's Gaming Habits 38
Hammer's Blog on Gaming 36
Follow My Game 29
Jackanape 26
Fro's Awesome Sauce 26
Sabre x360a 21
360 Gamerscore 20
Crubie 18
The Realm of Endar 17
Bishop's Gaming World 14
DarkTharen 5 (since converting to Blogger)
Birk-a-Blog 3
The Irish Dream 2 (It's brand-new)

here you have it folks, I appear to be the most prolific achievement blogger out there. Exactly how many of those posts were worth reading is a matter of personal opinion ^-^


s can be expected, not everyone who starts a blog really has what it takes to be a successful blogger, or they decide after a while that blogging just isn't their thing, which is why several of the blogs on this list are dead, with no new posts having arrived in over a month. I'll file Hammer under 'MIA' as I'm hoping he'll get back into it (it's been 5 weeks since his last post).

There are several different approaches to achievement blogging. Some writers are focusing mainly on documenting their progress, while some expand on that to include commentary on the games that've played. While some bloggers are comfortable going off-topic to talk about real-life events, some blogs have never ventured off-topic. I personally like the blogs that are the most well-rounded, including achievement info, game commentary, some personal information (to get a better sense of the writer), and an occasional special topic for variety.

The problem with mining too much from my observations is that I quickly noticed that, generally speaking, everyone is following everyone else's blogs. Virtually everyone I looked at is a member of x360a, and of course, this is only one blogging site of many. So, if there are blogs from achievement fans of other sites, or using other blogging tools, I don't currently know about them. Thus, this is a general look at a particular segment/clique of the achievement blogging population. However, I did do extensive google searching, and wasn't able to find much, so it's quite possible this is a large percentage of the achievement bloggers out there, who knows?

One claim I'm ready to make with certainty is that achievement bloggers are a far, far smaller group of people than those who blog about World of Warcraft, and writers about that game a MUCH more prolific (in terms of number of posts, length of posts, amount of content, everything). If I wanted to do research on achievement fans, I couldn't use blogs as a tool, becuase there isn't nearly enough data for it.

It'll be interesting to see where achievment blogging (and blogging about games in general) goes in the future, and to see how many members may be joining our ranks through the rest of 2009.

If you want to know more about any of the blogs seen here, and you can't find them on your own, let me know. I'll post links as necessary.

One more thing, if you enjoy my blog, you'll probably like jackanape's as well. A fellow member of the review team for x360a, he's been getting into the swing of achievement blogging, and is pretty regular with updates. I expect him to eventually reach #2 most prolific if he keeps going strong. He's expressed an interest in doing some special topics of his own, so it'll be interesting to see what he does over the coming months. You can check out his blog HERE. His blog is too good to have a mere 7 followers ^-^

There you go Lee. Let me know when you've PayPal-ed me the sum we agreed upon =P


  1. Very interesting read Thrawn,and thanks for the plug.;) I've been following most of these for a while now(except DarkTharen's who I've just joined) and they all are really great reads. I'd like more updates from people but I understand blogging takes up a lot of time and effort. On my travels I've found 2 more that you haven't on the list, both on blogger and they are 2 good blogs. Here's the links: - STOLENx (another x360a'er) - KaibaChaos

  2. Nice interesting read here, very handy as I'm now able to follow a few more blogs thanks to seeing them listed in this post.

    For my blogging I stick to being all game related as I have 2 other blogs called Life in General and Passion For Skateboarding. I don't think it's good that I have 3 separate ones but with Xbox 360 being one strong hobby and skateboarding being another I felt having separate blogs for them both would be necessary.

  3. Thanks for the links NJC. I'm too lazy to edit them in right now, but others will see them, and can hunt them down =P

  4. You see how I'm first on the chronological list? Yeah.

  5. Another thing to consider is the bloggers out there who enjoy obtaining Achievements much like these people do, but don't actually blog about it all that much. Yes I'm referring to me here but I am quite confident that there are other people blogging about games but not about their Achievement quests, in fact I can think of two right now off the top of my head. I did consider at one stage creating a separate blog purely for Achievements, but figured it would be better to maintain consistency on my first one before trying anything like that.

    Anyway, thanks for the effort put into finding these blogs. I was aware of most of them but it's nice to see a few others. :)

  6. Those are some interesting stats. I think I'll have to look at some of those blogs.

    Also, thanks for mentioning my blog NJC Omega :)