Ring in the New (Blog Initiatives)

02 Jan

As most of you have probably already gathered, I tend to be pretty horrible at social networking and at self-promotion in general. But it’s a new year, and it seems to be a good moment to at least make a stab at embracing modernity. So, I’m rolling out a couple of new initiatives today that will hopefully help me as well as you.

First, you’ll notice that there’s now a little donation button on the sidebar to the right of this post. If you click it you’ll be taken to PayPal, where you can send me some money if you’d like. I frankly struggled a bit with myself before I made this move. I’ve always written here out of passion and a belief that the work I’m doing is really, genuinely important. Knowing that thousands of you are reading and enjoying what I write is a huge thrill in itself, one that almost feels like it ought to be enough. On the other hand, though, the time I spend researching and writing for the blog is time I can’t spend on other, paying projects. So, I just ask that you think about what you can afford and what you think this blog is worth, whether to you in personal enjoyment or — at the risk of sounding too grandiose — to posterity. Then maybe kick a little into the kitty, at whatever level and frequency seems appropriate to you. If you can’t afford to contribute right now, never fear; I’ll never restrict content to “subscribers” or anything of that sort. Nor will I bother to try to convince you that the blog’s survival depends on your donations; I love it too much, and will happily continue if I don’t get a cent. But if I should get a nice surprise from all you kind souls, that might just help me to justify spending more time on it — which means more frequent new posts for you to read.

Second, I’ve finally taken the big plunge and joined the Twittering classes. My virgin id there is DigiAntiquarian. I’ve had some of you recently asking me for a tweet when new posts go up here. At least as of now, that’s the main purpose for the account. If the WordPress plug-in I installed works correctly, this post should be the first to be broadcast. Fingers crossed!

With that administrative stuff taken care of, we’ll next week be turning away from the hardware manufacturers and back to the important games of 1983, starting with the arrival of a new publisher that’s still with us to this day. In the meantime, do check out the reborn SPAG Magazine, now edited by Dannii Willis, if you’re at all interested in modern interactive fiction. I was the editor for several years in an earlier life, and it makes me very happy to see my old baby return in such capable hands.

(Update 24 hours later: Thanks so much for the generosity many of you have already shown! And thanks also for your suggestions about better leveraging social media. I’ll have a think about what seems doable without cluttering up the site too badly.

In other news, I’ve made a change in plans which means that we won’t get back to games just quite yet. I’ve one more detour into computer-science history yet to take, and I now realize this is the best time for it. But I think it’s one hell of an interesting detour; hopefully you will too.)


11 Responses to Ring in the New (Blog Initiatives)

  1. Dannii

    January 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Just one thing, it’s Dannii with two “i”s. :)

    • Jimmy Maher

      January 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm


  2. Mark Musante

    January 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Will you eventually be editing these together and releasing it as a book/ebook?

    • Jimmy Maher

      January 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Yes, that’s definitely also on my radar for this year. Thinking still about possible publishers and what the best format would be — i.e., whether to release a series of volumes that basically move like the blog has in chronological order, or whether to adapt this material into more specialized books like a history of Infocom, Sierra, etc. Whatever and whenever it happens, I’ll try to work out something for those who have donated to the blog.

      • Ruber Eaglenest

        January 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

        That is a great idea, just, that an ebook is mandatory, more than a physical copy. International spread is mandatory too. You can cast an eye to the thing Jordan Mechner made with his development diaries, and he has wordwide distribution (at leas I can buy that book from Amazon Spain.)

      • Oliver.

        January 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm

        I would really love an seminal work on computer history, preferably in several volumes, and with different focal points.

        When can we expect it? Tuesday? :-)

  3. Erik S

    January 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Just wanted to let you know, that your writing is awesome!

    I’ll send a donate, just as soon I’ve decided on a number.

    I guess there aren’t many alternatives, and I certainly understand PayPal’s place in the market, but if you happen to find something that looks promising rather than PayPal – please consider adding that. I’m not demanding, just letting out a thought.

    • Erik S

      January 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      By the way, consider adding Flattr buttons for each of your wonderful pieces.

      For one, it’s an easy way to share some money with awesome content creators like you – and it also provides some discoverability (via their site).

      Just another cents worth of thoughts :-)

  4. fumblemouse

    January 3, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I haven’t been into my paypal account for some years, but waddya know, there was some small change down that back of that virtual sofa, which should now be yours, with thanks.

  5. Ruber Eaglenest

    January 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

    You need no plugin for this. (or yes, you can, but spread the word is soooo easy):

    You can add some share buttons to each blog post (sociable plugin), so everybody could share your stories for G+, Facebook and Twitter.

    So, when you end an article, you can only to review the article and click 3 times to share the thing in the important networks.

    I recommend too, that you create a fan page for the antiquarian on Facebook (not a normal account, a Facebook’s page).

    Good work!

  6. Captain Rufus

    January 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Good luck with your Adventure games thingie.
    I have always been more a RPG and Strategy guy so in magazines like Enchanted Realms and Questbusters I was mostly interested in the RPG sections.

    But its a worthy genre that needs scholarship and exposure. (Even if for me the only sort of that genre I like tend to be the Survival Horror subgenre which eases up on puzzles and adds in action.)


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