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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

uhh Fort 90

Trying out a new weekly segment here imaginary people.

Every week from now on I'm going to ask three questions to a famous blogger and than post them here with their answers.

This weeks famous blogger is Matthew Hawkins

Matt Hawkins is a Renaissance man of our times, he plays video games and writes about them as a video game journalist. He gets to write for game magazines(if any still exist) and game blogs. He finds about and goes the most ultra cool events in New York involving video games and foreign movies(Japanese film festivals and bizarre instructional videos) He hangs out with his friends usually trying out games that won't hit America for some time. He's part of the comic book scene too, with his series of small comic-books that can be found at Meltdown comics on Sunset.

His blog is Fort90

where he writes about whats going on in his life in New York City, which is usually misadventures and long jaunts of waiting due to New York's terrible public transportation system. This guy leads a pretty awesome life and I regularly check out his bog

So here's the three questions I asked and his responses

1.What do you think a new blogger should do to get interest in their site?

Truth be told, it's pretty tricky these days to get one's blog noticed, especially when you're starting up (though even established folks are finding it tough to retain their audience, but that's another issue). The most important thing for any blogger is to figure out your general subject matter, or a niche, because that will determine your audience. It really helps if its something specific, and preferably something that few people (relatively speaking of course) are focusing on. Being too broad and too inclusive can, among other things, be somewhat pointless at the end of the day.
Generally speaking, there's two kinds of blogs: ones that address current events, and one that sheds light on something and explores it, perhaps from the past. The latter is preferable because if you're one of the few people to talk about it, you end up become a talking point in a discussion later down the road, which makes your site and yourself somewhat sticky. But that's tough to do, especially when it comes to certain subjects. That's why addressing what's going on is far easier, but again, you have to have focus.
I myself talk about video games, with an emphasis on hardcore genres, stuff from Japan, fandom... again generally speaking, rather esoteric stuff. Thankfully there's enough stuff pops on a regular basis to make comments upon. I will sometimes address issues that's really big news, but only if I have a strong opinion of it, though even then I will try to keep things short and sweet. Why? Because I'm assuming most who are into the general subject matter already knows about said information thanks to actual news sources like IGN and Kotaku, and are perhaps tired of hearing yet another take on it, no matter how valid it might be to the reader. That there is a pretty important point: a single person cannot compete with "the big boys" so it's pointless to even try.
Then again, and this might contradict what I've just outlined, but another good approach from the beginning to perhaps use your blog as a means to introduce what you love to friends that are perhaps not as aware and might want to know more. And not just in that case, sometimes fans of anything often take for granted what they know compared to the rest of the world.
Here's something that's just my opinion, but here it goes: if you want to cover anything "nerdy", please spare the rest of the world yet another angry nerd. Even if you like that type of shtick (which I personally abhor), EVERYONE has done it to death. Related: try to avoid doing a blog where all you do is bitch and moan. I guess that's where being funny, or at least trying to be, comes in. Comedy is a pretty subjective thing, granted, but simply being upbeat and non-snarky for the most part, is a good thing for a host of reasons. But getting pissed off every once in a while is not a bad thing. It is a blog after-all.
Oh, one more thing: promoting one's blog. Again, based upon what your interest level is, message boards can really help attract readers. Back when I frequented various gaming forums more frequently, I would simply say something that got people thinking "hey, I like what this guy has to say/I wonder what his other opinions might be?" and then be go onto check out my blog. I sometimes to this day will use the outlet to pimp a particular entry that might be of interest, but I tried not to be obnoxious about it... once you've annoyed or scared off a potential reader, that is it, you've more or less lost them forever. Another good, a tad bit safer means, is passing along blog posts via Twitter or Facebook. But that alone is not enough, you have to supplement all that with regular content. In that sense, Twitter and the such also becomes part of the "marketing machine" or what have you.
Oh, one last thing on this subject: if you're talking about something you found somewhere else, especially if it's another blog, be nice and always provided a link to the source!

2.What are your current concerns and interests?

Man, that's a pretty loaded question. I guess I'll start with interests: at the top of that list is, obviously, video games! The biggest problem at the moment is how there's simply TOO MUCH going on. We have almost too many good games being made, and it's hard to keep on top of everything, let alone fine the time (and to money) to play it all. Though given the current situation in Japan (I guess this is a concern of mine to a certain extent), which is where most of the games I'm interested stems from, and where less people are interested in games, who knows what the future holds, since they've been such a dominant force in general. Though things always change, and the world of gaming can survive without the Land of the Rising Sun.
Speaking of, in addition to games, I'm a big fan of anime and manga, though as of late, I've become very interested in toys and figures and statues and the like. I guess maybe because there's been such a big cross-over as of late (game companies, needing every dime they can muster, have turned to make figures of their characters and the such). I'm also really into Japanese professional wrestling, but out of all the things that I'm into, it's been hard for me to find the right outlet to provide the necessary and relevant information, so I'm mostly in the dark. I guess I haven't found the right blog!

3.What next event are you most looking forward too? Like maybe ICON 29 or a special showing of Blackula or some rare out of print movie?
As for stuff happening around here, but still sticking to Japan, I'm really looking forward to this year's New York Asian Film Festival. Only half of the line-up has been revealed, but I just know it's going to be awesome as always. Though believe it or not, I'm not a total Japanophile; I'm also really interested in Fangoria's big horror convention coming in a few weeks. It's the first time it's ever come to NYC I believe! Though I could be totally wrong on that one.
Oh, and back to wrestling, and Japan again, there's this group called Dragon's Gate that's making their American debut in Philly in July which I hope to check out. The summer also has NYC's premier indie comics event, the MoCCA Art Fest, which I'm always a part of. It'll be the hometown debut of my zine, so I'm pretty excited about that (never-mind that ti's been quietly available at Forbidden Planet for months now). I'm really hoping to have a second issue available in time, but the clock is ticking, so who knows.
Summertime also means the Siren Music Fest in Coney Island that I always go to with pals, though its mostly a chance to get drunk on the beach, eat hot dogs, and go on the bumper cars. Truth be told, the music has gotten worse each year. it's all crappy hipsters acts at this point. But it's a tradition, so I will continue to go as long as it keeps going on.

Wow that guy can write! He has such similar interest to my own. Once again I liked to thank him for taking time to write back to me. Here's his website again if your interested on what else he has to say.