Monday, December 22, 2008

it's Christmas time!

Merry Christmas everyone.

I'm off traveling around Australia for a while, so I'll see you around here and there, until things settle back to normal in the new year.

All the best to you. Stay safe during the holidays.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bloggers - where are you from?

I've just added a poll to the right there, called Bloggers - where are you from?

This is only for the Eve bloggers.

Please select your region and Vote. You have less than a week to vote, and the results will be displayed as a blog post, with the poll then being removed.

I think it would be a great idea to get to know where in this world the Eve bloggers are from.

If you're not an Eve blogger, please do not vote. I'll put up a poll for you after this one!

Update: If you would like your country counted, please add it in a comment. My apologies for not being able to list all countries!

Eve-bloggers channel

In the game there is the EVE-BLOGGERS channel, which has an average of 7 people in it at any one time. These are mostly bloggers.

But since there are over 130 bloggers in the Eve blogosphere, I wonder where they are when they get in-game?

I know there are lots of different corp/alliance/chat channels that are frequented by them, but if we can all try to get into the one channel and get to know one another, we can really work on building a strong community.

So I look forward to seeing as many of you in there as we can get. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The mighty Kestrel

After hearing all about the mighty Kestrel's wonderful missile capabilities, I thought I'd give it a go. I'm specialised in missile warfare (as specialised as a brand new clone can be, of course), so I figured it could be a good thing.


So I spent last night fitting it, flying between systems, grabbing some missile launchers and some shield mods. The power output was too great for the frigate though, so I threw in some Power Diagnostic Systems to bring that up somewhat.

Eventually it was ready. 

Now, I can't say I've had some good experience with it. I've used it against a number of rats in two belts this morning before I had to dock and head off to my out-of-pod job (is that an OOP Job?). But I can say that I'm sure the damage output of the rockets is a lot higher than the Merlin I was using before.

The damage readouts on the Merlin were often around the 19's, whereas on the Kestrel they're around the 80's. That's a significant increase, as far as I can tell, and the rats certainly seemed to die faster.

I'll keep playing around with it, getting myself familiar with how it handles, effective ranges, and appropriate tactics.

I've heard it's not a good PVP ship, but very good for rats, which is just fine by me at this stage.

It's really interesting to have gone from an armor tanker with the old clone, to a shield tanker with this new clone.  Lots of new things to learn.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How to blog about Eve

First up, I just want to say that I'm not an authority on blogging. There aren't any qualifications to being a blogger. But there is experience, and I've been personally blogging for a long time. I've learnt a few things along the way.

Some of you are excited about blogging, and being a part of the Eve blogging community, and promoting blogs and Eve Online, but you're not so sure how to get involved. Some of you are even having some trouble with finding stuff to write, or finding the time to write, or even finding the motivation to write.

This article is to just provide a bit of help with your blogging, in order to get better results from what you're doing.

1. Focus on a single topic

If you have a blog that is aimed at multiple topics, and each topic is aimed at a different audience, you are going to end up annoying EVERYONE.  You'll annoy those that don't care about Eve, and you'll annoy those that don't care about any of the other topics.

You'll be in the frustrating position of annoying someone with every post that you do.  In the end, what is really significant is that your blog annoys people, and they'll go somewhere else to get a more focused content based on what they're interested in.

If you have multiple topics in one blog, create multiple blogs instead and focus each blog on that topic.  Each blog will have a focused audience, appreciative of what you're writing about. 

By focusing one of your blogs on Eve Online only, you will have an audience of that blog which appreciates every single post.

2. Entertain people

People like to be entertained.  They play Eve because it's entertaining. They'll read your blog because it entertains them. Try to be entertaining.

There's all kinds of ways you can do this. You can inject a bit of humour into your posts. You can tell interesting and exciting stories of your in-character adventures. You can put in some Eve-related comics, jokes, or even pictures or screenshots of in-game events or locations.

You just need to look at what's popular on tv - and even on the internet with other blogs - to see that if you can entertain someone, you will get them coming back for more.

3. Educate people

This is another important aspect of writing.  If you look at the most popular books in bookstores, you'll find that those books which help people learn new things are as popular, if not more so, than fiction (unless the fiction is those love stories being bought by women seeking happiness from their fantasies - and there's a lot of them around!).  Self-help books on a variety of subjects are extremely popular.

Some of the very popular Eve blogs out there include those that help people play the game better, or that provide information of use to people as they play the game.

A way of doing that on your own blog is to include instructions on how you've achieved something.  For example, when I write about some battle I've been involved in, I sometimes include all the steps I've taken leading up to that battle, as well as the steps I took within it.

Doing this can help others learn how to do the same, and if you were successful, you're educating them on how to do something. Of course, if you're unsuccessful, you're educating them on how NOT to do something.

Either way, you're providing value - and that's what it's about.

4. Write often

If you don't write much, you won't get many visitors. You'll also lose the motivation to write. The more often you write, the more you'll enjoy it, and the more you'll have signs of appreciation from your audience. They'll have more to comment on, for a start.

You only need to try and write something once a day. It doesn't need to be very long, or even very special, but it does need to be consistent.

If you're finding it hard to write every day, look around at the Eve blogosphere. See what everyone else is writing about. Look at the Eve Online forums. See what everyone there is talking about.

Write about what is of interest to them, and they'll be interested in reading it. Write daily, and you'll get into the habit of being an active and enthusiastic blogger.

The more responses you get from the community to your posts, the more excited you'll be about posting.  You won't get those responses though, until you give them something to respond to.

Summary

There's so much more to blogging than focusing on one topic, entertaining and educating people, and writing every day (or at least quite often!). But if you start with these 4 essentials, you can really enhance the quality and content of your blog.  You'll start finding more people visiting, and more people leaving comments. They'll enjoy being part of what you're doing.

Let me know what you thought of this post, and if you like it, I'll do some more posts on blogging in the future.

My first kill

I was hunting for rats in highsec. You don't do much else when you're only a few days old. As I warped into the belt, I saw a yellow Thrasher sitting there. I moved towards him while doing a background check on him, and saw that he was only a few months old. He was -3 and had a bounty on his head, so he'd been busy.


He turned and ran away, which I thought was curious. I was in a frigate and he was in a destroyer, AND he was a pirate in highsec... Why was he running away? I shrugged to myself, but my curiosity was piqued.

Checking the scanner, I saw he was still in range, but the only object within range was the planet that the belt was orbiting.  Again, shrugging to myself, I activated the warp drive and sped off to the planet as well.

I came out of warp almost right on top of him. We looked at each other for a few seconds before I activated my target lock on him.

You never know if someone will be silly enough to shoot at you while in highsec.


As soon as he turned flashy red I activated my weapons and fired back, managing to get myself on the killmail.  Suddenly his ship disappeared in an explosion as CONCORD came and punished him, and my Merlin frigate was at 40% armor.  I sat there and laughed to myself, and in local I said, "Thanks for the loot!"

Turns out he was testing his ability to suicide gank with alpha strikes, trying to get as much damage output in a first strike.  His testing had apparently shown him that killing anything bigger than a pod just wasn't going to happen in his cheap, expendable ships.

But I was happy. My first kill, and in highsec.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

14 Facts About Me

I've been tagged with the '7 things about me' meme that's going the rounds at the moment by Sard Caid, Wensley, and a whole bunch of others....

The Rules
  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.
But the problem is, I have more than 7 things that I want to share... so I take your 7, and I raise it 7! 

14 Facts About Me
  1. I used to be an atheist until about 17 years ago, when I had experiences that didn’t make sense if there was nothing beyond this physical experience. I had to change my beliefs to fit my experiences.
  2. I’m an INTP, which means I’m Introverted, iNtuitive, Thoughtful, Perceptive. I used to be an INFP. It means that I’ve changed from a Feeling person to a Thoughtful person. Someone told me that it means I’ve matured. I like that.
  3. I wish people had the moral qualities of those in Star Trek: The Next Generation. We’d be much happier. I love Star Trek, and think Picard is The Man.
  4. I once had an affair with a married woman (I was single at the time). She introduced me to the family as a long lost cousin. Her husband lent me their second car. I drove it for about 8 months. He never knew the truth.
  5. I’ve done a lot of different jobs in my life. I can’t remember all of them. I’m sad that I’ve done so many different things that I can't remember.
  6. I’ve lived in two countries, Australia and New Zealand. I feel I can live anywhere. I’m one of the 'elite' of this world, one of those rare people who can travel and live outside of their home town, even of their home country.
  7. I've been keeping a journal since 1985. I've been blogging in various forms since 1998, back when blogs didn't exist. I think I'm one of the oldest 'online journalers' on the internet today. But I'm not famous, so it doesn't matter.
  8. Bruce Springsteen's Born In the USA album is the only music that changed my life, resulting in me owning every album Springsteen has ever produced, and seeing him in concert in 2003, standing on the front line in front of the stage. That was an experience!
  9. I have difficulties letting go of my expectation that people will choose good things for their world. They don’t. It frustrates me. I need to let go of this.
  10. I enjoy looking at beautiful women. I’m a man, it’s what we do. However, I find it horribly disturbing when, from a distance, I spot a beautiful, sexy woman approaching, only to discover when she’s nearer that she’s actually about 12. What’s the world coming to?
  11. I used to be a Microsoft Windows enthusiast. And then along came Vista. It’s illegal to kill, so I bought a Mac instead. Now I love my MacBook Pro. I don’t know why I didn’t turn to the dark side sooner.
  12. I stole a packet of chewing gum one day from a store I worked at when I was 15. I was alone, sweeping up. No one was around. I stole the gum. I felt so bad that I returned it to the box I took it from, unopened. I’ve never stolen anything since.
  13. I’ve seen and talked to angels. I’ve challenged and beaten demons. I’ve channeled the messages of spirits. I’ve seen people’s past and futures that came true. I’ve turned skeptics into believers. I’m different.
  14. I am Australian, and proud to be an Aussie.
The Tags

I tag the below (forgive me if you've been tagged already). No, you don't need to do 14 of your own, I just wanted to share more than 7...
  1. Shirrath
  2. Jenni Concarnadine
  3. Manasi
  4. Hallan Turrek
  5. Letrange
  6. Ulfskein Gangr
  7. Shae Tiann
I'd love to tag everyone! So if you want to join in on this meme, just link back to me and go for it!

(If you're really keen, you can read 100 things about me from my personal blog.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Sarah Conna

You don't know me. No one knows me, and this is a good thing. You don't want to know me either. Knowing me will be dangerous to your health.

I know I'm new, but that doesn't mean what you think it means. You'll see soon enough.

I'm flying a Merlin right now. It's a tough ship. Pity I can't fit anything worthwhile to it yet.   But I have a plan. A skill plan. 

I'm going to train up all the skills for the Moa cruiser and its fittings, and for myself, to achieve Basic levels in everything associated with that ship (as per Certificates). Once I achieve that, I'll start working on improving the relevant skills to reach Elite status. Again, according to the Certificates.

That's my plan. Dedication to combat excellence.

Maybe you'd like to join me on the way.  If so, please subscribe to stay up to date with the events I describe along the way.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for skill planning, I'm all ears.