Category Archives: About Us

Details on rules clarifications (24 Jan 2015)

Hi! In the previous Update post, I mentioned some of our Site Rules had been changed because I thought they were unclear in some cases and a little harsh in others and I wanted to clarify and soften them. To reiterate what I wrote in that post, none of the rules are changing their meaning, I’m just updating them to better reflect what I mean by them.

Below are the rules that have changed, and how and why I changed them.

1a. Do not link anything that is not an askblog or a roleplay account/blog.

Original phrase: For example, if your “OC blog” is 90% reblogs of funny cat pictures, we don’t want it here. No matter how cool cats are.
Updated phrase: For example, if your “OC blog” is 90% reblogs of funny cat pictures, it’s not  really an askblog and thus not really appropriate for The Askblog List. No matter how cool cats are.

When I first wrote this rule, I’d thought the ‘no matter how cool cats are’ part would negate the harshness of the ‘we don’t want it here’ part. Re-reading it, though, I’ve changed my mind – I can easily see how someone can get a bad taste in their mouth from reading that. So, I’ve changed the wording so it’s softer and less harsh.

1b. Don’t try and circumvent the voting system.

Original rule: If you use, say, your own personal botnet to vote up your link and we find out about it, you’ll be banned.
Updated rule: Getting all your friends to vote for your askblog is fine. Hey, we don’t even mind if you vote for your own askblog, or even if you use both your computer and your phone to do it! Voting for your own askblog demonstrates that you’re active, and not willing to give up without a fight. 🙂 But there are limits. If you use, say, your own personal botnet, or pay people to vote up your link, and we find out about it, you’ll be banned.

I thought  it wasn’t clear enough what didn’t count as ‘circumventing the voting system’ – I was worried someone might misinterpret the rule to, for example, not ask friends to vote for them, or not vote for their own askblog – so I decided to add a few sentences at the beginning about what doesn’t count.

3b. Do not add blogs that are mainly or wholly copied from other blogs.

Original rule: No one likes a copycat.
Updated rule: By this we mean actual content, not concepts or ideas. Unlike some people, we don’t mind if you’re the three-thousand-and-twenty-ninth Doctor Whooves blog – you might be able to make yours unique, and if not, at least fun! But taking content from someone else and claiming it as your own is a big no-no. No one likes a copycat.

I was worried ‘no one likes a copycat’ was too easily misinterpreted by itself, so I decided to make it clear that I wasn’t talking about ideas or concepts and instead actual content.


Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next time.

–Mark Kéy-Balchin

What is this place, anyway?

Hiya! My name is Mark Kéy-Balchin, the main developer here at The Usual Spot, and I’m writing this to give you guys a sense of what this website is going to be about.

Origins

Now, webcomics have been a thing since basically the beginnings of the Internet. They were, after all, a natural extension of print comics. But being online meant they could take advantage of many things traditional comics couldn’t – for example, near instant feedback, which means webcomic writers could change or improve their story much faster than once a month.

Naturally, this lead to webcomics that took this formula and ran with it.

Askblogs are webcomics or blogs that have a constant “fourth wall mail slot” with their fans, where the characters react directly to fan questions and comments. These may be used merely to add flavour, or they may steer the course of the plot themselves, or there might not even be a plot and the characters are just fielding questions. But the important part is the interactivity between reader and character.

So… why does this site exist?

Basically, this site exists because I saw a niche that wasn’t being filled and decided to fill it. ^^

So, obviously “The Askblog List” is a list of askblogs. It splits up askblogs into different categories, so people can drill down to the ones they want – but each level shows all blogs for the levels under it, so people just looking for a general view are catered for as well.

The Askblog List is about three things:

No. 1: Visibility and Discoverablity

Tumblr has no directory, and it’s pure luck whether or not anyone will be searching for “ask blog” when you post your latest update. There are lists, but they tend to be hard to find as well. And as much as we like our friends at sites like Top Web Comics, the culture there is more aimed towards traditional webcomics, and askblogs, as numerous as they may be, are still a niche.

So, first and foremost, The Askblog List is about askblogs getting the attention they deserve.

 No. 2: Organisation

Even if you have a unique idea for an askblog, or you’re the only one in your fandom playing as the character of your choice, you might not get any attention if we did things as a pure list format. The more popular fandoms would drown out the unpopular ones, and the most popular blogs would drown out practically everyone else. People not into those things would give up in frustration.

That is why the second tenet of The Askblog List is providing the ability to drill down to the bits that they like.

No. 3: Popularity

(<insert song here> because I can’t resist. ^^;)

Of course, we want to surface stuff that people like! The Askblog List will work primarily with votes – one vote per IP address, once every 24 hours.

I do hope to introduce some other methods of gauging both popularity and quality after the site is launched, but for now I think that’ll do.

Wrapping up

So, I hope you’ve gotten a good sense of what this site is all about. Next post I’ll talk about the road to launch. Toodles!

-Mark Kéy-Balchin