Beta launch is go!

Hiya, Mark here!

You may have noticed (by the change to the front page) that we’ve gone ahead and flipped the switch on the beta version of The Askblog List! We’ve got it to a point where we feel it’s usable, for the most part, so we wanted to get it out there ASAP.

If all has gone well, you should be seeing quite a few categories on the homepage. I’ll talk about that tomorrow, but for now I’ll say that the categories represent what we feel is a good balance for popular askblogging fandoms and genres.

By the way, those who signed up for invites should be getting their emails soon, so hang tight! (And right now anyone signing up now won’t have long to wait either – it’s kind of a short list right now. ^^;)

We really want to hear feedback from you guys and girls, so please send it in! You can contact us by clicking on the Feedback tab to the left of the main page, by leaving a comment on this blog post, or by sending an email to feedback@askbloglist.com.

Also, please note that during the beta test URLs may change significantly as we try different things out, so if you do link to your vote page in the sidebar of your askblog, please at least keep an eye out for if the URL does change. And, as noted before in a previous post, while we will try to make sure nothing goes wrong, something might, so we can’t guarantee any information you give us will survive the beta test either. We’ll try to prevent that from happening, though!

Lastly, I’d also like to draw attention to our list of questions and answers that we imagined you might have. (If there’s any more you can think of, please, ask away!)

Have fun!

Mark Kéy-Balchin

Oh, and just a note – the Favourites system I talked about earlier hasn’t yet been implemented – it’ll be coming in the next version, so if you were waiting for that it’ll be here a bit longer than planned. Ciao!

 

Askblog resources, advice and help

Hiya, it’s Mark! Hope you’re having a happy new year!

We want to be as helpful as we can to newcomers of the askblog world. (That is, after all, why we’re making this site!)  So we’ve decided to make a list of places you can turn to for help.

If you know of any others, please tell us in the comments below!

General

Askblog 101 – Answers questions about making askblogs, occasionally posts articles, promotes new askblogs, and reblogs prompts.

Roleplay Guide and F*** Yeah Roleplay Advice – while these are focused on roleplayers, a lot of the advice can be also applied to askblogs. The latter in particular also answers questions from and gives tutorials about askblogs as well as roleplaying.

The Creepypasta Ask Hub – While the main purpose of this blog appears to be to collect a list of creepypasta askblogs, it also answers general questions about askblogs.

Guides

Tips For Creating Your Own Tumblrpony Blog by The Tumblrpony Wiki

Creating An Ask Pony Tumblr by The Pun Pony Project

Pony OCs – Where Do I Start by /r/MLPOC

Writing

Prompts and Pointers – writing tips and prompts.

/r/WritingPrompts – similar to the above, but on Reddit. :p

/r/whatstheword – For when you can’t think of that, uh, collection of letters separated by spaces or punctuation used to convey meaning? Oh, right, word!

/r/AskFictizens and /r/IAmAFiction – these subreddits allow you to roleplay as your character, to kind of get a feel for them. In /r/AskFictizens, one posts a question to the subreddit, and the rest answer in-character. In /r/IAmAFiction, one posts a short description of their characters, and the others ask questions about it. Note that both are purely original characters only.

Guides

Writing Guide by FimFiction‘s Ezn and Writing: A Manual for Story Creation by De Writer, although focused on fanfics, are worth looking in to because they also cover story mechanics, terminology and tips for planning out a story, which are applicable to both story-focused, ‘plain’, and text askblogs alike.

Visuals

/r/comic_crits – a subreddit for constructive criticism of sequential art (useful for story askblogs.)

/r/learnart and /r/drawingschool – two subreddits for learning how to art and for getting constructive criticism.

Face Claim Helpers – this blog is for helping roleplayers or askblogs with face claims, which is when you use photographs of someone as a stand-in for your character.

/r/MLPDrawingSchool – a reddit for constructive critique of pony art.

MLP Constructive Critiques – a Tumblr blog for getting critiques about pony OC character designs, with a specific focus on how close to ‘canon’ designs are. (Also read their No-No Guide for a discussion on common pitfalls.)

/r/RateMyOC, /r/ponycreator and /r/mlpoc – subreddits that specialise in discussing pony OC characters.

HTML

The HTML Masterpost by ask-wiggles

Finding and Sharing New Askblogs (and Promoting Your Own ^^)

General (apart from us, of course! :p)

/r/Askblog – a reddit for submitting askblogs to!

Ponies

TV Tropes Ask A Pony list – a list of the major pony askblogs.

Tumblrpony Wiki – You can create a summary page for your pony askblog here, and look for others too.

OC Art Challenge – People submit other people’s askblogs, and then others submit artwork of it. You are not allowed to submit your own OC.

Pony Confidential – a site that posts light-hearted ‘rumors’ about pony OCs.

Invite registration is now open!

Hiya, Mark here! Hope you guys are having a fantastic holiday!

In my last post I said we’d be opening up registration for invites sometime in the future. Well, the future is now! *

That’s right, the invite registration page is now open!  You can register for an invite at http://askbloglist.com/invite/ (or just click on the big button that’s appeared on the front page. ^^ )

While you don’t have to have an askblog to sign up for an invite, as I mentioned previously we will be prioritising those who do have askblogs over those who don’t. (And no pretending you own someone elses’ askblog just to jump the queue – we will be checking on that, we can promise you!)

Take care, and have a merry holiday!

Mark Kéy-Balchin

* Well, at least, that part of the future. There are other parts of the  future that are still in the future, and yet more parts of the future that have already transitioned into the past. But, you know what I mean, right?

The road to launch

Hey guys, Mark here! As promised, in this blog I’m going to tell you the phases we’re planning for launch, so you can get an idea of what we’re going to be doing.

1. Development stage

This is the phase that we’re currently in. This is basically where we’re pinning down our basic ideas, systems and visual styles for The Askblog List and getting them ready for public consumption. We’re also testing our systems to make sure nothing breaks! ^^;

2. Invite stage

At some point in the near future we’ll open up registration for Beta invites for people with askblogs, so we know who to create accounts for when the Beta commences. You won’t need an account to vote during the Beta phase, so we ask you only sign up for an invite if you have an askblog.

3. Beta stage

The Beta stage allows us to fix any problems that we might have missed in development. During Beta, the voting side of things will be opened up to the public.

When the Beta stage launches, the initial round of invites will be sent out, and those who receive an invite will be able to sign up for an account. Only a certain number of people will get invites at first. You don’t need an account to vote, so don’t panic if you don’t get an invite initially! We also plan to open up registrations to more users over time.

Due to the nature of the Beta (someone might try to, say, do a Bobby Tables on us – heck, we encourage that kind of thing, the beta is precisely for worming those kinds of bugs out!), we can’t guarantee that any data entered during the Beta will be preserved. We’re going to really try to keep the data through to launch, but there’s no promises!

4. Launch

Once we’re satisfied that most of the unusual ways for our website to die are wormed out, we’ll open registration to everybody and declare ourselves launched!

Hopefully this post has given everyone some insight into what we’ll be doing.  Until 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