Hosting niche blogs is something I think we’ll be seeing more of, especially when the blog platforms are getting better and better with each release. We have previously covered Teens in Tech, the teens in love with tech blog host by 15 year old Daniel Brusilovsky, and then there’s Open Salon, taking a slightly different approach but at the same time being pretty niche since it looks to engage the Salon readers, certainly a crowd too.
WarhammerBlogs.com is another blog host going after a niche, this time people interested in everything Warhammer. So what is that? Well, it started like a table-top war game by Games Workshop, filled with Orcs and Elves and whatnot trying to kill each other. You would buy a bunch of lead figures, paint them, and then use the rules to bash other armies. Today it is a huge industry, with MMORPG heading for PC gamers, called Warhammer Online, and several spinoffs, like pen-and-paper role-playing games, books, and so on.
And WarhammerBlogs.com wants the dedicated crowd to blog about Warhammer, under their wing. So why not have a brief chat with the founders, being Kevin Bane and Creative Herb?
WarhammerBlogs.com is a site hosting blogs about Warhammer. Could you tell us a little bit about the project?
Kevin Bane: I spent the past few years trying to figure out what kind of site I wanted to create online. As I learned more and more about Warhammer Online, I was drawn to the game and wanted to create a site that would really stand out and promote Warhammer Online. I started looking around online and found there were sites already with great forums, but no one really offered what I would consider quality blogs as an option and so WarhammerBlogs was born.
Creative Herb: When Kevin first approached me with this idea, I thought it was great and really got excited at all the artistic possibilities. I think I can go pretty crazy with the designs and it’ll actually work well with WarhammerBlogs.com
What software powers WarhammerBlogs.com, and why did you go with that particular platform?
Kevin: WordPress MU. I had initially narrowed the choices down to Moveable Type or WordPress MU, but I had experience running a single WordPress blog in the past so I ultimately went with a solution that I was already familiar with.
Herb: WordPress in general is wonderful to work with. I can translate most of my design ideas into working models relatively easy.
Why should someone wanting to blog about Warhammer choose WarhammerBlogs.com rather than Blogger, WordPress.com or any similar established blog host?
Kevin: We offer Warhammer inspired themes, and we are actually working on new themes daily. Blogger and WordPress are great services for stock blogs, but we are going a step beyond with our theme layouts, design and promotions. This is a site for gamers, and we really want to keep the site fresh and fun and interesting for our gamer bloggers and readers.
Herb: We’re true gamers ourselves and we ask ourselves whether this design or that feature is fun or not, and how do we make it even more fun. We are definitely anti-boredom and that level of fun and excitement will be seen translated into the site.
Have blogs changed how Warhammer is covered online over the years? If yes, how?
Herb: I have a lot of fun in various online communities personally, and we’re definitely going to promote that fun through blogging.
Kevin: Yes, blogs have changed everything. In the past, I would stop at a local gaming shop and run into a few people that played Warhammer and a few people that played other games. It took a lot of time, networking and sometimes going to conventions to meet other people interested in playing a Table Top game like Warhammer all day. In todays blog world you can get online and immediately find other Warhammer fans that are into Warhammer just as much as you are. Blogging has really opened up the ability to learn and share with others on a more intimate level then say forums, and I think that is a very good thing for everyone.
What is your goal with WarhammerBlogs.com? Is there a big masterplan behind it all?
Kevin: Our goal was to create an incredible, fun place to blog about Warhammer and I think we’ve done that. We are still working daily on updates and tweaks to the site to make it better. We are also working hard on an entire new set of themes and will be rolling those out in the next couple of weeks.
Herb: Lots of big updates in the works in terms of functionality and graphics, can’t wait to show everyone! =)
The Warhammer brand is owned by Games Workshop, publisher of the table top games. How would you rate their online presence today, and in what way (if any) have they made your work with WarhammerBlogs easier or harder?
Herb: Games Workshop has been around for a long time and it definitely shows in the depth of the rich heritage and artwork. Their artwork is simply amazing! Their sites are a wealth of information and a great source of inspiration for my designs. The company loves their fans and they show it by maintaining a strong online presence to keep the fans really informed and nurture further community growth.
Kevin: Games Workshop has a solid presence online, but since Warhammer Online has been in development that presence has grown exponentially. Mythic Entertainment is developing Warhammer Online, and they have done a tremendous job of promoting the game and the Warhammer universe. Everything they do makes our job easier, not only by their marketing but also by their example. Both Mythic and Games Workshop put out high quality games, and we really felt that we had to create a site that would live up to those same high standards. It was great motivation and it still drives us daily as we make improvements and additions to the site.
I’d like to thank Kevin Bane and Creative Herb for doing this interview. Be sure to check out WarhammerBlogs.com, especially if you’re interested in anything Warhammer, and do visit Kevin’s and Herb’s personal sites as well.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.