Digital Rogues and GameBlast23

As February draws to a close it also marks the end of another GameBlast Event for the charity Special Effect, this was the 8th year that we have taken part.
I remains as much fun this year with friends old and new taking part in the activities and us stomping all over our donation goals.

Identity & Branding

I registered a domain for our Digital Rogues charity team last year, but only really got it into a proper state in the last few months. I have to say it’s been nice working on a project that isn’t a blog and that contains mostly static data with no Database. (That blog to html project calling to me)
I also designed a new logo to give us a refresh as the original was looking a little dated, to say the least.

Digital Rogue Logos


I decided that I wanted to showcase and document the activities we have already completed, the donations received & hours we streamed.
It took some digging and number crunching but it looks really impressive and makes our commitment to taking part each year a bit more real.

Another of the benefits that came out of this was I could see how close we were to milestones in our fundraising efforts and as the donations started to roll in this year we passed an accumulative total of £10,000 raised by the Digital Rogues team since we started. Which is pretty sweet.


One of the more recent traditions that has become a fun and enjoyable build up to Christmas has been the Advent of Code.

I never aim to be the quickest or write the nicest code but it’s really fun to have coding challenges that personally I find fun and that flexes my creative, analytical  and problem solving skills.

I know that Tipa over at partook in the event last year and completed it too. I love seeing what people make of each step and how the puzzle and story evolves.

I may see if I can get more folks onboard this year, maybe a private leader board if there is enough interest.

Birdsite and me

Fail WhaleFor days now the following quote has been floating around in my head.

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair

Given the apparent state of Twitter right now, it feels that we are on the precipice of loosing not only a large social platform but a big chunk of our own personal history in the process. With no real way to repair it or step back from it and all trust bulldozered into a pit.

Thinking back to the brief series of years when MySpace was growing and  everyone was signing up and curating their pages, it was great fun but it’s duration and impact on my life pales when compared with Twitter, for many of us it has been one of the main platforms in our daily life.

I know Twitter was never perfect, I know that many folks see the platform as a dreadful place, for many it became a chore, something they have to interact with to ensure their brand awareness, it was part of modern life. Sadly for others they experienced the worst side of things and have been on the receiving end of continuous hate and abuse via the platform.

For me Twitter has been good, I have met so many great people, been introduced to new music, learnt about other cultures and people in a way that was engaging and wasn’t just reading an article, plus interacting with people was easy.
Thinking back over the years, the number of breaking News items that I first heard about on Twitter far outweighs those I heard from any news site or official news channel.

Where the Wild Things Are

EM said

Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

However given that users with Checkmarks will have their voices louder than everyone else, it undermines that statement quite a bit. Those unable to pay become second class citizens of humanity in his eyes.
Admittedly he said the statement before trying to back out of a deal to buy the company, maybe that explains part of his behaviour.

Or maybe someone that thought, since they run 2 other companies, another will just be more of the same.

Reading some of the posts by Twitter staff who have opted to not sign up for EM’s extremely hardcore Twitter 2.0, I genuinely feel sorry that their years of dedication to the site has come to an end. I wish them all the best luck in the future.

Going back to that first quote, has the damage done already been too great, too impactful, there is no repairing that can bring something that has been killed. Previously we had to trust a corporate entity that was semi-faceless, now we are expected to trust … who? EM?

I’m not sure what the future of Twitter looks like, I know many folks are planning on sticking around until the last. But what if the site keeps hobbling along until the promised 2.0 is delivered, where is the line?

And does anyone have the stomach to endure that whole process?
I’m not sure that I do.

OP Respawn timer

For us massive multiplayer gamers news about our games can often be hidden away behind the console and triple AAA game news on a mainstream game news site. It might not seem like much but Massively, as the name suggests, was just that. It was a place without the majority of column space taking about the next XBone exclusive title or how Battlefield Hardline’s pot plant.

When I heard that AOL decided to close nearly all of the weblogs Joystiq and Massively included it was quite a shock. The reason given reminded of NCSoft’s closure of Paragon Studios, spouting line such as “saving money” and “focus efforts elsewhere”, which we all know is pretty much BS.

The final post was rather moving and telling of the community which poured out their support for the website.


Rather than take it all lying down the brave staff have decided to go independent with their new brand Massively Overpowered. As I write this the Kickstarter of Massively OP is over 40% of their goal with 28 days remaining.

I have gladly backed them and wish them all the best with this new venture.
I was a reader of Massively for a number of years, yes on occasion I would find myself disagreeing with some things, but as with any well thought out content it got people talking and engaged, more than can be said about some sites that just ooze trolls and bile.


I don’t follow

I recently discovered that one of my favourite useful websites has risen from the grave. I originally stumbled onto Unladen Follow while looking for the exact thing it was offering. In a nutshell it analyses your Twitter feed and applies a weighting factor to each account you follow based on the recent activity including Quantity, Mentions, Hashtags and others.

Each person you follow is rated in highly scientific Weekly Tweet Load Units (TLU). Your total TLUs are an indicator of how much noise you consume on Twitter every week, based on links, replies, hashtags, talking about Twitter itself, and simple tweet volume.

unladen1The website originally stopped working I think it was when Twitter changed their API and up until a few months ago it was still not working for me.

Of course things aren’t as bad now but in years past I would find that following high noise people which ultimately meant Twitter became unusable due to the volume of Tweets. Naturally celebrities are frequently in the top of the list, normally surrounded by news sites.

As you can see from my list below certain accounts stand out more than others and if you want to remove them then you can head over to twitter and do just that, it’s not something the application does.

I used to try and keep lists of certain groups but gave up on that very quickly.
If you feel that deleting is a little harsh or maybe someone is just getting excited about a sporting event, you can always use the mute feature on Twitter that keeps you following someone and but without them showing in your feed.


#Twitter #Blaugust