Blogs I read #1: The Blog Of Michael Mindes
(This is the opening post of my new 2010 series of gaming blog reviews.)
Why are board game publishers so interesting? I'm friends with several. They're smarter than the average bear. They have a dream, and are following it. They tend to be high-energy, hard-working folks who have a broad range of disciplines at which they excel. They're self-starters and usually brimming with ideas. They have a critic's eye. With thousands of dollars invested in a high-risk, low-return business, they've got to be self-aware to succeed. Best of all, the vast majority of them understand that they're building a brand, and do their best to be friendly and nice.
Of course, you can't get far in the publishing business without being a half-decent editor and writer. All of this leads me to my next point:
Publisher Michael Mindes has a great gaming blog. Of all the gaming blogs I read, seeing a new post from Mindes is the surest way to start my morning with insightful, funny, and novel ideas on board game publishing. He's a Seth Godin advocate, which means Mindes cares about the way his message is received, and is in the world to build long-term value for everyone involved.
He's cranking out high-quality posts at an amazing rate, as well as giving away free games, in order to build himself and his company Tasty Minstrel games into a household name, at least in the Eurogaming world.
A confession: since I was laid off at the end of September, I haven't had any business buying new games, so my acquisitions have been meager and guilt-inducing. Thus, I haven't bought and played either of the Tasty Minstrel offerings yet. That last word is key. Both of his company's just-released games, Terra Prime and Homesteaders, are getting good reviews and commentary, and are on my to-try-soon list. I'm actively reading the buzz on them, and definitely am intrigued. Would I have gotten around to them without Mindes' blog? Maybe, and maybe not.
The only drawback to reading Mindes' work so far is that he's limiting his RSS feeds to not show everything, which is a major irritant for me. Thus far, he's publishing such interesting material that I still am willing to click through; of all the blogs I read, only about 3 get a pass on that.
Overall, The Blog of Michael Mindes is a fantastic study in how to promote games, with a clear understanding in switching up your message to appeal to as many facets of interest as possible.
The next post in this series will sing the praises of Brian Bankler's The Tao of Gaming, and after that, I'll wave my hands in an equivocal manner about Matt Drake's snappy Drake's Flames.