I'm not a publisher, but Lulu can take care of that. I'm not a designer, but I'm sure I can get people to help. I'm not a editor, but putting together something like this would give me that experience. I am a, however, passionate about gaming, and the RPG blogging network is one of the better online communities with which I've had the pleasure of interacting. Now, before I explain what the heck "Open Game Table" would be, allow me to provide you with some background.
Professionally speaking, I'm a scientist. I also have a (much less updated) blog I maintain that is work related (workingthebench.com). My science blog is a bit older than this one, but my interest in updating it daily is fairly low (?). In the time I've been into science blogging, I've discovered that the community of science bloggers has done a couple of things very well: 1) science blogging carnivals are a regular occurrence and cover a wide range of topics; and 2) there is an annual science blog anthology about the best of science blogging that is published each year. The grass roots passion science bloggers have for their subject area is, in all honesty, infective. My involvement with the sciblog community is whole reason why I maintain four blogs right now, with The Core Mechanic the one I enjoy writing the most. There a number of parrallels between the RPG blogging community and that of the science blogging community: 1) passion for the subject area; 2) many topics for active 'discussion' or outright debate; and 3) a constant stream of creative ideas from many talented people. I could even argue that there are similarities between the RPG Bloggers Network and the multimillion dollar ScienceBlogs.com network (not including the money of course).
The third part above is what I'm concerned about. Yes, concerned. There's an idea out there that internet is a collective stream of consciousness and that information is effectively lost in that stream due to the inherent decentralization of it. Basically, as more and more information gets online - it becomes increasingly hard to find it. Google helps, of course, but there is something else that helps: active aggregation of information. Technorati helps to aggregate, as does the Blog Catalog or any number of other generic services that are on the net (StumbleUpon, Digg, etc). These services aim to make it easier to find blog posts that 'matter' and are inline with whatever your interest is. There's a more grass roots solution to this problem though - and that is for the sources of information (the blogs in this case) to form collectives and focus their communities. For RPG blogs, the RPG Blog Carnival is an example of this sort of activity. The RPG Bloggers Network is another example.
But even still, information gets lost in the stream.
The science blogging community has done many things to aggregate its information, but in 2006 they took one more step towards aggregation. One very forward thinking blogger decided to create an annual anthology of science blogs and created, "The Open Laboratory: The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2006". It was a huge success, and they received literally hundreds of submissions. 218 were chosen as a semi-finalists and fifty were accepted . The final blog posts were wrapped up into published book, and sold at Lulu.com as either a PDF or a printed book. The anthology was so successful that they repeated it in 2007 and the competition was even more fierce - 53 posts made it into the 2007 anthology. Currently, the organizers of the anthology are in the process of producing the 2008 anthology.
Why does this matter at all?
Well... for me, the very of notion of being a blogger myself can be attributed to the 2006 edition of The Open Laboratory. I was standing in a bookstore, and there it was sitting on the self. I picked it up and was dumbfounded. Here was a collection of articles (posts) written by people with names like "Drug Monkey" or "Bioephemera". A collection of writings that instantly resonated with me. I bought a copy, and even two years later I still occasionally open it up to read something again. And from what I can tell, the presence of the blogging anthology in bookstores (and at conferences) drew a number of new people to the science blogging community who never had blogged before. I was not alone.
I propose that we create an anthology of RPG blogging entitled "Open Game Table: The 2008 Anthology of Roleplaying Game Blogs". This will give many people the opportunity to really hone their writing, editing, and design skills and get published. The anthology itself could also bring a whole new flood of new people to the community - thereby expanding our base, while focusing our core. It will also bring attention to many (many!) of the hidden gems that are out there in the RPG blogging community.
Now, I may be too small of a fish to get this properly started, who knows; so I'll need your help.
If you are a blogger who would like to support this effort, then please
- post a link back to this article on your own blog. The more eyes I have reading this post the better, because I'll need all the help I can get to pull it off.
- leave a comment here and let me know if you are willing to help with any of the following, and what your experience level is.
- editing entries, layout and design of the document
- judging / reviewing entries
- contributing artwork (cover art, internal art, etc)
- designing a logo for Open Game Table for contributing/supporting blogs and websites to use on their sites.
- submitting articles to the anthology.
I'm crossing my fingers - but I am really looking forward to seeing this project come to life.
EDIT - and update to this announcement was published here : http://thecoremechanic.blogspot.com/2008/10/open-game-table-clarification-and.html