Friday, November 30, 2012

The Importance of Feedback and Comments to Bloggers

So I've been doing this consistently for what, over a year and a half now? Some months have been more prolific than others, and some have been downright torture prepping for tournaments and events. Over that time I've gotten to meet with groups of fellow bloggers who have influenced me over the 5 years or so I've been reading blogs, have shared experiences and just recently have even been able to be a part of a webcast Bloggers Roundtable.

Then I got this email the other day from a reader...


I just wanted to thank you for your blog and the articles relating to mini converting and making your army "your own". You see last night I finally took the plunge and put blade to plastic. It was extremely terrifying and extremely fulfilling. I don't think I would have been up to had I not gotten the nudge from your blog. While it's been small little things so far its already giving my confidence to take on more ambitious parts of my grand scheme. (Urban commando Tau Pathfinders)

I've only been in this hobby for about a year now but already I feel like I've learned so much from you and many others. But I feel like I still have a long ways to go. (My "high" quality painting is many others "table-top" quality)"

Yes, I did ask for permission to share his email, and no, I don't do this for egotistical reasons. I'm sharing this for everyone who blogs, posts on forums, or somehow shares their experience and talent with a multitude of people they don't even know. What you write and share makes a difference to those who read it. The online and blogging community for our hobby is huge both for those who give to it and those who take from it.

I'm also sharing this for those who read their favorite blogs and hardly, if ever, comment on them. What you have to say matter to those of us who are saying something. We don't write just to read our own words, we do it to share with the community. Even the blogs that exist just to log a large project to two, those folks need your feedback. Without feedback, we miss a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to bettering ourselves and our hobby skills. I will preach that til the day I die.

Casey was kind enough to share some of his recent work with me and those are the pictures that you'll find below. He also shared the following with the pictures:

"What you see here is my take on Farsight, it's not the typical paint job but it flows better with my army while still standing out. The Piranha is probably my best work with the engine glow effects. I have plans on adding some techno tribal markings to represent their victories. I've painted a few other things outside my army mostly for kicks since a single color scheme can get old.

There isn't much on the conversion front yet, I've added grenade launchers to the rifles, changed the posing on a carbine, and have krootifying another carbine. I want my conversions to reflect my idea of what my army is. People tend to play Tau without many allies, but fluff wise they are all about their allies. I plan on making my force more integrated with kroot and maybe even vespid strewn throughout the regular ranks. Some Eldar weapons and bling might find their way in as we'll since I plan on using them as allies and I want to tie the two forces together."

Take a look, let him know in the comments if you like what you see, and even what he could do to continue to improve. My only rule is that you be constructive in your comments, I will remove any blatantly destructive criticisms.

Bottom line is that hearing from our readers helps push us to continue blogging. So if you like what your favorite blog has to say and show you, let them know it.

- Tim



  1. Agreed. Speak up, we all enjoy hearing from the people viewing our blogs! In fact, I comment on so many blogs it's a little disturbing. Wether you write, read or troll it's all good. You have no idea how many ideas I have stole- um, borrowed from Tim here.
    Your painting is very clean and crisp for some one with so little time in the hobby. That is a really good way to start out and will only serve you better as you develop your skills. You should be proud and I like the subtle glow on those vents, BTW.

  2. Good points on the comments, Tim. I definitely agree. It takes a lot of time and effort to put up posts and to paint the models in them. It is also a bit intimidating putting up your models for all to critique. It is great to get comments and feedback from readers. I really enjoy seeing what people like and am really pushed to improve when I get constructive criticism.

    Casey-Good to see your conversions and models. Thanks for sharing. With conversions I would recommend just doing it. Some models will not be perfect along the way, but that's okay. Your skills will improve faster if you are pushing yourself to try new things. Hope to see you with your own blog soon!

  3. Yep! I rarely get comments lately except from spam bots :/ I suppose that speaks to a need to improve my content...

    1. Honestly buddy I've tried posting on your website a number of times, but my comments seem to go missing. I honestly have tried leaving comments.

    2. Minijunkie, try going into your comments in your controls and see if there are any actually labeled as spam? I've had to mark some as "Not Spam" to get them to be seen. Not sure if this is what's happening or not, but just sayin :)

    3. Thanks guys - I've checked the spam filters and usually they seem to be just full of...spam :). Realistically I think I need to move to Blogger so I can use all the same systems etc that people are used to.

  4. I completely agree with this. I have only been doing my blog for a little over a month and I love being able to show something that someone finds helpful, or getting feedback on what I can improve. One comment is worth 100 views (I'd say 1000, but I don't have any posts with that many so it wouldn't be justified). And Casey, you should start a blog (if you haven't already). I'd love to see your progress! I wish I had started earlier so I would be able to look back at my progress. If you do start one leave me a comment letting me know and I'll be sure to subscribe!

  5. Agreed. My fledgling blog ( has just hit 400 page views; but I've not had one comment yet. Maybe my viewers are abiding by the old adage 'if you've nothing nice to say...' I'd love some feedback. Even if it was just some (constructive)criticism. The blogosphere has given me so much inspiration for my own amatuerish efforts and i think to comment and leave feedback can only help foster the community spirit of the hobby

  6. Amen to that, Tim! Even though I've found blogging to be a pretty fun and rewarding experience this last year, it's still rather hard to get people to comment with any kind of regularity. Forums are usually better for getting immediate feedback, although the rules and regulations on those and the sheer pressure due to the amount of "competition" creates completely new problems. Ah, it's a hard life, I guess ;-)

    On the other hand, I guess we've all been guilty of just looking at the pretty pictures, nabbing them for our inspirational folders and leaving without saying a word at some point. So let's all be better commenters in the future, people ;-)

    @ Casey: Great work so far, mate! Your idea of having your Tau more "ethically" diverse and ragtag sounds pretty interesting! While Tau tend to be defined visually by their clean aesthetics, that can also make them look rather cooky-cutter. I read this one idea on a forum somewhere, where somebody wanted to make their Tau look like a Roman legion that had been in the field for a long time, catching all kinds of strange cultural influences from the theatres they had fought in and collecting some local guides and recruits. Your idea reminded me of that, and I think that's an awesome idea for a Tau army!

  7. Whoa, I meant "etnically diverse", of course. What a stupid oversight... ;-)

  8. Great article, Tim! I'll admit that I don't comment on every blog I look at each day, but I do make an effort to leave a comment on two or three blogs that particularly catch my attention each day. I definitely value every comment that I get, and am constantly amazed and inspired by them.

    Casey - I definitely like what you've done thus far, the paintwork is crisp and looks rather nice. I'm digging the conversions-in-progress as well, looking forward to seeing how those turn out!

  9. Comments are huge. I have had my readers inspire me and push my work in the correct directions for years on painting and converting projects. It's good to have that. I have also found awesome blogs by just clicking the persons name and finding their blog or checking out the ones they follow.

  10. Huzzah! See, people can be heard!! Thanks for everyone who's commented on Casey's stuff. Hopefully Casey's been by and taken a gander :)

    Also, I know for a fact more than 9 folks have taken a look-see at this post. Hopefully if you haven't commented here, you've at least taken my article to heart and have commented on at least one blog post since you're ready this one!

    1. Beat me by a few minutes Tim... Stupid Ipad virtual keyboard...

      The compliments have been HUGE. Thank you all!

  11. Thanks everyone for the kind words. My Tau are pretty cookie cutter but I came across a picture several years old on some no name forum of a single "Native American" Firewarrior with face paint knives and other bling and it's really what's gotten my mind spinning.

    I've been using G+ as a sort of blog but maybe I'll take Tim's advice to do one dedicated to this project. Finding the motivation to post frequently is tough! It seems forum posts tend to just give snapshots and at least for one who is trying to learn.

    As for comment I confess I have to force myself sometimes to comment since I think my natural mode is "lurk". But you're not really apart of community if you aren't involved right?

  12. won't say much, but just one thing:
    comments make it all different when you blogging, it is as simple as poking someones shoulder and cheering him up for the things that he've done.

    as of tau felle, i would like to see some more pictures of his work, but next time he better try to shot 'em with better camera ;)

  13. Comments are encouraging no doubt. I'll comment on most everything I find I have something different to say about a post from what's been commented on already.

    @ Casey - keep at it sir. Get better pics too so we can see how much work you have put into these efforts all the better. Keep up the good work.

  14. Everyone, thanks for kind words. I'm going to continue working on my painting. IF anyone is interesting, I've put up a number of higher quality photos on my G+ site. Here is a link: