Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Now, having said that I have to admit that me and my husband rarely, if ever, celebrate Valentine’s Day. We never have (after the first embarrassing year we were dating and he ignored me completely as some kind of prank he and his friends concocted) and we probably never will. Living in a college town for most of our relationship completely turned us off of going on dates with 1000 of our closest friends. Having both birthdays in the same month means that yet another holiday to spend money on for gifts is not happening for budgetary reasons. And being a complete matter-of-fact scientist means I’m not really the romantic sort (luckily, neither is he!). However, one thing I really do love about this holiday is the fact that everyone seems just a little bit nicer to the people around them. I always find ways to be more appreciative of those I care about and the people around me on days like today. And with that in mind I wanted to take place in Adventure Rule’s newest community challenge: the Secret Valentine.
He took everyone who signed up, and (I’m guessing) randomly drew names from a pot to determine who was getting whom. It was then the blogger’s job to go to their secret valentine’s blog, read their articles, and write a few kind words about them. I was given the wonderful blog of Reaper Interactive, where the amazing @ReaperActive reigns supreme.
This is actually a blog I hadn’t read before. I follow him on social media but hadn’t delved into his blog. But boy am I glad I did! This blogger is a delight to read. He thoroughly researches his topics and is able to provide good, meaningful advice in his series articles. For example, he wrote an article called Legals 101: Copyright and Fair Use Policy in which he delves into how bloggers, particularly game reviews can legally use images and stills from games. He discusses copyright infringement, copyright do’s and don’t’s, and how to apply that to our blogs. Having spent a lot of time researching copyright for my Etsy shop, and being very good friends with a lawyer who takes an interest in copyright, I was incredibly impressed by his knowledge and his ability to turn something very complex into something relatively simple for people looking for answers. I think everyone should read this article if you’ve never thought about the legality of how you use someone else’s work. I can’t wait for the rest of this series!
He also has a great little article on traffic to your blog. In Blogging 101: Why Your Blog May Not be Attracting Views he delves into some of the greatest mistakes we, as bloggers, can make. These things tend to keep us away from the big views and out of the spotlight we, usually, so desperately want. Now, a lot of times these kinds of articles are general, non-specific advice where the author is trying desperately to have something to contribute to a major blogging conversation. Not Reaper, though. As always with his 101 articles he swoops in with some actual, thought out advice to help people figure out a few minor tweaks that’ll make positive changes in their blog immediately. These articles are so well-researched I really can’t say enough about them.
But the main focus of Reaper’s blog is his game reviews. Now, I’ve said before (maybe not here, but definitely said it) that I don’t really read game reviews. I’m paranoid about story spoilers and I’d rather waste money than read them. However, Reaper is a solid non-story-spoiler-reviewer. And after giving in and reading a few of the reviews I love his layout. He starts with some basic description of what the game is and then every header hits a major point people look for in a game review: Analysis, Features, System Specs required, etc… He even provides a content warning for articles that may have some non-kid-friendly information. My absolute favorite of his reviews is Kindergarten Can Be Fun. It made me laugh really hard and was interesting enough that, were I PC gamer, I would definitely consider buying it. While he’s a PC game reviewer and I don’t really play PC games (except Overwatch… little bit obsessed with that one and I hate it on PlayStation) his reviews would be top of the list if I were looking for a great new game to waste time on when I should be working.
But what it really boils down to, guys, is that Reaper is a definite blog to check out. His humor, style, and research all make for fantastic articles and really, he’s a great person to interact with on social media! Hey, it’s why I wound up following him on Twitter before ever reading his blog! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Reaper, and your amazing work!