ORIGINALLY POSTED 17 NOVEMBER 2010
Yes, the title is quite confusing but today I made an old friend. A long time ago I subscribed to an email newsletter that provides tips and advice for Game Masters (GMs). The email comes about once a week and contains all manner of RPG articles written by one man and a group of hardcore GMs. The best thing about this email is all of the different creative ideas that could be used in any setting and any time period. Granted, most RPGs are set in medieval times which I am just fine with, but it's nice to have the versatility the emails provide. I have always read them and wondered who these people were that wrote for the email newsletter and how they got involved in the project. I also wondered how the creator of the list obtained the multitude of subscribers that he now retains.
Johnn Four who runs the website Roleplayingtips.com is the grand master Role-Playing email newsletter wizard of which I speak. I have read this email newsletter so many times I felt like Johnn was an old friend who would send me this great creative content each week. Although I never personally communicated with him he really started to feel like an old trustworthy friend with all the great advice he had given me through the years. I decided I should send Johnn an email and ask him some of the questions that were running through my head. How did you build such a huge following? How do you get started? Where did you get all these amazing authors who give you this great content each week? Do you have any advice? At the end of my work day I typed a huge email with the barrage of questions, did a quick scan to proofread and hit SEND. The email shot off into oblivion, most likely never to return. I turned off my computer and left work to drive home in the rain.
After getting settled in at home I booted up the laptop and saw a few emails come in. One from Johnn Four... hmmm... probably an auto-response mailer. Nope, what's this? I clicked open the email and there was Johnn sending me a personal message responding to my questions. He did more than just a simple response!
Hi Jonathan, I hope you don't mind, but I answered your great question at the Gamer Lifestyle blog:
What? He answered my question ON his blog? Not only that but he answered my questions on a different blog than I was familar with. Apparently at least a couple brave creative fo0ls have actually made it in this industry and are able to make a living off RPGs! Not only that, but they have their very own blog to help others in the industry follow their dreams! I'm sure this will be a new favorite of mine. (I better tell my friend Todd Gamble who used to be a cartographer for Wizards of the Coast about these guys and have him check out them out/them check him out!)
When I navigated to his blog I was astounded at the response he gave. He listed all the answers to the questions I had asked and added some of his own. To top it all off the first comment response to his post was by a fellow gamer who says he's already been hearing about NERDTREK.com on Twitter and had seen the website himself! Wow! I bought the domain name for NERDTREK.com on November 4th 2010, started building the very next day and already within 2 weeks people are saying they have heard of us in this giant virtual space called the internet!
I have to say that Johnn gave me the highlight of my day and reminded me that there should always be time left aside to answer questions and help others no matter how big or small you are or think you are.
Thank you for making my day Johnn, and perhaps someday I'll DM an old school D&D game for you here in Washington State.
Good day old friend,