Well, ladies and gentlemen, it finally happened. Today I stand before you not as the dashing young lad you always knew. For after years of hard work and dedication (not to mention countless bribes), where I’ve dodged various occupational ailments from carpel-tunnel to writer’s block, my life is about to change forever. I am pleased to announce my nomination and acceptance of the prestigious Bloggers Recognition Award (aka BRA)! Indeed! What are the odds that I’d end up with a BRA yet Deadpool wouldn’t get an Oscar nom?…Too soon?
Seriously, though, I’m incredibly flattered to receive this award. I’d see awards like these on my WordPress reader all the time and always think “Man, I wish I could get one of those”. So, it’s great to be on the receiving end of that for a change. And how ironic is it that I’d get this nomination the same week as the Oscar nominations? I guess when you have awards on the mind, they tend to come to you. (Even if you’re Suicide Squad apparently).
With that said, I believe it’s about time I’d thank the Academy. Of course, when I say “Academy” I’m referring to the wonderful and talented, Gabrielle Gillispie. Not only is she a good friend of mine, but she’s also a fantastic poet/photographer with a big heart and a ton of stories to tell. So, please take a moment and check out her blog as she deserves a ton more views. In fact, when you go there make sure to leave a comment telling her “Thanks for giving SBox his BRA”.
Before we get to the festivities, let’s first take a moment to discuss the official rules– the BRA Bible if you will:
1. You must thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story about how you started your blog.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give the award to.
6. Comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated, and provide a link.
Gather around everybody! It’s storytime with Uncle SBox.
Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact place my blogging career started, but I believe the very beginning was July of 2011. I was 14 years old and had just graduated 8th grade. This was also around the time I signed up for GameFly, the online video game rental service you’ve probably heard of. One day I was searching the GameFly site to see what games I would rent next when I stumbled upon the section beneath each game listing for user reviews. This is where my first reviews come from. I’m actually surprised to say that whatever reviews I made at the time still exist, and you can laugh at how bad it was here. (“That’s what GameFly’s all about.”…Kill me).
From there I discovered this tab titled “Answers”, a hidden Q&A style game forum which was the answer to my prayers at the time. See, back then I didn’t have a lot of nerdy friends such as I, and every time I talked to someone about an upcoming game or some movie fact I found out about no one would be interested. This was a time in my life when I craved conversation, so I joined my first game forum. I made a lot of friends on there, talked about games every day and even became one of the site’s top members. Eventually I and several other members of the site broke away from GameFly Answers to make a new blog called TheGamersBox.me. Between GFA and TGB.me, I had begun developing a writing style which would later translate into SBox Soapbox and SBox Recommends years later. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was blogging, writing full blown editorials and fleshed out reviews with scores and stuff.
Come mid 2013 and I had moved on from my forum days. GFA was officially gone and TGB.me was on its way out. So, I journeyed out to find new waters. I decided to try my hand at blogging, but I needed a good platform to start. There exists three failed attempts at launching what is now The Ranting SBox: GameInformer, Anook, and Blogger. For one reason or another those sites didn’t suit my needs, and so I decided to try just one more platform. On July 22, 2014, The Ranting SBox was officially born on WordPress. In 2017, I had also accepted an offer to co-blog on Creators.co, and the rest is history.
So there’s my blogging origin story. (Probably wasn’t as brief as intended, but all well). Now for the advice portion of this award post.
One thing I would say to a new blogger is never make promises you can’t keep. That’s perhaps the biggest lesson I has to learn the past two years. When I started this blog, I wanted to give my audience something to look forward to. So, I would make a million promises for posts and to make, and when they wouldn’t pan out I would have to break my promises. This is not something any blogger should do as it hurts the relationship with your viewers and forces you to constantly play catch-up with yourself. Basically, never tell your audience something unless your 100% sure you’re gonna come through.
For my second piece of advice, I’d like to offer a quote from the movie Big Hero 6: “Look for a new angle”. This advice is especially pivotal for those who cover the entertainment industry such as I do. Perhaps the biggest struggle a blogger can have is creating a post covering a news story and wondering whether their post will be seen. Personally, I like to avoid such issues by making my posts stand out from the crowd. For example, when I covered Nintendo’s performance at E3 last year, I decided to take a new approach. Everyone was just covering the event straight, but I zeroed in on one question involving the event and covered it from that lens. Not only was I covering the event, but my post now stands out among a sea of reviews and reactions. It may not always be possible to cover things that way, but I suggest doing it whenever you can.
Well, that was fun! All that’s left to do now is nominate other blogs for this award. I’m not going to do 15 blogs as that’s probably more blogs than would accept my phone call. However, I can think of 5:
Thanks again to Gabby for nominating me for this award. Remember, kids! With a little hard work and good moral support, you, too, can get your very own BRA.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!