Done right, role playing on WordPress can be a fantastic experience. That’s because WordPress, unlike some other popular platforms was developed to manage content. Unfortunately, managing content is not the same as managing interactions or users, which is why it is so important to set up your first WordPress blog and user correctly. Do it right and a myriad of RP will open up. Do it wrong and…well role players have a habit of leaving abandoned blogs and profiles in their wake.
Being a content management system, it far easier for RPers to track, search and organize their storylines, backstories and other useful content on WordPress than it is on other platforms. WordPress also makes collaborative storytelling far easier by allowing more than one person can contribute to a WordPress blog, making storylines easier for fans and RPers to follow. Great as this is, this combination of advantages poses the greatest challenge to new users interested in role playing on WordPress. Deciding who they want to be.
Previously, I’ve advocated using “generic” user names whenever you set up a new account or profile online. The reason is simple: creating a username. profile and space that is not tied to a specific fandom, gender, ethnicity/species, age, genre, setting or time period gives you far more flexibility as a role player, writer and individual. So if you are new to WPRP, choose that first username carefully, it will be the one from which all your subsequent blogs flow. For instance my user name RolePlayWriter is fairly general, but it does say something about who I am and what I do. It is also suitable for a variety of role play related blogs. WordPress.com does allow you to create and maintain multiple blogs from a single user.
Although having a general user name makes it easier for you to blog as different characters, the fact of the matter is, people will always know you are behind the characters. This may or may not be a problem if you want to keep your characters separate. One way around this is to create user profiles and blogs for each of your characters and make your other characters Admins of those sites. They need Admin privileges because only Admins can change the author of a Post or a Page on a WordPress.com blog. This way you can write your post or Page as whomever you are logged in as and change the author so that it appears to have been written by the appropriate character.
If you haven’t role played on WordPress before, I suggest you try using a generic username first and set up two blogs, a personal blog and an RP blog for your primary character. Setting up two blogs right from the start lets you keep your “real life” and RP separate. There are a LOT of wonderful blogs on WordPress that have absolutely nothing to do with RP but that you may still want to follow, read an reblog. Having a “rl” blog lets you do that. At the same time, if your goal is to RP on WordPress, you will need a space for that as well. An RP blog will allow you to begin role playing quickly and without muddying the waters with material or content that isn’t related to your rp or your characters.
If you are already rping on Twitter, Facebook or Google, WordPress offers a Friend Finder that will help you connect with those characters and individuals who already have a WordPress blog. This should help you get started and feel more at home, depending on how active they are of course. You can also set up Reader to look for content on specific content tags/categories including RP and role play as well as your preferred fandoms, genres or characters. In this way content related to those topics will be delivered to you which can also help you get started. Several RP groups or families also have WordPress blogs, though these can be more difficult to find unless they are associated with a group Twitter Profile or Facebook Page.
WordPress will also automatically share you content with your Twitter or Facebook accounts. That means you don’t have to go to any extra effort to RP in multiple places. It also means you can continue RPing with characters that don’t have a WordPress blog…yet.
WordPress role play offers RPers for whom the story is King (or Queen) a wonderful opportunity to create complex tales and characters while interacting with other who feel the same way. I won’t lie, there is a learning curve and it may take a while before you find yourself surrounded by like minded characters and creators. Don’t get discouraged. We are here and we aren’t nearly as scary as some of us pretend to be. So if you are just getting started with WPRP, relax and look around. There is a lot to like about WordPress. Then, when you’re ready, leave me a comment to say hello. I’m always on the lookout for new adventures!