Dark Elf Sorceress
But what does all this have to do with anything? Why am I always excited every time Monday rolls around? Find out more after the jump.
Firstly, for those who don't know, the idea of Twitter is that you can post 'tweets', messages that are no more than 140 characters long, and anyone who is 'following' you, will see those tweets and the tweets of anyone else they follow.
This allows you to keep in contact with many people. I can 'retweet' any tweets that I see, as a way of showing those who follow me what someone else said. Maybe a funny joke or something.
Importantly, however, are the hashtags. A hashtag is a word after a hash, and #miniaturemonday is just one such hashtag. The idea of these hashtags is they are searchable. If you go onto Twitter and search for the #miniaturemonday hashtag, you will find all the tweets that contain this hashtag. Make sense?
So what is #miniaturemonday?
I've no idea who started it, or even who told me nowadays, but every Monday, miniatures collectors post up a picture of their latest project or a favourite model they've painted and include the #miniaturemonday hashtag so all these posts are viewable. I can click the hashtag and view every tweet on Twitter using it.
Again, why is this significant? Our hobby is a communal one. Sure, you can sit at home and build and paint models on your own, but the hobby becomes much more meaningful when other people are involved. It's much more fun spending hours converting and painting models if you know somebody will actually see it. I personally find it better still if I get to do that hobby with someone - even if just sitting chatting whilst I apply the next coat of paint. Gaming, of course, is much more fun if you have someone to play against, and better yet if the other player is a friend. Indeed, the hobby itself is a great way of making friends.
There are many people across the globe I never would have met without this hobby; these are people I've spent fun times and shared memories with - from other managers up at the National Managers Meetings, to the very customers who support my Hobby Centre. All of these people are part of an ever growing community that I'm part of too.
Savage Orc Warboss
I love seeing other people's models. I often say, and I mean it, that I sell GW product but whenever I do, I'm anxious to see what becomes of that little plastic frame. I delight in seeing other people's models. Why? Because if I could, I would build and paint everything, but I can't so I watch other people do some of it too. Perhaps it's almost a subconscious life goal of mine to see every model we make built and painted, but due to the impossible variety of colours, build options, conversions etc, actual completion of this isn't possible, and I'm fine with that. I'm happy to just get to see the models and talk to people about their hobby.
Of course, it's often nice to talk about my own hobby too, and that's where #miniaturemonday comes in. Every Monday I get a great big serving of fuel to keep the Hobby Monster satisfied, ideas to steal off other people, awesome looking models to appreciate, questions to ask how something was achieved that I may use it in the future too...
...and of course, showing off of my own models! I love it, we all do, deep down. When we paint a model, we want people to see it, especially if we're proud of it, we want to show it off, and we hope other people get as excited by it as we do. If I put up a picture of a model I'm really proud of, I'm secretly hoping for @VoxCaster (Games Workshop) to retweet it, or people to comment and like it too.
That's not arrogance, far from it, in fact. It's that meek search for acceptance and praise that we need as humans. It's wanting to be a part of that community, to feed other people's appetites for models, to be a part of something bigger. That, to me, has always been the core of this hobby. From the age of 7 when I started, I wanted my friends involved. Now I'm 23 and run my own Games Workshop Hobby Centre, and I still want to meet new people and share the love of my hobby with them. Be that meeting at a gaming club for a good battle, sitting in a local Hobby Centre painting and chatting with mates, chatting with other managers over a beer, or talking with the guys who support my Hobby Centre about their latest project. I genuinely am interested, and love to hear
Necron Canoptek Spyder
So, what say you? Would you join in with #miniaturemonday on Twitter? How about posting some images to the GW Flickr pool? Maybe even starting your own blog about your hobby and what you're up to, much like Tom Fern's excellent Calth Burns blog.
If you do get on Twitter, here's a few great #miniaturemonday posters to follow, just to get you started:
I also recommend doing a search on the #miniaturemonday hashtag even if you don't have Twitter!
Whatever the case, I implore you to get involved in your hobby community!