Welcome to another installment of WTFaid?, a semi-regular column in which I discuss things that might not directly impact gold making, but that I want to talk about nonetheless. If you're looking for gold-specific tips, check out my archive and blog roll! If you're looking to get some insight into the mind of Faid, God help you. Also, read on!
(I didn't have any great images to use to break up the wall of text, so here's cute .gifs of kittens I've collected from Reddit!)
This post is about something I've been rather surprised ever came up at all. Namely: People who choose to blog about gold are judged because of that choice.
I'm going to use two basic examples, but I would bet other gold bloggers have plenty of their own.
Example 1: Wind Trader Status
For those who have been living under a rock and haven't already heard, there's a great resource for gold makers called The Consortium. Pretty much anything that comes out of this forum is A+ material and, though some of it is sometimes over my head or a bit to number-intense for my liking, I love the quality of information they churn out.
On their site they have a group of people called Wind Traders. They are described by the Consortium as "a proud, elite and very exclusive group of individuals keen on sharing ideas. Due to the sensitive nature of the information contained within the private forum, membership is limited to 1 per server." Essentially they're kind of like an "elite gold maker's club" (My words, not Consortium's) with their own private forum to discuss sensitive information about gold-making.
A while back I applied for WT status. After a while I received a response to my application that was essentially: "The vote was close, but declined. We would greatly like to see you apply again and fix/expand upon x, y, and z from your application as they were the trouble spots."
Now, the whole situation was a tiny bit complicated but basically shortly after receiving the notice of being declined apparently they revoted and I was invited in, but had decided to decline for reasons that I don't really feel like bringing up since I have absolutely no bad blood with the Consortium and I feel that explaining it all would reek of non-existent drama.
The reason I'm going through all of this is to discuss one of the "problems" that was brought up for the reason I was declined as a Wind Trader the first time around. This was, verbatim, one of the reasons someone voted no on my Wind Trader application:
I genuinely enjoy her blog - I like the attitude she brings to it, but I think that a distinction needs to be made. I think I can confidently assume that I was not elected based on the content of [Blog Name Removed] - let's be honest, it's a place for me to blow off steam.
Without calling anyone out, past or present, The Consortium has been attempted to be made into a platform for furthering the efforts of individuals' blogs in the past, so I think it would be prudent to ensure that people are willing to contribute to this community for the sake of the community.
If we ask for a second application, I think it will tell us a lot about Faid and her commitment level to helping the members of The Consortium.
Amusingly I actually do know who put this comment because their blog name remained even though their name was removed, but I have no issue or hard feelings so I don't mind either way and removed the blog name from the quote myself. :P
Essentially this person stated that because I am a blogger my motives are automatically suspect and I need to go above and beyond the Wind Trader application to further prove that I want to contribute to the community.
So let's look at that for exactly what it says: Because I am a contributing member of the gold making community I am now suspect of being in it for my own gains and assumed to not want to be a contributing member of the community. :| WTF?
I have no blogging aspirations. I write my blog because I like to write and I like to help people and interact and it keeps me focused on my own gold-making goals. I have pledged in the past to not monetize my site in any way and I don't intend to ever sell any service. I do like to increase traffic to my blog because I like to interact more with the community, the exact thing that has caused me to come to The Consortium. I'm actually rather surprised that being a known member of the gold-making community apparently actually hurt my application.
I do not intend to come off haughtily when I say this, but being a Wind Trader I do not think would help me further my blog in any way I could not do so already. I have been invited to guest post for The Consortium; Euripedes has linked me a time or two on WoW Insider. I've been invited to be both a regular host or a guest on several podcasts. If my agenda was to get my name out there I could sleeze my way through the blogosphere, but that's the last on my goal list. First and foremost is being a member in the gold-making community both to contribute and to learn, and that is why I applied.
(We'll come back to this in the conclusion, but for now . . .)
Example 2: It's a Blog Eat Blog World?
For those who haven't hit up JMTC recently Markco has a new plan involving a writing staff doing guest posts, I believe. I'm not completely sure how it works, but to get the ball rolling he's been putting up at least a guest post a day and asking people what their opinions of the author was. As a reader of Just My Two Copper I've been putting in my input where I have it. I have to admit I'm a bit of a advocatus diaboli in most of my responses but I figure anyone can say "Yay!" but the important thing is to improve the content, not generate more mediocre posts that are unhelpful or incorrect. I do plenty of mediocre unhelpful posting to go around! ;P
So I basically went through and pointed out the errors in reasoning in today's post by Brendon. As far as I know I'm the only "well known" blogger who replied, so I assume that this post by an anonymous commenter was directed at me:
Hmmmm, i'm not sure a competitive blogger should be reviewing authors on this site :-) Especially when he's harping on one small paragraph out of the whole work.
What is that? This person is effectively implying that because I have a blog my opinion doesn't matter or I am exempt from pointing out shitty reasoning in posts? And what exactly is "competitive blogging?" Is that like competitve eating? Because I don't like hot dogs. But maybe if it were pie . . .
Since when are blogs competing with one another? Why am I not allowed to try to help breed useful and informative information within the gold blogosphere? It all comes down to: Why does my choice to go above and beyond your average gold maker and share what I learn with everyone else mean I'm no longer able to be a person, a blog reader, and a contributor to the very community that caused me to want to get started in the first place?
Nerf Faids Mission Statement
Many bloggers seek to generate revenue, be it via advertisements, selling guides, affiliate links (Are those ads? I don't really know what those are.) and other means. Well, look around yourself as you read this post. I have no advertisements, I sell no product.
I'm not going to lie, money's tight. I go to school with student loans I will one day need to pay back. I have no job because of the schedule of my classes and could really really use some income. I've considered, for a time, putting ads on this site. But I chose not to. I do not believe I've taken some moral highground and other bloggers have fallen short, it's up to each blogger to choose what they want for their blog.
What I want is a place to share my thoughts and ideas, mostly about the subject of gold making. I love to engage in the community, or at least I used to before all this drama and accusations and judgemental crap. I want to avoid any hassle in what is, essentially, my keeping a public online journal of my thoughts and feelings and experiences and that includes not using advertisements or selling anything, as that seems to just breed issues and hassle.
I do not sell anything or monetize my site and I do not intend to.
Time and time again I've been blatantly or subtlety accused of trying to get ahead in the blogosphere or to try to generate hits for my site or some bullshit blog drama. No. There could be one reader on this site and I'd still write it because I do this for me. I like you all and love being a part of a community. But, at the end of the day, if I had one reader, I would still write my blog because it's not about having more readers than Blogger 1 or selling more guides than Blogger 2, it's about having fun blogging and that's why I write this blog.
So shove your prejudice against bloggers up your ass and forget the idea of competitive blogging, quit treating us like corporations that are out to screw you and acting like I'm trying to sell you something because I'm just like you but I like to ramble more than most.