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Saturday, June 18, 2011

WTFaid?: Bloggers Are People Too

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.


  1. Well, you at least have one reader. I for one appreciate you NOT having a ton of ads on your site. Annoying ads and such have pushed me away from other blogs as they really just clutter everything and get in the way of what I came for.

    Keep writing Faid, and I'll keep reading :)

  2. Hear hear!

    "I want to avoid any hassle in what is, essentially, my keeping a public online journal of my thoughts and feelings and experiences[...]"

    This. I totally get this.

  3. I think the crisis of your post is about alleged "competitive blogging", which has its roots in the false notion of that each reader has multiple blogs competing for his/her attention in a win-lose situation.

    Zero-Sum has been on my mind a LOT recently, in the idea that you must destroy your opponent in order to succeed. A Win-Lose situation. (I blogged about how it works in WoW here ) I don't like zero sum.

    Gold bloggers started writing to help. To share. To give. Giving our secrets away could even be detrimental if a reader on our own server purposefully decided to mess with our gold making for his entertainment. So the idea that we're in it to take something from readers or from other blogs or that we're somehow less trustworthy is a bit crap really.

    Abundance is about sharing, not dividing resources. Its not just fancy words. There is enough to go around. We're incredibly lucky to be living in an age where information is exploding with abundance.

    The more blogs there are, the more information that is out there, the better for the reader. There are enough readers to go around. More information is good. Other blogs are possible allies, not competitors.

    TLDR: I also roll my eyes at the idea that blogs are competing

  4. Don't let the sycophants at JMTC get you down. That site has gone way downhill, it'll never be the same again. Marco can't even hear his real target audience anymore over all the loud, obnoxious brats who hang out there now.

    Your posts are appreciated by mature users. You have a knack for tackling tough subjects and speaking your mind yet saying it in the nicest possible way.

    Sycophant is probably be too big a word for the people it described to understand. In words they can understand sycophant means baglicker or kissass.

  5. GASP! TGQ LINKED HER BLOG! SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION! I kid, of course. TQG is quite awesome.

    The whole notion that bloggers (for the most part) are competing is absurd. I started blogging because I like to write. I stopped blogging because I didn't have anything to write. Not to sound too selfish, but it's never really been about the readers, or the blog hits. I like to know that people read what I have (or had) to say, and I hope it helps, but I've no intention of catering to a fan-base.

    The fact that blogger drama actually exists is even more absurd. Hell, we write about a very small aspect of a game. How on earth could there be drama? One of the reasons I loved blogging was for the community. It was neat to see so many like-minded individuals. In-fighting just makes no sense.

    Like TGQ said (or I'm inferring she meant), blogging isn't a zero-sum game. You can't force people not to read someone else's blog, and why would you want to? More blogs means more ideas and more viewpoints. Even if material gets rehashed, some's going to have a different perspective.

    That people would even think to accuse Faid of being part of some bizarre "pageview hoarder culture" makes me question whether they've ever even been on her blog. I'm sorry to hear you were caught up in this bizarre drama. I considered applying for Windtrader status, but not so sure anymore. I didn't even know it was taken so seriously. Hell, I figured blogging would almost guarantee you a spot, since it'd a) be easy to see your knowledge on the subject and b) shows commitment to helping others learn the ropes. Quite strange indeed.

    Anyway, you're not the only one who likes to ramble. Keep doing what you do, and we'll keep reading for sure.

  6. Including me that makes at least 6 readers you've got!


    I must say I thoroughly enjoy your posts, and I enjoyed having the chance too talk to you at the JMTC meeting 2 fridays ago. You have strong ideas and talk about broader topics than go here, do this, sell it this way, which is something I feel JMTC has slipped into.

    That being said, I submitted a guest post there, looking forward too what everyone thinks!

    Keep up the good work Faid

  7. You know, after reading this I just have one problem with what you wrote. What do you have against hot dogs? I mean really. Chilli and ketchup on an all beef frank on a potato roll? Does it really get much better than that? I think not.

    Now, I will admit pie does have it's place in this world. However, you won't see a Joey Chestnut tackling lemon meringue on the competitive circuit anytime soon, but I digress.

    Write because you like to write. It should never feel like a job or a chore. :)

  8. Wes, I think that only one thing needs to be said.

    Polish Sausage > Hot Dog

  9. Also Faid, only now I noticed the text at the bottom of your blog, the song clip in your vids are from Major Tom (Coming Home) which was only covered by Shiney Toy Guns, it was originally by Peter Schilling (sorry for being anal about this lol)

    (I couldn't find anywhere else to contact you, sorry >.> Feel free to delete this)

  10. @Xsinthis I actually knew that. :) I love the original, but it was from the Shiny Toy Guns version that I took the audio, so I wanted to be sure to credit the artist that did the version I used.

  11. Ohh, like the kitties, ;)
    I almost considered applying for the WT thingie though ironically I didn't think i'd qualify since I don't have a blog.

    argh damn I'm, drunk and forgot what the point I was gonna make in this post was. *makes mental note to re-read in the morning*

  12. The ironic thing of the situation is that as far as I can tell, joining the Wind Traders is a selfish act of self promotion to begin with.

    It's a group of private individuals that are sharing information in secret in order to profit only themselves (see 1 per server rule), and definitely not to advance the state of the art of gold making.

    In fact, having a blog is in direct opposition to the nature of the traders. If you get a juicy tidbit, where are you going to post it first? The blog for the world to see and defeat the point of the traders having an edge on the competition, or give it to the traders and keep it secret?

  13. I do find the thought of an exclusive forum disturbing. I think that people take what in essence is a non competitive game way too seriously.

    Also hot dogs are good. Pie is not. But cake... Cake is the cake.

  14. Mid time reader, first time commenter. Faid - once again you hit the nail directly on head, and I could not agree with you more if I had written this article myself.

  15. "pageview hoarder culture"

    Love this.

    Also, hot dogs are floppy and yucky. I prefer nice firm lincolnshire sausage.

    Stop snickering at the back.

  16. Great points Faid. I write for the same reasons, ie that its my hobby and reflects my interests, not because I need money from it.

    Though, I think I can make you something that you would really like. Slow cook sliced Kielbasa in brown sugar. Deliciously sweet!

  17. Okay, I have to leave one last comment here.

    Bratwurst. That is all.

  18. Hey Faid, nice post :).

    Since I'm here I can clarify before anyone asks questions...

    1. Faid applied but was inactive on the forums, I'd say nearly every "no" vote was because of this. Most "yes" votes were based on the quality of this blog (including mine!).
    2. I sent her the rejection email, sadface equipped.
    3. During this time Faid became active on the forums and made some awesome contributions.
    4. A thread immediately went up on the forums asking to re-consider Faid. I believe votes were 100% "yes".

    The offer is still on :).

  19. You don't need to worry about taking the blog name out, I'll clarify what I said:

    In discussions surrounding your application, several of the other Wind Traders referenced some of your blog content as a sort of extension of the application. Our debate turned to whether or not that should be a factor, or whether the application should stand on its own.

    I made those comments, not to suggest that you might have ulterior motives, but to ensure that any decision be made based on the merits of the application itself. Obviously, as a blogger myself, I would expect to be held under the same scrutiny and wouldn't expect any preferential treatment (especially considering the blog's content, itself :P). That's all I meant.

    As Sterling already mentioned, we didn't have a lot of actual Consortium content to base our decision on. When that changed, so did our decision. It wasn't the first time a similar decision was made, and I don't expect it will be the last.

    It also seems as though many people are under the wrong impression about who the Wind Traders are and what the "private area" actually consists of. The idea that we would be "keeping all the good stuff" from the rest of the general community makes me chuckle. Are there some nice tidbits? Sure, but the main reason we tend to keep them to ourselves is that they loose almost all of their effectiveness when too many people start doing it and saturation occurs. Anything worth sharing gets shared.

    For the most part, the private forum ends up becoming a place for us to have some higher-level discussion with like minded people who are playing the game on the same level we are.

  20. (continued...loooong-winded trader :P)

    I don't want to make this all about me, but as both a blogger AND a Wind Trader, I am probably in a better position than most to speak to the decision about what content I publish and where. For me, it comes down to this: The Consortium is about community, my blog is about me. If I have something to say that has an impact on the community, it goes on the Consortium. If I just have some stuff bouncing around in my head, I'll probably blog about it. I don't really see the 2 as being in competition, since they both serve different purposes.

    I guess I've ended up saying plenty, but I will reiterate what Sterling already said - after taking into consideration some of the contributions you made to the community, the second vote was significantly in your favour, we'd be happy to have you. Your personal blog or your motives were never an issue, this decision was always 100% about your application.

    Hope that clears things up a bit.

  21. First off, I think it was extremely unfair that you posted a private piece of information (a quote) out of context. Alongside the rest of the discussion the quote looks fine, but out of context it doesn't look good at all.

    Please don't make the mistake of making it look like you were declined because of your blog. You weren't. You weren't active enough on the forums and in the end that is why you were declined, when you became more active you were welcome to apply again.

    One thing to keep in mind, the Wind Trader Forums *IS* an elitist club.

    However, sadly WoW has ruined the word "elitist" and turned it into a synonym for "douchebag". This couldn't be any further from the truth when trying to describe our community. We always put in an effort to be kind to absolutely everyone and distance ourselves from drama as much as possible.


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