First, famed EVE ex-blogger Mat Westhrope (nee Seismic Stan) announced this past Wednesday/Thursday that he was stepping down as the facilitator of the occasional EVE "blog banters" and asked for a new care-taker. In his Wednesday post, he made a case for the blog banters, explained why he felt they were important, talked about his own contributions to the tradition, and explained why he was no longer the best choice to run them.
Now for the EVE bloggers, this wasn't that big of a surprise: Mat's been very busy at gameskinny.com and hasn't had a lot of time between that and some personal reasons (covered in the post) to run the banters with the same enthusiasm he previously brought to the job. But in explaining why they should continue and in asking for a new care-taker, he was humble, professional, up-beat, and above all gracious, showing that he had faith that the community would keep the work alive.
And in this he both went about the job of finding a replacement the right way and chose a good replacement based on who was best for the job. In the Thursday post, he announced very long-timer EVE blogger Kirith Kodachi will be taking over the banters. This was a great choice and I'm going to continue to try and participate in the up-coming banters the same way I decided at the beginning of this year to participate in all of Mat's.
Good luck, Kirith! I look forward to the first banter! Mat, you did an excellent job with the banters during your tenure and showed a lot of class with the hand off. Nicely done.
This was the right way to pass a torch. Let's talk about the wrong way. That brings me to Marc Scaurus, another one-time EVE blogger who has gone legit. Marc has for some time been an editor at themittani.com, and all but shut down his blog earlier this year after ending his CSM8 run. Last week, he also announced that he was relinquishing the care-taker role of another long-time EVE blogging fixture, evebloggers.com and the associated EVE Blog Pack. Go out and read Marc's post about it because you'll find it's everything that Mat's post wasn't.
In particular, though, Marc is essentially dismissive of all the good evebloggers does and continues to do for EVE players, is somewhat dismissive of the blogging community in general, and wraps up his post with this:
I'm personally still of the opinion that we should probably just let these things go. [evebloggers.com and the EVE Blog Pack] are a remnant of a time when blogging was the next big thing on the internet. And no offense to any bloggers out there (I still read a lot of you and appreciate the work you put into your projects), that’s just not the case anymore.Of course, I'm biased. But I think this statement is ridiculous. But even this statement is over-shadowed by the fact that Marc is willing to hand off evebloggers.com to a new custodian (if he must) but also has a string of conditions 140 words long on who he thinks is qualified and apparently wants an essay from the new custodian stating why they're the best person for the job.
Included in Marc's conditions is one that you cannot take over as custodian if you passed the role on to a new care-taker yourself at any point in the past... even if you're the only person that wants the job! Now fortunately, that isn't the case -- he's received six volunteers to take it over -- but the fact remains that while Marc might say "rules is rules", this is also ridiculous. Alexia Morgan, a former EVE Blog Pack care-taker who volunteered to take it back, ably makes the case for why that is. Alexia also believes that the reason Marc wants the blogging community to move on is a conflict of interest: to establish the ascendancy of the new hotness, TMC, natch.
Given the rate that TMC is scooping up EVE bloggers and potential bloggers into its writing pool lately, it's not that far-fetched.
Marc, meanwhile, calls this accusation "a minor element of paranoia." OK. Anyway, he hasn't stated in public who the new care-taker will be yet, but at least he's somewhat grudgingly acknowledging now that there will be one, so that's progress. In the meantime, I look forward to welcoming the new care-taker of the EBP and evebloggers! You'll have my full support, as always. Marc, you yourself have tripped at the finish line, but thank you very much for your hard work on it over the years! You've done a fine job with this important EVE player resource. But let's hope whomever takes over the role remembers your "rules", shall we? ;-)
Every community has care-taker roles. And there's a right way and a wrong way to hand off a such role when the time comes. The right way is with professionalism, good spirit, grace, and while acknowledging the contributions of those who have held the role in the past (including your own) while staying positive and seeking someone to carry the tradition into the future. Keep it in mind if you're ever in this situation yourself.