Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Ancillary conversation booster

I'll make this quick.  I want to move on to other things.

Several blogs -- notably The Ancient Gaming Noob, whom I respect a lot -- are covering the transition of evebloggers.com from Marc Scarus to Cyberin a few days ago.  Welcome, Cyberin!  That said, it'd be something I'd mention in the junk drawer at the end of the month, except that Alexia Morgan is starting up a competing site.  Anyone who's read my stuff for any length of time knows how I feel about this: if you're being competed with, you don't complain about it.  You just become better.

With that in mind, here's the one and so far as I can tell, here's the other.  Use the one you like more.  Various people have jumped in with opinions about Alexia Morgan himself.  I don't know the man, so I'm going to stay out of that part of the conversation.

But it's been kind of interesting watching the conversation spread from blog to blog.  I particularly enjoyed Hardcore Casual's and Psychochild's takes on the subject.  But as the conversation has spread, it has mutated like a phrase in a game of telephone and has become an old chestnut: blogging, particularly MMO blogging, must be dying.  A good bit of this can probably be laid right at the feet of Marc Scarus himself, who's own take on the matter includes this gem of a quote in a post very ironically titled "Blogging Lives On".
However, blogs may be moving into a place where they are ancillary components of a conversation...  if something particularly thought-provoking comes up [during a Twitter or Facebook conversation], you can crap out a bunch of ~words~ and feel like you’ve contributed.
You can "feel like" you've contributed.  Not contribute.  Aheh.  Marc then wraps up his piece with the implication that it's a good thing that there are fewer blogs because as a result there are "fewer dangerous alleys of wasted time."  Blogging lives on.  And bites the living so they rise as the undead to threaten civilized society, I guess.(1)

Know why I particularly like Hardcore Casual's take on the subject, though?  He cuts to the heart of the matter.  The state of blogging about a thing reflects the health of that thing.  And the health of MMOs in general is not good.  I've covered this a couple of times in the last few months.  Traditional MMO development has been on a downward trend due to several high-profile and high-cost failures.  Blogs are driven by enthusiasm above all else and until we get some big successful launches, blogs are going to struggle due to lack of enthusiasm.

I don't think it's much more complicated than that, honestly.

But taking this and using it to dismiss this whole portion of the community as "ancillary components" of the conversation or saying that blogging is dying seems like jumping to conclusions at best, and trying to control the narrative at worst.

Anyway, go read The Ancient Gaming Noob.  In particular, in addition to covering this topic really well, he's linked to a lot of the other blogs that are also commenting on this topic.


(1) In another post, Marc has some more amusingly ironic things to say -- this time about me personally -- which Kirith Kodachi covers quite well.  Short version: he's annoyed that I didn't talk to him when I talked about his blog post about the evebloggers hand-off.  My comment on Kirith's post sums up my response.  In particular, of the eight pieces on themittani.com in which my opinions or my actions are part of the article in the last year, I was interviewed for exactly two of them.  Interviewing someone is not a requirement for talking about their opinions or actions.

5 comments:

  1. I always thought of blogs as Long Form Writing, and most of what Marc talks about as Short Form Writing(facebook, twitter, the like). The latter is normally a quick, "Look at this thing! It's stupid/cool.". While the former is more of a dissection of the thing.

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  2. The guides section of this blog and many others stands to contradict Marc's assertion. Twitter and Facebook are almost all ephemeral --- they last only so long as the conversation goes on and only to those who took part in it. There are blog posts (and forum posts too, another dead zone Marc?) that are still useful as references to playing this game 4-5 years after they were originally posted, and the best bloggers go back and update their work when the mechanics change.

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  3. Some people blog to blog. Others do it for hits/notoriety/ePeen, and as soon as their readership vanishes, so does their productivity.

    Others, like me, end up with RL-constraints on time, and decide that what precious free-time there is, is better spent playing EVE than reading/writing about it. That is not at all a knock on people who have time to do both, or choose to read/write rather than play, but as for me, when time is short (and hi, summertime = massive OT due to :job:), playing has priority over reading/writing. :-)

    Lots of potential reasons, and all of them amount to :speculation:, unless one individually surveys bloggers to find out what their rationale is for continuing/discontinuing their writing.

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  4. So I shouldn't have added Alexia's tweet when he changed his mind?

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