You’re either in or you’re out! And by god, you don’t want to be out. That’s the gist of Alexia Morgan’s newest great blogging sensation, eveblogs.net. The new venture appears to be a mashup of Evebloggers.com (in that it nominally provides a listing to all EVE blogs) and Podlogs (in that it provides for blogging within its domain). Not a terrible idea, I’ll give him that.
However, over the past few days the EVE blogging community has had an inside look at the world of Alexia Morgan/Black Claw/whatever. The view isn’t that great. Seismic Stan/Mat Westhorpe summed it up nicely in the comments section of an interview conducted with Alexia at Winterblink’s blog (I encourage you to read the full interview at your leisure).
“I’ve had some independent bloggers complain that they don’t want to be known as ‘independent’ bloggers, compared to those blogs built and published within the portal. While I understand their issues, I don’t accept them.”
“…independent bloggers are ‘mostly’ clueless about their site security and administration.”
“…it’s probably silly of me to expect those who are engaging in irony to actually see it.”
“…the ‘change of focus’ is to, put it bluntly, tell them to go screw themselves.”
“I’m pondering on whether or not I should allow independent bloggers to use Eve Blogs Network to promote their blogs if they’re adamantly against the idea. If you’re an independent blogger wanting to have your blog listed on a community portal, I think it’s a bit ripe to sign up to have your blog updates presented on the portal, and then start blogging about your resistance to the concept of community and a community portal.”
In other words, this is the community now, you’re either in or you’re irrelevant. For someone who has accused me of being complicit in some asinine plan to ‘kill EVE blogging’ on the part of The Mittani, master of declaring things irrelevant to get his way, this is amusing. I’m not the only one to notice the parallels:
The current fight is over the status of evebloggers.com. The popular aggregator of EVE blogs is down, according to some, because Marc Scaurus, acting at the behest of The Mittani, wishes to drive traffic to TheMittani.com. Marc has posted that he has six people willing to take over the site, although I don’t know how many of them were aware that the blog feed would break when Google finally killed Google Reader. Well, I guess some people will believe anything as long as anti-Goon hatred is added to the mix.
- Nosy Gamer (read full post here)
The real plan, for the record, is to get all the good writers in the EVE blogging community, not the traffic. Jeez, get with the program guys! Seriously though, there is a very real reason why I made the rules for the handover of Evebloggers and the Pack what they were. And yes, it was pretty much specifically to prohibit this guy from taking it over and changing it into something particularly shitty.
Now, some people believe that I handled this incorrectly. Okay, well, Ripard Teg does anyways. In his post, A right way and a wrong way, Ripard commends Seismic Stan for his handover of the Blog Banter to Kirith Kodachi, then condemns the handover of Evebloggers and the Pack. Specifically:
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 ifyou’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.
Here’s the thing. Well, a couple things. I’ve had a lot of private interaction via email and chat with ‘Alexia’ since being the only person to volunteer to save Evebloggers.com when he decided to quit EVE. Throughout those interactions, a not very good picture of ‘Alexia’s character has formed in my mind. Others have expressed, both privately and publicly, similar ‘reads’ of his character. This is why I added the caveat that no previous custodian could take it up again.
Evebloggers.com is not a glorious job. It is low profile, it is high effort, and if you’re doing a good job literally no one would notice. It is a lot like IT work in general. Therefore, I couldn’t simply say ‘yes, you are eager to get on with things, here you go!’. Also, the hand off consists of substantially more than declaring my successor and said successor then sending out an email once a month. It is a tedious and time consuming job, which is why I needed to pass it off in the first place. Ensuring that the new owner had the means to support the site, the time to care for it, and the ability to tend to it without personal bias are not arbitrary constraints. They are a direct reflection of what is required for the job.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first or last time Ripard speaks out on things without talking to anyone, doing basic fact checking, or generally behaving like anything but an EVE version of Rush Limbaugh. For someone who offers advice to others on how to behave with professionalism and grace, Ripard himself falls far short. But I digress.
The concept of corralling the EVE community all on to one site is about as delusional as it gets. We’re talking about EVE here, a sandbox game, a game that transcends the client it is played in every single day. However, there will never be an end to people attempting to do so, apparently. Just as there is a never ending supply of ‘Goonspiracy’ adherents in EVE, a never ending cry of ‘bias’ on TMC, a never ending supply of uninformed highsec residents who seek to change the game to suit their needs, a never ending supply of opinions, so on and so forth ad nauseam.
At the end of the day, I believe that we have all learned something from this experience. Well, everyone but Ripard, because he knows all anyways! I learned that the EVE community is, on the whole, a great and tumultuous collection of personalities, great and small, all of whom make EVE a great game to play and a great community to be a part of. I learned that there are such things as thankless tasks, and that if you don’t trumpet loudly how professional and graceful you are behaving you’ll never get credit for it. Thankfully, however, I also learned that I don’t really require anyones thanks, though I do appreciate it! I’m glad to have played my part in the community and my only regret is that I simply ran out of time to do all that I wanted to for it.
The Evebloggers.com domain is now in the process of being transferred to Cyberin. I wish him the best of luck and have every confidence that he will make a great custodian of Evebloggers.com and the EVE Blog Pack. I hope that you, too, can support him in his endeavors.