Saturday, 20 February 2010

Blog Elitism?

So there's to be a shake-up in the upper echelons of the EVE blogosphere. Interesting.

CrazyKinux, the blogger behind the organisation and selection of the original Blog Pack, is looking to revitalise the format by removing inactive bloggers and allowing the community to nominate replacements. Initially, I was led to the Blog Pack by their inclusion in the iPhone Capsuleer app. Since then, it has provided a useful source of EVE-related material for me to read. That soon led to my discovery of the broader community, particularly the EVE Online Bloggers Portal (and podcasts, but that's another blog).

Those I have particularly enjoyed and would like to see included/kept in the new line-up are;

Ecliptic Rift
Casiella Truza's blog is always intelligent and well-written, with diverse content and some very random photos. I'm still not quite sure what the quantum olive was all about.

Mike Azariah
He caught my attention with his CSM-related appearance on the Planet Risk podcast, which led me to his blog. I really enjoy Mike's clever weaving of his in-game exploits into a fictional narrative.

Rettic's Log: The Chronofile
Informative, community-spirited and with some great fiction writing, Rettic has to be one of the front-runners for a Blogpack spot.

EVE Travel
By his own admission a niche blog, but Mark726's site is a superb concept and brilliantly written. Any concerns about running out of material are unfounded, as his style can be lent to other concepts.

Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah
I still don't know what a Ninveah is or why he's got one in his Inner Sanctum, but Kirith Kodachi's blog is relentlessly stimulating, from thought-provoking articles to EVE fiction. One of my favourites.

EVE Newb
Spectre3353's misleadingly titled blog is irreverent, funny and occasionally offensive. His unique spark of nihilistic randomness should continue to bring chaos to the blogosphere.

Rifter Drifter
A great example of a blog that started off with a particular concept and evolved into far more. Wensley's blog has recently been providing some entertaining and in-depth coverage of the war in Providence, giving a great showcase of EVE's endgame.


There are, however, many other blogs and articles I have enjoyed reading from other sources too and it seems like a shame to limit the exposure and publicity to only a few. Which is why I've got mixed feelings about the Blog Pack.

The Blog Pack provides a central resource of of easily accessed EVE reading material (which is certainly a great boon when using Capsuleer on the iPhone). The creation of a blogging family where traffic can be shared amongst those select blogs is clearly good for providing the oxygen of readership amongst them. That is really what every blogger seeks; the knowledge that others are reading their words. Spreading the wealth is always a good thing, but there's something I find a little uncomfortable about the concept of the Blog Pack, something almost elitist. Is it a club whose members establish themselves as the 'most important' blogs?

The value of the Blog Pack is evident, with even those current members who have been a little quiet of late being shaken out of their silence by the threat to their coveted positions, but what does the Blog Pack provide to the community that the EVE Bloggers portal does not? Was it significant that the Blog Pack was removed from the portal, allowing all members of the EVE blogging community to contribute equally in a natural, organic process of shared readership?

Yet this is a competitive, capitalist world and EVE is a celebration of that. I would be lying if I said I do not covet a Blog Pack spot and all that goes with it, I'm no communist. Yet with delicious irony, I realise in voicing the above concerns and challenging the status quo, I jeopardise any chance of being considered and may be committing blogicide.

8 comments:

  1. The most important role the Blog Pack plays is one of being a gateway to the wider world of the EVE blogging community.

    The blog pack may represent the best, but the best will link to the rest. CK himself has a great big list of blogs that aren't in the blog pack. Ga'len and Alexia Morgan have the OPML archive, and I myself have just started a project to maintain another OPML file containing only active EVE blogs. I'm not on the Blog Pack list and probably never will be but I do know a few of those that are and their places are well deserved.

    I don't see it as being a competition, more an acknowledgement of the best EVE blogs and their position as ambassadors for the rest of us, to other EVE players and the rest of the world.

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  2. Good points, and i am too conflicted about this, blogpack, good or nbad?

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  3. In my opinion they aren't Elite, most of them (Except CK) are hand picked by their readers to be on it. So it isn't elite they just are the best through a democratic procedure.

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  4. I'd be intrigued to hear what other concepts you have in mind for where to take the blog when/if I run out of sites to explore. EVE travel was always meant to be a very niche blog (I was shocked to discover that no one had put together this kind of list before), and I'm not quite sure what to do if I ever have to move on.

    I see the Blogpack personally as more of a sampling of the different lifestyles in Eve. It's a representative to both the world at large (if someone ever wanted to get started in EVE) and within the community themselves. I know I, as a carebear, don't really know much of what happens in the Proviwars, but because of the blogpack I can actually stay pretty well informed. That's not to say that non-blogpack members don't do just as good of a job reporting, but more often than not those within the blogpack will even point the way to non-pack blogs if I want more details. It serves both to compress information and distribute it more evenly, especially for players in different parts of the game.

    ....Wow, this is a much longer comment than I had thought it would be.

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  5. My blog has been in the EVE Blog Pack for a long time and has an enthusiastic following. However, there are probably other blogs more deserving of a spot than mine.

    When CK first created the Blog Pack, he had a lot more free time to promote it and as a result, drove a lot of traffic our way. In those days it was a real boon to be in the Blog Pack. These days with CK's reduced blog promotion activities, not so much. The biggest advantage of being the Blog Pack now is that entitles my blog to be listed in Capsuleer's Headlines. I get a lot of traffic from there.

    Even if I weren't in the Blog Pack (or don't get elected to stay in it), I will continue t do what I've always done to promote LILS: write well, attempt to choose topics that interest my readers (and myself), post reasonably frequently, link opportunistically but not in a spammy way, link to other bloggers' posts who hopefully return the favor at some point...you know, the basics of good blog promotion--which are within everyone's grasp whether they're in the Blog Pack or not.

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  6. Thanks for throwing my blog in the mix Stan. I for one definitely have asked the same questions you are, and for that reason I actually don't follow the blog pack strictly. I've essentially subscribed to most EVE blogs, but have a select few that I've tailored into a pack of my own, of which I follow most closely. And for the record, I've just added yours to that list. I've been meaning to for a while and finding this post reminded me.

    So I definitely don't think this opinion rules you out of the blog pack at all. You do great writing here and that's all the blog pack needs more of.

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  7. Thanks for the feedback mate! Following today's events on Twitter, it'l be interesting to see what comes out of this, once I've put together the new list!

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  8. "Spectre3353's misleadingly titled blog is irreverent, funny and occasionally offensive"

    I like it. I'm stealing that as my new tagline. You don't get any royalties.

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Lay it on me.