Ideas and Conversations (and an unexpected development)Posted by Kurn at 4:23 pm
I originally started this blog because, well, I have things to say, darn it! :) My earliest posts are about professions, BC raiding, levelling a priest and the like. Scattered through the next few months were posts about Wrath’s beta, the launch of Wrath, the trials and tribulations of my own guild and my subsequent departure from Eldre’Thalas, my move to Bronzebeard and eventually to where I’m at now.
It was only while I was on Bronzebeard, freed of the Raid Leader/Guild Leader titles, that I felt I could devote any time whatsoever to blogging. It was only in December, with the advent of Patch 3.3 (and the LFG tool) that I really started being remotely prolific over on this little blog o’ mine. It was in December that I wrote my guides on how to be a tank, healer or DPS in dungeons, along with my Halls of Reflection guide. All these were inspired, of course, by the huge amounts of fail I witnessed in my random groups. These guides were linked over at TenTonHammer after I contacted Xerin about their existence. He’d previously contacted me about cross-promotion and such (which made me laugh, because I was convinced I had no readers) so I mailed him, he posted the link at TenTonHammer and I still gets hits from there even four months later.
Throughout all this, I’ve never really considered myself part of the “blogging community”. I’m a fairly opinionated individual who loves to express ideas through writing. More, I have a lot of stupid knowledge about this game which is obscure enough that I don’t think it would ever even come in handy on Jeopardy! like most other obscure bits of knowledge. So, whenever I encounter fail (or, much less frequently, win!) and feel like that could have been averted, if only someone had freaking read up on the encounter/etc, I tend to write something about it. My primary purpose here is to write about my frustrations and take steps to ensure I have no frustrations by virtue of writing what are hopefully informative posts about X, Y and Z that annoyed the crap out of me that day.
I also write to document my own experiences. I also obviously use my blog as a form of stress relief by discussing guild happenings while obfuscating people’s names and such as much as possible.
So, it’s kind of weird and confusing to me that, in February, I suppose that I stirred up a wee bit of controversy… I am, of course, referring to my epic-length posts about Chase Christian, the WoW.com holy paladin blogger.
Thing is, I never meant to be “controversial”. I figured that my post(s) would be read by approximately four people and that’s about it.
Clearly, I was wrong. Way to go, Kurn. Way to go.
I’ve never been a good judge at what content of mine will be popular, not when I was working at About.com and not in my personal blogs over the years. Obviously, this trend continues today.
There’s all kinds of hullabaloo in the blogging community (you know, the community I don’t really feel like I’m a part of because I’m just not worried about linking, being linked to or anything of the sort) of late. Something about someone calling out Cranky about RP griefing or something and now Cranky has stopped blogging and, in fact, taken down her blog. Which makes me sad. But I really haven’t paid a lot of attention to it. However, on Sunday, BossyPally linked to me, which I discovered while perusing my site referrals today. (Rather than worry about the metrics and numbers, I like to see what content is popular and/or useful to help me decide which topic I’m thinking about writing should be written next.)
Here’s the post: Free Speech in the WoW-Blogosphere
The paragraph that totally freaked me out was this one, emphasis mine:
One thing that I found very interesting this week was that many of those who were especially critical of Anna’s post on RP Griefing are among those who approved of Kurn’s attacks on Chase Christian (she also takes him on some more here and here). Both women wrote aggressive posts. Yet Kurn’s status as a smaller blogger criticizing a larger blogger made her somewhat of a hero while Anna’s as a large blogger critcizing a smaller blogger had her ostracized across the blogosphere.
Okay, I admit, there are some people who seem to agree with me about the quality of Mr. Christian’s articles on WoW.com. I have, in fact, felt very supported in my posts. Even Cranky decided to ask me my opinion of one of Mr. Christian’s articles. And, no joke, as I was writing this, Trys (of Snobby Belf) just posted a comment agreeing with me.
But seriously guys, let’s get a couple of things clear:
- I am not the best holy paladin in the universe
- It is not my mission in life to ensure that only good-quality holy paladin information gets out there
- I do not fight for truth, justice and the American (or even Canadian, being that I’m Canadian) way
I believe I’m a good holy paladin. I believe I know how to play my class effectively. I believe I know bits about my class that others might not know. I believe that it is my choice to write about things I come across, such as clearing up misconceptions about my class or fail pugs and that, on my own blog, I have free reign to write what I want to write, so long as it does not legally infringe upon the rights of others. Part of what I like to write about is my class and how to play it.
So I’ve written about Chase Christian and his wow.com column. I’ve dissected the first three articles he posted pretty thoroughly and debunked a Divinity/JoL link. At no time have I said that Mr. Christian is a BAD holy paladin. At no time have I said that Mr. Christian can’t play. I have stated my opinions, based on the facts, as they were presented to me, at the time. I have implied heavily that I believe the choice of Mr. Christian as the WoW.com holy paladin columnist is a poor one. I have outright stated that I believe articles like his are going to harm the paladin community.
Everything I’ve said, I’ve believed. Further, I’ve (apparently erroneously) believed that I was speaking to a very, very small number of people, despite the worldwide accessibility of this blog.
Ladies and gentlemen, I discovered on Sunday that Mr. Christian actually responded to one of my posts. Much like the fanboys who tried harassing me the other week, his comment was auto-moderated as he doesn’t have an approved comment already posted to this site.
I’m not entirely sure whether or not I would like to approve his comment, thereby giving him the ability to post on any post he likes with impunity. After all, I’ve spent a significant number of words dismantling his columns and speaking out about my perception that he has no experience. To allow someone who could feel unfairly targeted free reign in the comments seems foolish, no matter the content of his initial comment. I guess I could just have all comments going forward be moderated, but that seems kind of silly.
So, I will do what I did with the fanboy comments: post the screenshots so I’m not hiding anything and I will respond to Mr. Christian’s comment here, both to whatever audience I apparently have and to Mr. Christian directly. Click on both images to enlarge them to be able to read his comments.
First, I’d like to thank Mr. Christian for enlightening us (no, really, I’m not being sarcastic!) with regards to his experience. The wary among us may wonder where the armory links are, where the proof is for his claims. However, I’m willing to take him at his word. I’d really like to believe that Mr. Christian has gone through Hyjal and BT, MC and ZG. I think it would be impolite, at the least, to not accept this sort of olive branch. He’s stepped forward, offered information that was not previously known and, honestly, that relieves me a bit. (I still think he tends to think too much about the numbers and it’s likely that stems from his time as a DPS, but if it’s not the result of him being brand-spanking-new to the class, I can accept it without agreeing that he’s right.)
“What I don’t welcome are inaccurate deep-dives in my character’s reputation histories to attempt to discredit my name, when I was never even asked about the situation. Journalistic integrity involves checking both sides of the story. Without asking for my side, and simply spewing vitriol based on a couple of armory pages you dug up, you are simply doing yourself a disservice as a writer.”
So he has issues with inaccurate information being flung about. Fair enough. However, that information came directly from Adam Holisky. I asked what Mr. Christian’s qualifications were. I got “He has cleared all content at all levels an in all expansions with both characters, and has exceptional knowledge concerning both classes.” in return.
Should I have written to Mr. Christian at this point, before I posted anything? Obviously, he believes so.
Thing is, this isn’t a blog that’s dedicated to being fair and balanced and subject to journalistic integrity. It’s my blog, for crying out loud. It’s full of my opinions. Do I like to have as much information as possible before I send my opinions out there into the ether? Yes. But if the guy who defended Mr. Christian’s hiring to me tells me that Madsushi (Mr. Christian’s rogue) and Cure (Mr. Christian’s paladin) have cleared all content at all levels, why should I even think to ask anyone else? I mean, wouldn’t this guy know?
Having said all that, I’d like to directly address Chase at this point:
I’ll be honest here, Chase, I never even thought to write to you. I didn’t even consider it. What was I going to say? “Dude, I think your hiring was a big mistake and what the hell is up with your lack of raiding experience on your rogue and your paladin? Can you please confirm this information so that I can at least be accurate when I harshly review your wow.com posts over at my own blog?”
Not only did I not think it was necessary to confirm the level of experience you had, because of what Mr. Holisky had said, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about writing about things. Nor did I think I’d still be writing about wow.com and you and your columns at the end of March. Again, as I said above, I am very bad at anticipating what will be popular reading.
Certainly, I never imagined that more than four or five people, all of whom know me either IRL or in-game, would read my posts and agree with me.
Let me clear up a couple of points, though. I don’t think you suck, Chase. Nor do I hate you, despite the fact people are linking others to my blog with the phrase “dude, this one girl HATES the wow.com guy!!! You gotta check it out!”. ;)
I don’t think you don’t know anything about the class. At the time of my writings, I felt strongly that your presumed lack of experience was influencing your columns for the worse. If you are, in fact, experienced, that changes things a bit. Doesn’t mean I agree with you on easily a half-dozen subjects, and I’ll continue to point out where we disagree on my blog, but at least now the paladin community has your word that you do have experience in these instances, so we know that some of the debatable points in your columns aren’t coming from ignorance. There was absolutely nothing to point to the fact that some of the things I have issues with weren’t coming from ignorance and lack of experience.
So really, thank you, Chase, for clearing it up. I actually do appreciate it and I will, sometime this week, go back and add notes to each post of mine to link to this post of mine so that people can see what you had to say.
I shall also refrain from referring to you as a “rogueadin” and will remove that term from my past blogs. ;)
Despite the shots at my “journalistic integrity” and calling my posts vitriolic and such, I really did appreciate the comment you left. In particular, what you want for our shared class and how you recognize that your columns are just a foundation for future information left me feeling satisfied that, while we clearly disagree on a number of topics, you do know what you’re talking about in general. One of my main concerns was that you didn’t care about your fellow paladins. Your comment has let me change my mind about that. After receiving it, I have come to believe that you want to share your expertise with paladins and do what you can to make sure they’re the best holy pallies they can be. Apart from anything else, we have that in common.
And that’s something I can respect.
Coming to my blog and writing a comment that could potentially open you up to more vitriol (heh, you ain’t seen nothin’ man. ;)) from myself and others was a risky thing to do. It was something that meant, to me, that you knew what people were saying and thinking about your columns and you wanted to connect with the community and tell us that you’re on our side.
And that’s something else I can respect.
By the way, I tried out beaconing Dreamwalker, standing next to her and Holy Lighting the living crap out of myself for the Glyph of Holy Light splashes. Worked like a charm. Nice bit of thinking there, even if it’s a little numbers-based for my liking in general. ;)