The Press Vs. Community (Part 3)

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Blogs: I hate you!

Of course when the term “press” comes up the mention of blogs has the up most certainty of coming up as well. “Blogs are killing us” so many like to say. Where are my lead time’s at? They live in a world where every second could make or break whether or not you have a story up before that next link on some readers favorite/bookmark list. Unfortunately, if your a small outlet chances are you’ll be aped by a much bigger outlet that will hopefully source you, but if you look at the much larger picture you’ll get some traffic swung your way only to have that larger outlet get nearly all of the benefit. Why?

Chances are (most) readers of that other site will never click on that source link provided, in turn only providing more viewers of theirs to click an/or view their ads while they receive most of the love off the back of your content. Don’t get me wrong though, having your content receive recognition from a larger site isn’t a bad thing, but unless you have ads of your own that you’re serving it most likely doesn’t benefit you in anyway beyond a sudden deluge of new and also often “one time” readers. 

So, your a blog

There’s no secret that the word “blog” has some negative connotations that seem to always follow it around like a bad smell. It not only comes from what is considered the competition, but it comes from readers themselves. Ease of use is a wonderful thing in everyday life, but when it comes to content creation it’s the evil little version of yourself sitting on your shoulder telling you a blog can’t be legit only because it’s a blog. Unfortunately for some reason, the format of a site often means more than the content to some, but to say that’s a shame would be doing even that a disservice.

Now, how much sense does it make to be biased against a site only because it uses a blog format? Or, is it that it’s relatively easy to get a generic blog “up and running”? Whatever the case, it can be guaranteed that you’ve seen or heard someone disparaging a site only because it’s a blog. Nevertheless, the exceptions like Joystiq, Kotaku, and Destructoid are to few and far in between. Those three sites are blogs much the same as this site, yet they are considered press with everyone else who’s in the “press club”. So what’s the difference between us and them?

Site’s like 1up have recently switched to a blog news format, so, going along with the connotation above that means 1up’s gaming news coverage is no longer legitimate right? Of course not, so where is the bias coming from? Not to long ago a web designer told me that a blog is not a website. So going along with that (which is complete lunacy), what are blogs? Just as before, until everyone and everything is on a level playing field I’d have to guess I’m not only looking for a monolithic pie in the sky, but will most likely have to accept the sad fact that that pie in the sky will never be reached. EVER!

“Community”

The term “Community” is something I’d like to not care for. We are all in the community whether we are at the top of it or not. What do you think all critics are in the first place? They are ultimately just well informed “Superfan’s” with the ability to coherently convey their thoughts in a manner that’s considered professional. On the other hand, the celebrity culture we live in today decides that for some reason you have to super seed being a normal person to achieve any kind of respect or legitimacy. Given that, ever wonder why so many writers/podcasters at large outlets fail to actually have a conversation with their readers? Calling them all ghost writers wouldn’t be far from the sad state of reality. Speaking to readers is what makes doing this worthwhile sans money or not. Speaking into a pit of nothingness isn’t what I’d call being apart of the community.

Speaking to the choir

Whether your a writer/”blogger”/podcaster chances are you know what I’m getting at here. If your on the outside looking in I know your thinking “Awww, this is just a guy bitching and moaning about how it’s not fair”, and if that’s you you’ll be partially right. If your that same guy/gal that continually says that they don’t trust reviewers who are being paid to do what they do, then what do you say when their counterpart can’t give you the same or if not better content because they are not getting compensation for “what they do”? I’d like to kick ass and take some names as Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime say’s, but at the moment we have no money printing machine to fall back on, yet?

To continue this would be easy, but I doubt anyone would care enough to read it.

-William “thewilleffect” Bell-

6 Responses

  1. I visit Destructoid, Joystiq, and Kotaku everyday because of the wealth of information that can be easily accessed. However, I almost never post comments on any of those sites. Why? Because frankly the “community” is too big.

    An average Kotaku post gets about 50+ Comments within an hour. In my opinion, I don’t see a point in throwing in my two cents that will just be drowned in a mountain of other pennies.

    I feel no since of community on any of those sites, hell I don’t even know any of my fellow readers, nor do I feel any connection to the writers who create the content. They’re just faceless first and last names that I only know because they are attached to all of their posts.

    Give me a small blog, forum, or website any day of the week. That is where you make friends, that is where you feel like your opinion matters, that is the place that you go to everyday, not because you need news, but because you enjoy it, and that is what a community is.

    And frankly that’s the kind of place that I’m proud to be apart of.

  2. Yea, here amazingly enough you can actually speak to the people who run it and they’ll… *gasp* RESPOND!

  3. Yeah, Paustinj has a very valid point. I’ll second that.

  4. Man Paustinj, that’s one of the best comments that I think I’ve ever read. I truly appreciate all of you continuing to come here. As Geo said, what do you know, I actually responded to what you guys had to say. (I know the Fanboy spin-offs of Joystiq often comment on what their readers say. It makes me happy to see that).

    Then again, changes are most definitely coming here(Free hats?). I would be lying if I said we didn’t want more readers. But, not more readers to scoff at as it pads our measly numbers, but more readers to have fantastic conversations with.

  5. Yeah, interaction amongst the site and the readers makes for a better community.

  6. By the way will, if you need a Fable 2 Pub Games code, I am holding contests for another 12 days.

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