Monday, March 8, 2010

I smell arrogance and pretention

This post is one that I've thought about doing for a long time. Yet I was pretty hesitant to do so because I wasn't sure if it would seem offensive, negative, ranty, or downright bitchy. That it was something that perhaps I shouldn't blog about because it could be too negative for the blogging community. But finally I decided, what the heck, I'm referring to less than 1% of the community, it's been irritating the crap out of me, and I think others may feel that same way, so I'm putting it out there.

First, let me talk about three rules of etiquette that I hold blogs and websites to. Now these are not only rules that I personally strive to follow, but rules that I measure other blogs/bloggers/websites by:

1. Give credit where credit is due

Seems easy eh? I think there are differing levels of breaking this rule, from the most egregious end of blatantly stealing someone else's posts/content. But I really do believe in a general code of conduct where if you were inspired by someone else's post or even a comment on that post, it just seems like the right thing to do to reference your inspiration. Really, us bloggers and readers read a lot of blogs... and a lot of the same blogs. Trust me, if you think that we don't quickly recognize that you are blogging about something without giving credit... er, we do.

2. Understand the difference between fact and opinion

Maybe this is just a personal pet peeve of mine. But it irritates me to no end when folks seem to confuse the difference between fact and opinion. Let me just clarify this with two definitions of the word opinion:

* a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty
* a personal view, attitude, or appraisal

Now my personal opinion on how you write differently when you're stating facts vs opinions? Two words... diction and tone. Learn it. Love it. Use it.

3. Give a shit about getting it right

I'm not saying that every single thing that you initially publish on a website or blog has to be 100% correct. We all write stuff then find out something is not correct. But damn it, you should care about the quality or integrity of information that you are putting out. This extends to information beyond maths and rules and stats stuff in this game. To me, it extends to information you are putting out around events that transpired or what other individuals did or said. If you have been told that what you published is incorrect, give a damn enough to correct it with accurate information.

Now I said above that these are my personal opinions on blogging rules. Its how I personally measure the integrity of other blogs. It is of my opinion that these rules apply to all blogs and WoW websites/fansites/whatever. Honestly, I really don't give a shit how "big", "important", "number of hits, subscribers, readers blah blah blah" you have. If they continuously break these rules, I personally take note. Yeah, I may continue to read to see what they have to say, or see whether they continue to break the rules, but I do so with less respect and more suspicion.

I've been blogging here now for two and a half years, and have been reading blogs for 3 years. And I truly love the blogging community. While I'm not as involved in various forums, twitter, or other sites as others are, there is definitely a warm and welcoming sense of community. There are a number of fellow bloggers that I truly consider to be good WoW friends, even if I've never played or spoken with them before (though I'm talking to a lot more of them now in Single Abstract Noun!!!). So I have to say that 99% of my opinion on the blogging community is genuinely positive.

However, in my personal opinion there seems to be a lot more pretentiousness and arrogance and general asshattery in the WoW blog/website world today compared to 3 years ago. Does this opinion of mine also have anything to do with my 3 rules of blogging? Definitely. If you continuously break the rules, yeah chances are that I am more likely to think of you as an arrogant arse. But do I also sense arrogance of these blogging rules? Well yeah, I find some folks are just down right pretentious.

Though perhaps it isn't right for me to compare a community that has grown and matured as much as ours has. I think back to the big mama and papa blogs from when I first started reading WoW blogs... those that had such a huge impact on the blogging community (essentially building its foundation) and strongly influencing my personal reason to start blogging. Gone but definitely not forgotten folks like Bigredkitty and Phaelia (omg we miss you Phae!), as well as thank Elune they are still around folks like Big Bear Butt and Ratshag.

Is it just me that I didn't see or sense any bit of arrogance from their blogs? Is it just me that I felt/feel no sense of underhanded self promotion? Maybe I just personally clicked with their personalities and writing styles better, but I felt that they didn't have to try so hard to put across this notion or air of being so popular or important or smart or providing such valuable information. They didn't put out an air of superiority or being better than others. They just did what they did, kicked ass at it, and we loved/love them. They didn't have to try so hard, to ask/demand us to love them.

Now I'm not saying that I think the majority of blogs/websites out there are arrogant. Far from it. In actuality, the number in my head is less than the number of fingers on one hand (ok, maybe two hands). So I'm not quite sure what my point is here. Especially since I am pretty certain most of the folks I am talking about do not read my blog. So my point is... hmmmm. Maybe I just wanted to rant and get it out of my system. Maybe I'm just disappointed. Maybe I should just STFU and get over it since I'm not going to like or mesh with every single person/writer.

Its a fact of life, and should be no different in our virtual WoW world that not everyone is going to be best friends. Could it be that I just don't mesh with the personalities of certain writers? Sure. Some folks are just going to rub others the wrong way. That's fine. But seriously, give me a freaking break. You blog or write... about WoW. If that is something that you measure sooo highly in your life, to the point of being so pretentious and arrogant about it... to need to look down on others... wow, just wow. Uh, can I just say perspective?

Blog because you love it. Blog because you want to rant or let things out. Blog because you want to share ideas or new points of view or be helpful. But when you write or blog because you crave the attention and have the constant need to wave your "popularity or superiority" over others, trust me, we can smell it a mile away. And to me, it stinketh.


  1. Hm... Am I missing something here? To be honest I have no idea what 1 percent blogs you are referring to. And this makes me vaguely anxious, what if you're referring to me and I'm just to goddamn blind to see it?
    If that's the case: I'm terribly sorry.

    I agree with your ideas about what constitutes good blogging. But I just can't quite understand who's the opponent.

  2. @Larisa: Oh, this is exactly why I was hesitant to do this post... that folks who I am not putting in this 1% category may think I was talking about them. That people who start self-reflecting and wondering who I was talking about.

    Sigh. Larisa, I think you are someone who genuinely sees the best and the good in everyone, which may be why my perspective on what I see doesn't match up with yours. I'm probably just the cynical mean one while you are the cute pink pigtailed gnome who is positive and supportive. Thank god you are here to balance me out.

  3. There are some blogs that I definately get this feeling about. And I do tend to stay away from them as a whole.

    I read a fairly wide array of blogs, and I know that there are many different types out there, but I find myself more drawn to those that involve a good collection of heartfelt and well thought out commentaries on WoW.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, a good strategy post is always very helpful. Tips and tricks are always helpful. But I guess I just like a bit of "here is who I am and here are my struggles" meshed up with them :)

    I suppose my biggest concern is that the bloggers of today recognize that they are likely shaping the blogs of tomorrow. Regardless of if they have 10 readers or 10,000 they are going to influence the future! That's a big responsiblity! I can only hope that our bright future as a community can see more Larisas, Tams, Kaes, Ks, Phaes (I could go on forever here!).

    As I tell all potential recruits that tell me they are the best, Modesty is an important virtue to recognize as well :)

  4. Beru is right (as always).

    Thankfully I'm totally modest. I'm like the most modest blogger in the blogsphere right now. People should totally check out my modesty and try to emulate...I'm about 6000 times more modest than... okay I think I've played this joke now.

    Seriously though, I agree with everything you say here, and although I'm a bad blogger in many respects (WALL O'TEXT INC) I try to be a good blogger when it comes to acknowledging my inspiration and my dependence upon the community.

    On thee other hand, I suppose one of the strengths of an essentially self-regulating community is that when you always have the power to simply stop reading.

  5. I has no modesty. Modesty is fer thems what need fer ta wrap a towel around in the locker room, and whatnot. Howevers, if I has an opinion, I's orc enough fer ta say "I thinks having nelves fer dinner is better than murlocs", not make up a fact like "90% of all guilds haves murlocs fer dinner" or "thems what do less dps than me caused the banking crisis of '09." If is just yer opinion, say so. Who cares if it means ya get fewer subscribers? Why cater to a buncha dittoheads?

    By the way, having murlocs fer dinner is really bad. They throw things and skinny-dip in the punch bowl. Is just me opinion, though.

  6. I don't know about you but Gevlon comes to mind. I like his blog and I enjoy reading it. He has an interesting point of view and I like to see his take on the world but he's definitely god a lot of downfalls. And I feel a rant coming on...I should stop. lol

  7. Oh dear. You’ve written a post about blogs that don’t measure up to your own arbitrary standards, and then had a whinge about arrogance and opinion? Isn’t that in itself a bit arrogant, and opinionated?

    Don’t get me wrong, I massively <3 your blog, but isn’t it easier to just not read the blogs you don’t like, instead of getting worked up about them?

  8. Also, to add to the above, I can't work out if you're trolling us or not...

  9. Ker, I want to admit one thing....

    The entire post, I was wondering, "Am I one of the arrogant ones he's talking about? Have I made more fatual mistakes than I as aware of? I did make a couple mistakes recently about Parry, maybe he's talking about that. I do try and note where I got something from... uh oh..."

    The dangers of writing something like this is exactly what can happen here. I may not have thought you were talkinga bout me, but how the heck do I know? I just happen to be fortunate enough to have been named as a sorta positive blogger, so hopefully i ain't one of the worst offenders. A lot of other bloggers, that weren't specifically named as being okay, may now be feeling mid grade anxiety. :)

    I appreciate your points, and you've got very good ones. Your foundation for a good blogger comes down to a consistent display of traits we associate with integrity. Sincerity. Most of us want to visit Linus's Pumpkin Patch, and not Fast Eddies' Used Cars when we read blogs.

    Your post also reminded me of something Temerity jane wrote a long, long time ago. She said, and I can't remember if it was publicly on her blog or in private, that there were bloggers she knew that would come up with the idea for a post, and then write it as though they were answering a fan's email... email that blogger never got. They'd post fake fan mail to answer as a post! And she was as honest and hilariously harsh about that as you might expect from TJ. :)

    Hmmm... does this comment constitute a Bearwall in exile?

  10. Honestly, I've seen a little bit of arrogance here and there lately and it has been getting under my skin as well. Mainly posts that directly insult other bloggers (and in extreme cases, non blogging guildies, who can't even defend themselves). Criticizing and disagreeing is fine, even encouraged, but name calling and blatant rudeness is something completely different. Until now, I thought I was just a goody-goody for being offended.

    As semantics thing, though, the rules you described aren't really related to non-arrogance but rather intellectual honesty (or integrity as BBB pointed out). However, they are excellent rules! I try to follow them as well and I always welcome comments pointing me to related posts. (After all a trending topic is a trending topic and I sometimes write posts similar to another blogger's by accident.)

  11. Aack! I publish this post, then have a crazy day chock full of meetings that I couldn't respond to comments until now.

    @Beru: I am glad that I am not the only one who feels this way. Maybe I'm just the only one hotheaded enough to put it out there.

    I don't know if folks realize that being heartfelt, and really really comes across. Saying you are modest or humble doesn't mean anything when your words and tone would show otherwise.

    @Tam: You need to play that joke more. I <3 it. :) Seriously though, you're right in that I totally have the right to stop reading. But its sorta like a bad train wreck. I find it hard to look away because I want to see how large the heads will swell.

    @Ratshag: My opinion? Writing like you are putting facts out there makes you seem smarter, more credible, more important than saying its just your opinion... thus increasing your subscribers and hit counts, which is really what blogging/writing is all about right?

    And really I had hoped you had learned from the save the murlocs video clip from a while back.

    @Samueltemps: I think its ok from err from time to time. We all do. The difference for me is that you admit it, and actually take action. And yes, I do hope SAN can help the community in a positive manner!

    @fellcrow: I purposely didn't and won't mention names publicly here, because I am mean, but not that mean. I guess this was just my rant. But the fact that others can relate to any part of my rants, helps me feel that I'm not crazy.

    @Anonymous: Well, we all knew I was opinionated a long long time ago. But you're right, maybe it is arrogant for me to call others arrogant. But really are the 3 blogging rules just personal standards of mine?

    And yes, I should just not read. But, as I told Tam above, I can't look away.

    @BBB: Sigh. Bloggers who I think are the furthest from being the arrogant asshats I refer to are the ones self-reflecting. It's probably because they have the humility to be able to consider for a second that I could be referring to them.

    When actually the folks I am referring to probably don't even have that kind of self-awareness.

    So again, as I wrote initially, what was my point here? When I believed that most of the people I am referring to would not be reading this, or even remotely recognizing their arrogance?

    I don't know. Maybe I just wanted to get it out because a couple of recent events have taken me over the edge from mildly irritated to quite mad. Do I think this post will change things? No. But does it make me feel better to get it out and know that some others (whose opinions I quite respect) may feel the same way? Yes.

  12. I was all worried until the "I doubt they read my blog part", since I am certain that you know who I am and that I read your blog. I mean, who could possibly not know who I am? But more seriously, I'm going to remember this and try to ease up on my arrogance for the next few days, at which point I will forget and relapse to my usual self.

  13. We don't have the respect and ettique that a journalist do - but I think that the community is what it is because most people maintain their integrity - and they seem to be the ones that do stick around.... not fly by night bloggers

  14. This post just made me happy I'm unknown :-)
    I see where you getting at and comming from. I have great respect that you wrote this down, and I hope that the people who you were talking about get the message.
    Sadly enough, they don't change though.... ever

  15. @Ophelie: Aw, apparently though you are not alone. And trust me, I am the farthest thing from being a goody-goody!

    You're right... the rules are about intellectual honesty. I guess I call arrogance when folks either think its ok for them to not follow those rules because they are so big, or they think that we are not smart enough to notice.

    @Klep: It warms me to know that I can always count on you.

    @Pugnaciouspriest: True... though what irritates me is that I think that there are some big bloggers and websites, those that have been around a while that are offenders.

    @Seth: Haha. You're probably right... the folks I'm talking about either won't get the message or really give a shit.

    So again, my point? I guess I wanted to publicly put out there what others may have already been thinking/feeling... that you're not the only one. I wanted to publicly put out there that I see this, and that I find it quite irritating and sometimes maddening.

    Maybe like in the comic above, I should just get a hug or something.

  16. I have had one entry into the WoW blogging world, and I can recall one incident where a blogger's work was taken and used somewhere else without due credit... that I heard about anyway, because they did post a rant... I would have, too!

    Hee, and even I started thinking, "is this about the healing and stupidity quote I put in a comment on Bear's blog the other day?" ::chuckle:: When you read something like this, you are going to wonder if you've somehow offended. :) So don't worry, it's human nature to wonder if we somehow caused or contributed to this post.

    And I have seen a lot of what I think of as 'chain-posting" among bloggers, where one's post leads to another post on another blog and so on, but I've always seen the original post referenced back, too.

    So, I'm sorry if the bad stuff has happened to you, but just be aware that a lot of us non-blogging types read a lot of you, and enjoy the time and work you put into all of this...

    oh, btw... ::hug Keredria:: :)

  17. Well I quaked when I read this and realized, you don't know me from Adam, so ::dodges bullet::

    It is hard to NOT share misinformation from time to time due to the "need" to keep everyone updated as soon as possible, yet an ever-changing system which requires semi-constant updating. However, there is a clear line most times from when you can CHOOSE x or y, and which is best is an opinion or backed up abc information, but you may still choose to go with def information.

    While I don't think you got to rant at the people whom you undoubtedly have in mind, I'm sure when you wrote it you got that big ::sigh of relief:: which is why I write many times :) Hope it helped to get it off your chest!

  18. I am pretty sure that you have never read my blog, I sometimes wonder if I am not just shouting into the dark. I totally agree with your rules of blogging, though I believe that the sadly disappearing traits of common courtesy, mutual respect and proper self-esteem (as opposed to arrogance) would pretty much cover them. I would like to think that I try to exemplify those values and that it reflects in my writing. (fingers crossed)


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  20. @Kayeri: Thanks Kayeri. I guess you're right that is human nature for people to wonder if I'm talking about them, if I haven't named names or specific situations.

    I do think there is arrogance and pretention out there. But funny thing about this is that the recent instances of breaking the rules was not done to me personally, but to other bloggers. I actually am more likely to get pissed on behalf of others.

    @Windsoar: You're right. But I do think if you've been corrected as to what actually occurred or what someone actually did... going days before correcting yourself is shady.

    And yes, it did help perhaps to get it off my chest. :)

    @McRaffles: Well now I will read your blog! :) I really didn't want the wrong bloggers to start freaking out over this, though I recognize now that by not naming names, it was inevitable.

    Giving this post two days to settle, perhaps there is a positive outcomes to my ranting. It has reconfirmed that there is much more positivity, integrity, sincerity, and honesty in the blogosphere than asshattery. Maybe I should focus on that.

  21. I usually tend to shy away from blogging any "serious" articles because I'm a bit afraid of falling into the "ignorant" category. I *try* to link back to bloggers as much as I can because I would hate to have the credit stolen if it was me.

    If for whatever reason I've fallen into this category, I'm sorry. I've always looked up to you in the blogosphere and can only hope I bring a little bit of the same funneh you bring to the blogsphere.


  22. @Littlebark: Oh lord, you are the furthest person who this post would apply to, trust me! I feel really bad that the wrong folks are self-reflecting when the actual offenders (in my eyes) probably don't give a damn. :(

    Much <3 to LB. See you in SAN soon!