Ideas and Conversations (and an unexpected development)

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 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 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.

Uh. What?!

Okay, I admit, there are some people who seem to agree with me about the quality of Mr. Christian’s articles on 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 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 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 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 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 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. ;)

13 Replies to “Ideas and Conversations (and an unexpected development)”

  1. So I just grabbed this add-on for Firefox that lets you track your favorite RSS feeds and whatnot so you can keep updated without a cluttered bookmark toolbar. Naturally, I added your blog, and a couple of others. Interestingly enough, it says that you have 49 subscribers, while Big Bear Butt has 12. Naturally, I have no insight as to how it works, if using a different method of keeping track (watching the RSS as compared to the ATOM feed, for example) makes a difference at all, but make of that what you will. But still, it was interesting to me, and relevant to how popular you are compared to how many readers you thought you’d have.

  2. The WoW blogosphere is like a tiny village. If you write something provocative, word gets around REALLY fast. I’ll confess your wording is sometimes shocking to me (even when you’re writing about your guildies or pugs), but you certainly know how to write, you’re entertaining and you know your stuff. And that will get you readers.

    Who you allow to comment on your blog is your prerogative, but I’m not a fan of censoring comments myself. I close comments on my posts after about 3 weeks, but that’s mostly just to make sure that important comments don’t go unnoticed. If someone has something to say on an old post, they can email me. Discussion adds a lot of life to a blog, whether it’s positive or not.

    I did cringe a little bit when you mentioned getting a comment back from Chase Christian, but I’m glad that you guys got to have a bit of an interaction. I don’t care about any of the class columns myself (they’re too short, impersonal and entry-level for my taste), but, being fairly of protective of the holy paladin community, I’ve always wondered whether our, um, class representative, paid attention to the other holy paladin writers and Plus Heal/EJ/Arena Junkies posters.

  3. X – that has got to be wrong. In no universe could I have more subscribers than BBB. Just… not possible.

    Ophelie – Yes, I’m learning about the rapid spread of news in general. Sheesh. :) I’d love to know what you find to be shocking; is it my perhaps-more-than-occasional use of profanity, or is it the underlying ideas? And hey, I’m glad I’m at least a little bit entertaining! :)

    As to moderating the comments, part of me feels badly about not allowing them to be posted, which is why I end up screenshotting them and putting them up anyways. That way, it’s not “censorship” in my mind, it’s moderation. My day job has, more often than not, consisted of online community moderation. I’ve been doing that, in some form or another, for 20-some years. So it’s from experience that I become wary of letting others have free reign through my blog. The last thing I really want to do is to close comments on every entry out of concern of more “OMG Kurn you’re such a stalker!!!” posts or what have you. I think it was Tam who was saying “at least they haven’t called you a fag-elf yet”. I don’t need that kind of garbage on my blog.

    That said, I really do enjoy the interaction between people on blogs and forums. I’m a sociologist and so Jurgen Habermas’ public sphere theory, while not exactly describing the WoW community, seems like it’s at least applicable in part. Getting discussion going among the people is the best way for change, essentially, and I think we all can learn things from each other. Connecting with the community is an important part of anyone’s blog or forum, I think, which is why I’m also glad that Chase posted. (I admit, I cringed, too, before I read his comment. Just seeing the name “Chase Christian” in my inbox elicited the following reaction: “Oh sweet Lord…”)

    R – No matter who reads this, I am likely to still be long-winded and unapologetic about the contents. No worries. ;)

  4. That’s what I said, too*, but I can’t imagine they give completely arbitrary numbers. I’m currently assuming it’s only keeping track of the people who follow it with that add-on specifically, but even then, 50 is a lot more than the 4 you anticipated.

  5. How did that comment go through? I didn’t even hit submit. Huh. Anyway, that * was going to be a note that said something along the lines of “not that it’s not possible for you to be as cool as BBB, but blah blah blah.”

  6. X – yeah, maybe by virtue of who uses that addon or something. Dear Lord, 50 people?!


    Part of me wants to laugh my ass off. Part of me wants to bury myself in the sand. Part of me is kind of pleased. And the last part of me is still like “seriously?!”.

  7. I followed you from Bossy’s post – and I find you amusing ( in a good way) – and I even read the Pally Article on this week in prep to see what your take might be on it. It is your blog – your rules you write what you want and if people are interested they will read.

  8. Tangential point: the presumed / assumed relationship between blogging and journalism concerns me…I see the word “journalistic integrity” being flung around with regard to blogs a lot. I can’t help but think the connection reflects badly on both journalism an blogs. I think somebody (the mental shaman?) characterised blogging as a form of conversation, which seems closer to the truth. But, yes, as you say, personal opinion spaces…

  9. What shocked me? I guess you just seemed so angry all the time. I’m easily intimidated.

    Oh, and Tam’s comment reminded me of an interview Twisted Nether did with Kim from World of Warcraft Wanderings. From what I understood, she’s a professional journalist, so they asked her if she was a journalist masquerading as a blogger. Her response?

    “No, but I know a lot of bloggers masquerading as journalists!”

  10. Whoops, got behind on comments here…

    Zahrah – I’m not quite sure I’m going to have a lot to say, but do go read Saunder’s post at Non-Squishy Heals!

    Tam – I would never, ever characterize a blog as something journalistic unless I got paid for it and had a real editor. ;) I really do think of my blog as a spot where I can go to be opinionated or rant or just share information. Like “OMG, guess what?! EMERALD VIGOR HAS A COMBAT LOG ENTRY!!!” or “… seriously, worst. Ignis kill. Ever.” I like to write, it’s a form of therapy for the frustrations I witness/am subjected to and I like to try to rectify that situation by spreading knowledge. And the opinions are mine. That’s all this thing is. No more, no less. :)

    Ophelie – ahaha, okay, that does make sense. I swear I’m not quite that pissed off all the time. ;) I just tend to write here most when I’m venting about something! :) I’m not really scary. I promise. :) And that “bloggers masquerading as journalists” line is great! Self-publishing is huge and amazingly empowering and is a great instrument for social change, but journalism it ain’t, in the vast majority of cases.

Comments are closed.