Monday, March 2, 2009

Dancing with Gevlon once again

Haven’t we danced this dance before? The thought passed my head after a post of Gevlon last week. Once again we’re into the guild discussion. Do guilds have any other purpose than hosting Morons and Slackers who can parasite on naïve carebears who carry them through content? Are you better off just watching for your own interests, doing things in a coldhearted, rational goblin way?

You could ask yourself what the point is to discuss those things. There isn’t any objective truth out there to be discovered, just different approaches to the game. We have different reasons for playing it, different expectations, we get our kicks from different things. I don’t get a big kick out of ganking other players. To others that’s the essence of the game. Gathering gold will never be a major goal for me. Making a fortune on selling something doesn’t give me the rush of joy and entertainment to motivate me to pay for my subscription. On the other hand I don’t think Gevlon could ever understand what a joy it is when you step by step, wipe by wipe get closer and closer to a first kill as a guild. It’s a long journey and sometimes people make stupid things. But you tolerate those flaws, you support each other, you learn from each other and finally you succeed – not in the company of some strangers you’ve never met before and never will meet again, but with people you have laughed with, cried with, quarrelled with, people whose voices you recognize. To some gamers a one-night stands is fine, it’s all they’re looking for. Fine. PUG it and enjoy yourself. I want more.

A look at the conveyer belt worker
Yeah, we’ve definitely discussed this before. But here we are, dancing once again. This time Gevlon has written a post where he compared WoW to simple work at a conveyer belt, requiring you to do nothing but to follow a manual. Every worker is replaceable, and if I’ve understood Gevlon correctly that makes it pointless to try to apply management thinking on this. The workers are like machines and should be treated like such. If someone gets broken – replace it. If some player doesn’t deliver the dps you would expect – trash him and find someone else in LFG. Don’t bother trying to make him improve – there are dozens of them waiting to be let in.

This way of looking at the staff seems quite old fashioned to me. I don’t think that even McDonalds will see their employees that way. I come to think of a post that Gevlon himself wrote a little while ago, where he actually pointed out why you shouldn’t look down on people keeping those kinds of jobs. They aren’t necessarily less intelligent than white collar professionals and they definitely should be treated with the same respect as anyone else.

When I’ve been in a leading position I’ve always looked for the potential in my co-workers. There’s so much to be brought out if you just bother to look for it and to encourage it. Try to see the hidden gold within other people. Give the plants some sunlight and water and they will grow amazingly. And nothing, absolutely nothing is more rewarding than to see the process, knowing that you helped to enable it.

If you look at your employees as changeable units, they’ll behave like that. They’ll deliver what the manual asks them too (hopefully, but they’ll probably try to cheat on you if they can). If you treat them as valuable members of the team, people that you trust work together with, they’ll try to live up to and even exceed your expectations. The conveyer band worker can surprise you if you just give him a chance. He may be the one who finds out a clever solution for improving the manufacturing process. He may step up as a leader when something unexpected happens.

I can’t tell how McDonalds look at their staff, but I’m pretty sure that many “conveyer belt industries” bother much more about group dynamics – not only for their engineers, but for the whole team, than Gevlon does. And I think it’s necessary to do so if you want to run a business that is sustainable over time.


Why bother?
Now let’s jump back to WoW and guild management. I think Gevlon and Tobold are right when they say that it’s possible to succeed as a raiding guild without bothering about group dynamics and using the full potential of forming a strong team, building on trust and mutual dependency. The instances in the current game can be cleared with pretty crappy management where you look at other players as tools rather than as co-workers. And since it really takes an effort to be a good leader and to create a strong team, why go the hard way if you can get by with less work?

I see several reasons. One is that I think you can save yourself time and effort in the long run. Yeah, initially it takes a lot of work to build up a healthy raiding squad. But once you’re there you’ll see much less of guild drama, which otherwise is pretty common and a pain to handle. You’re less likely to end up in a guild split where the person handling the website or the TS server suddenly leaves, leaving everything in a mess. You’ll also have less rotation of players, meaning that you’ll need to spend less time recruiting to fill the gaps.

A second reason to bother about developing the group rather than just kicking the machine parts that don’t deliver enough dps is that you can learn something from it. WoW is a fantastic sandbox where people who’re not in leading positions at their real life work get a chance to try what it’s like to be the boss. It’s exactly how Tobold expressed in a reply to a comment Gevlon gave him to a post about some guild drama Tobold just had experienced:
The skills you'd need to motivate an underperforming raid group, instead of just kicking the weakest guys out, are skills which would be useful if you ever got into a management position at work. Being able to get along with people has a value, 3.5K dps on Patchwerk hasn't.

Social more than a flavour
Finally: I know by now Gevlon that you don’t value the social aspect of the game much at all – at the most it gives you some “flavour” as you put it. I think that many players appreciate it more than that. It’s a misconception that the social stuff is just something that casual or even careless and poor players value, that “hardcore” and “serious” players don’t care. I actually think they do.

Of course serious players care about skill and gear if we’re for instance evaluating a new application to the guild. If the player is at a completely different level it won’t work. But the applicant also must fit into the team or we’ll fail. Once we get to meet the WotLK equivalence of Archimonde, it will show. Spending night after night wiping, learning a new encounter can be quite satisfying and rewarding if you’re doing it with people that you trust and like. It can equally be a pain if you’re doing it with a bunch of goblins who don’t give a damned about anything but themselves, no matter if they follow the “conveyer belt manual”.

It would be interesting though to see an experiment. Two players starting from scratch at a new server with new characters and no network. Both are given the task to “beat the game” in the sense that they kill the hardest raid boss, in the position of being the raid leader. One will act like a goblin, looking upon other players just like any ore or cloth drop – as resources to be used for your own winning. The other one will apply ideas about group management, systematically building up a strong raiding team, considering aspects such as group dynamics. Who would succeed best?

24 comments:

Kassi said...

To give some background, my guild is huge (split over two in-game guilds) and we have multiple 25 and 10 man raid teams plus open guild raids.

The other day a relatively new member asked over guild chat whether we'd take a pvp geared deathknight along on a raid ... and the response was "if you have a good personality" rather than asking about his dps/stats etc.

Yeah, I love my guild :D

Kromus said...

Who would succeed? I'd put my money on the Person treating people as Humans-(or at least Night Elf's, Gnomes...Ha ;P). It would, however be intresting to see the results of that, if made into a proper obeservation.

"Give the plants some sunlight and water and they will grow amazingly. And nothing, absolutely nothing is more rewarding than to see the process, knowing that you helped to enable it."
Truly Excellent :)- and i totally agree, when i was once Guild Master, the positive comments i receieved were not of what we had conquered; but of how i had erected the ladder we climbed to get there.

I think to play something in, what i would deem as shallow style, can only spire the person to distrust others, and think, "maybe there treating me like a goblin too".

-- Or Perhaps i am mistaken?
I think both can provide results, just some leave deeper scars on peoples relationships...

Very intresting post, once again Larisa:).

David said...

I would rather be in a friendly guild that makes tiny amounts of progress than a robotic, communist-style worker-as-machine guild that destroys all content but judges players purely based on their numeric output.

Gevlon has softened his tone a bit recently, but I get the impression of the young adult, heady with their early successes and full of ideas they are sure will change the world or the status quo.

I think though, there are some key truths that have been in place since the dawn of humans, that embracing positive social structures and regarding your fellow humans in kind will reap the most rewards, both personally and as a group. Those rewards may not have purple text or an achievement to go with them, but they are inherently the best rewards out there.

DeftyJames said...

So much meat to that post. Ultimately, however, I am more pragmatic than you perhaps. Whatever works for that group. You are right that there are multiple approaches to the game. One reason I like to read player vs developer blog is because Green Armadillo has a take on the game that is rather alien to my own approach; I don't incentivize well. :-)

I do know people who would be happy in a guild run like a machine. What is boring and dull for some people means security and safety for others. Some people value structure, others value spontaneity, some a little of both. There is no one-size-fits-all.

The lesson I try to remember is that it's worth taking time to perceive yourself and perceive who you are dealing with. People sometimes feel exploited or used when in fact a little more awareness or wariness would have prevented the whole problem to begin with. Both the tiger and the rabbit have their place in nature, but it's a myopic or naive rabbit that mistakes a tiger for it's mama.

Klepsacovic said...

People are not machines. Well, perhaps an emotionless, heartles person is. I suppose in that case they'd be perfectly replaceable. To try to view people, raid or guild members, as simple machines, is rather stupid and clearly a sign of a malfunctioning mind. I guess this is farewell to Gevlon then.

For the human people, it's best to look at them as people. Treat them as people. Consider all those messy, irrational things like emotion and personality. No matter how much a leader may wish his or her people were simple machines, it's not reality. Oh sure with enough crushing of one's spirit a person can be made to act like a person, but the process tends to make them as mindless and stupid as a machine as well.

Syrana said...

Who would succeed best?

I'm glad you posed the question this way rather than "Who would succeed first?" I think the person building the team would succeed the best as they would be able to repeat such a performance on a regular basis. The pugged, impersonal raid could/would be real hit or miss at each reset and attempt to reclear.

I may not be considered "hardcore," but I definitely love the social aspect and have seen plenty of others needing that when they start to feel burnt out.

Besides, it's nice to feel wanted/needed no matter how replaceable you just might be.

spinksville said...

I think the person who would succeed the best is the one who was best able to recruit 24 other people who were decent players and wanted exactly the same thing as they did.

I've played in semi-hardcore guilds which were very unemotive and businesslike in approach (we turned up, did our 'jobs' as professionally as possible, didn't spend much time talking about personal stuff) and in fluffier, friendlier guilds.

If you get the right people, I honestly think that either can work. I'm sure Gevlon would do fine if he could find the right mix of people who were motivated the same way that he was. He's not actively trying to screw them.

Recruiting the right people is absolutely key. So I think it's more a question of which type of raider is easier to find? One who wants a social experience or one who doesn't?

And the reason the conveyer belt model breaks down (as anyone may remember from 40 man raids) is that some roles are not as easily replaceable as others. So you have no choice but to work with what you have.

Hagu said...

Depends on what is meant by success. I'm sure you could get a boss kill with 24 gevlons, but wouldn't enjoy it. Since this is a game, I would not consider that success.

It's also a question of time frame: if the most important thing is to, as soon as possible, kill one boss once then team building is much less important than if you want to build an organization that will kill evolving bosses for many months. Short-sided, short-term thinking (use em and replace them) works best in the short term. If I were betting, I would bet on 25GG getting there first if the tasks are did not require a lot of cooperation/learning - the team building would slow things down.

I think spinksville made a great point: a team with 13 PPI and 12 GG would dramatically underperform 25 GG or 25 PPI.

Gevlon said...

Dear Larísa,

I've never-ever said I'm against friendship. But skill first, especially since you can make friends with ANY people (except for a few exceptions). You can make friends with skilled people, but you cannot make skills out of friendly people.

Remember how many times you switched guilds, leaving (assumed) friends behind until you reached your current SERVER FIRST topguild. (http://www.wowjutsu.com/eu/stormrage/)

I've never said that you CANNOT threat people more than machines. Nor I told you should. I just told that first they must hit the "machine level" to be even considered as possible friends. You know the Pyramid of Maslow: Physical needs first, safety second, friendship third! If someone is unable to do basic tasks, he cannot provide resources needed for food, shelter and other physical needs. You cannot even consider them as friends since next to them you would be starving (wiping all the time on easy content).

About the challenge: you read my mind once again. You will see what I mean later.

@Spinksville, Hagu: I think you misunderstood Larísa. She did not ask if 25 goblins would win against 25 group managers. This is irrelevant as YOU cannot summon the other 24. The big question is: a SINGLE goblin or a SINGLE group manager would perform better within a random server, among different, but not "unaltered" people? (Unaltered means that there are not playing any roles for the experiment. They act as they want to. There are goblins, BBBs, Larísas, Tobolds, kids and parents and no-lifers and very casuals among them)

Esdras said...

I think it depeneds on the person but i would rather be in a guild with friends and have a laugh taking slower progress.

Larísa said...

@Kassi: That sounds awesome. It must be a challenge to maintain the tight feeling in such a big guild, but obviously you manage somehow.

@Kromus: yes, there are definitely many different ways to reach the same goal (a dead enemy dragon). I value the road as much – or more – than the end it leads to. Others don’t mind, as long as you get where you want to go. Two different mindset, two different approaches. And the dance keeps going.

@David: I’m actually a bit fascinated by Gevlon. Sometimes our readers seem to look upon us as if we were the negative and positive charges at Thaddius – impossible to combine. I don’t think we’re that we differ that much if you look more closely at it. The goblin mind also hosts a bit of humanity and respect for the value of other people if you read him with those glasses. And I’m not quite as much of a carebear as I may look at first sight. I’ve left guilds that were only chat channels and couldn’t manage to get a raid going. Because that wasn’t what I wanted from the game.

Friendly isn’t enough, there must be more in a guild to make me embrace it. But I’d never like to be a part of a heartless raiding machine guild either. The optimal guild for me is somewhere in between.

@DeftyJames: Oh, I hope I was clear enough that I really think like you: anything goes. I just wanted to point out why I find reasons to bother about group dynamics in the game. Even if it isn’t necessary it can add something. For some people. Not for everyone.

And yes – I think that the ability to take a step backwards and try to put things in a perspective would save us a lot of broken dreams, guild dramas and such. Maybe too many players are too young to be aware of psycho-sociological aspects, the things that are going on below the surface. They just don’t see it.

@Klepsacovic: Actually I think the fact that players are humans and not machines is what makes the game so much more intresting and attractive. Make the players as efficient and predictable as NPCs and much of the fun and the challenge will be gone.

@Syrana: maybe you’re onto something there. That some of the players who get “burned out” have neglected the social aspects and should tender to that side more. On the other hand too much of socializing may burn you out as well I guess. Balance is the key, as always.

@Spinksville: When I’m talking about my ideas about group development and management I hope I don’t give the impression that I advocate just friendly smalltalk and socializing at a surface level. Developing a group goes a step further. It’s very much about skill in communications, to have the courage and the insight to be able to give feedback in an efficient and constructive way, for instance about raid performance. It’s about building and deserving trust and loyalty. So it’s definitely not just for a “social” guild, it’s something that can be used in a quite hardcore guild, in my opinion. It’s just an approach to leadership.

And yes, recruitment is really important. It’s not just about a guild evaluating an applicant. It should as much be about an applicant or trialist evaluating a guild. But I think that approach is more rare, unfortunately. To work in the long run there must be mutual love in the relation between the player and the guild.

@Hagu: Well, since the end boss will take you quite a lot of time to reach if you start it from scratch, it’s possible that the guild with the group management approach will have an easier journey. There will be some investment of time and effort in the beginning to get the team going, but after that, it will be a winner. But I’m not totally convinced I’m right about that. It’s possible that the goblin will succeed better. My question is really open, not rethorical.

@Gevlon: How much I’d love you and the readers of PPI to believe that I’m in the top guild of my server, I’m afraid I have to correct the information from wowjutsu. I can’t live in a lie. Wowjutsu is known for its flaws. In this case it has noticed that one of our players wears a piece of gear from the first-server kill of some raid boss. He does because he at that point was in the guild that did that kill, the top guild of our server Orion. Since then he has cut down a little on his playing and is now one of us. So we’re not number 1. But we’re number 10 according to this list, http://serverprogression.elitism-guild.com/?fac=a, which is manually updated and correct. And that really isn’t bad, considering that we didn’t start any 25 man raiding until a week into January, later than most other guilds I’ve heard of. Add to that that we only raid 3 nights a week and not 4 or 5 as the guilds that are ahead of us, and we should be proud indeed.

And yes, as I said above in a comment, we’re probably not as much different in our opinions as we give impression of. Of course it will take some minimum of knowledge of the game and the gear to make it work. We have requirements about that when we recruit and there’s a reason for it.

Managing a raiding team considering group dynamics and trying to get the group to go beyond the conveyer-belt-stadium isn’t exactly the same thing as “friendship”. If you look to it from management perspective it’s a tool to reach a goal. So maybe I’m a bit goblinish as well… :)

I’m looking forward to see what new project you’re coming up with, connecting to my challenge. And yes, you’re right, assembling 25 group managers or goblins wasn’t my idea. It isn’t necessary for every raid member to be an expert in group management to apply those ideas.

@Esdras: As I said, I evaluate friendship too, but developing a team is a little bit more than that. Still I agree. Progress is nice, but to me it matters how it’s done.

*vlad* said...

It all comes down to whether you see other players as a means to an end, or as the reason you play the game.
Gevlon believes in the former, and I believe in the latter.

Without the social interaction, the guild chat, the fun we have on vent and in-game (and yes, this is not a job, it is enjoyment) there is no point playing imo.

If ammassing virtual gold and purples pixels is your only aim, then fine, tread on other people to get what you want; just don't expect me to.

oriniwen said...

This feels a bit like a chicken-or-egg arguement. From what I can tell from reading Gevlon, he feels that you need skill to make a sucessful guild, and that without that skill, friendship cannot develop.

My guild is one that started as a group of friends who were intent on developing their skill. So I'd have to say that for Impossibilium at least, we were able to create skills from friends.

I'd like to think that we all can agree that the folks of Elitist Jerks have a pretty high skill level. If you check out their "Quotem Pole" forum, you can see that they seem to have some solid friendships as well. In their case, I have no idea which came first - the skills or the friendships.

At my workplace, there is a range of skills and a variety of friendships. And I know that my level of friendship with any given co-worker is independant of their level of skill. So I would say that Gevlon is mistaken in his pyramid scheme where skills *must* form a solid base to build a friendship on.

However, skills must be present to form a good base for a successful rading guild (or any competative team - gaming, sports, business etc) but I would propose that you can find these skills or you can develop these skills and for some folks, a guild where the skill are developed among the members rather than brought in from outside is a more satisfying and more comfortable place to be in.

Klepsacovic said...

@Larisa I agree, mechanical humans would be quite boring. But perhaps people could be a little bit less unexpected, maybe fewer sudden "oh sorry I forgot you were tanking." :)

@Gevlon Maslow sounds nice, makes sense, but is not absolutely perfect. Ever heard of someone dying for friends, family, or any cause? The pyramid is a good rough guide, but it's like the three robot laws: the strengths can change, so results may vary.

Besides, raiding is not at all a basic need. All of your character's basic needs are met. He will not starve, suffocate, or become dehydrated. Raiding fits higher up, with perhaps self-actualization or potentially even peak experiences if you're really the type. The lowest it could go is safety needs if you're incredibly bad and need T7 just do to dailies, but even then, a few friends would do a better job of preventing death than upgraded gear.

Larísa said...

@Vlad: yeah I never was caught by any other computer game and I doubt I ever will, unless there's some social interaction in it. You know those one-man-card games you can lay (called "patience in Swedish, don't know if it's the same in Eng)? It's about as pointless as that. Can be distracting for a little while but not night after night for years...

@Oriniwen: wise words as usual from you. About the skill requirements: it depends on where you put the minimum limit, doesn't it? I have to admit I wouldn't have been likely to accept the Larísa player how she was too years ago into a guild unless I knew her (or maybe not then either). I would have feared it would take too much of work to make her get a clue about the game at all and I wouldn't see it as my task to be her teacher. But then I'm into raiding. It would have been different if I didn't have those ambitions.

Fish said...

you have once again sparked an idea for a blog post likening Wow to my OTHER addictive activity. I have to say, I have seen a genuine decline in the quality of the goblins posts and I have to stop reading. I am all for rational discussion but contrarian views for their own sake are tiring.

Barrista said...

I think it is very easy to say that Gevlon's ideas would lose to yours or those who comment here, but that is simply not true. No one ideal will ever beat out any other. Everyone will seek what they want. I'm in a guild where we are good friends who love talking and running together, but some people take it less seriously. I raid on the side with a group that takes it more seriously to get my raiding needs met.

There are people in the business world who give up their lives and families for money and titles. There are people in WoW who would bypass their guildies/friends for the opportunity for a title or achievement I am sure.

Leah said...

on a matter of skill, content and common goals.

last night, I spent about half an hour talking to this not a very good hunter, giving him pointers, ideas, advice. why? becasue he wanted to learn, he wasn't unskilled because he is M&S, he was unskilled because of lack of knowledge and practice. he wanted to learn. he might make a very good hunter some day because of that attitude, but something tells me he might have just given up eventualy if all he got in responce was insults of "noob l2pl" and group kicks.

in my guild there's this mage. when 3.0 came out - she was all of a sudden on a buttom of the damage meters. she was strugling and not doing so well. but she asked questions, she learned and now I have srious trouble keeping up with her on a damage meters. but if someone like Gevlon would have met her in a random pug, before she bloomed, he might have jus dismissed her as M&S without bothering to look deeper. a lot of people in my guild are like that. we started out with a few exceptional players, few good ones and the rest - people who wanted to get better and who wanted to see the content at similar pace.

some of us ned more practice then others. some of us enjoy social interruction then others. we all have our own pace of pulling, moving through the instance and there's nothing wrong with that. like someone said earlier - the key is to find a group of people that match your inerests goals, oulook. who share your moral compas, to quote Larissa much earlier post.

the problem I see with Gevlon is that he seems to treat WoW as just another single player game. he doesn't need human connections becasue his goals in a game are solo goals. he might as well be playing with NPCs - probably would have more fun that way too - no messy human emotions, no human error (even the best players can make stupid mistakes sometimes).

then again, I may be off on my assesment, just like he was completely off on his assesment of the kind of player I am and how/why I play this game.

Syrana said...

@Leah - I think it's great you took that kind of time with someone that wanted to learn. If more people would respond that way rather than "l2play noob" I think there'd be some better puggin' going on.

And it's a shame that many people use the "l2play" copout. I mean, how is someone going to learn-to if all they are told is they need to. At least give them a reference point like "l2play, l2readwowwiki" or something. ;)

Kiryn said...

I have done the "wipe after wipe with people I know" thing in BC. And it wasn't rewarding for me at all. It was frustrating to be doing my job perfectly every time and having to deal with people who kept making the same mistakes time and time again, but not being able to boot them and find someone better because they were part of the guild.

My current guild is just my alts, and I build my raid groups out of the people on my friends list who I have tested and found able to play their class, learn new things, and not be annoying.

There are certainly different ways to play, and I'm not the type to have more than one or two good friends at a time. I find raiding rewarding when I can have a fun saturday afternoon killing monsters with my fiance, with 23 other random people to fill in the other spots.

Chad S. said...

I can't express how much I think the cohesiveness of a group lends to its success. So much of my guild's strength comes from the fact that most of its players have been together since early T6, and we've grown together.

Larísa said...

@Fish: looking forward to read that post!

@Barrista: oh yes, that's my opinion too. There's more than one truth out there. Still it may be fun to dance from time to time.

@Leah: it sounds like a great guild, the kind of guild I like. Where we learn together and aren't afraid to give each other hints and take advice from others. And it IS such a pleasure to be the teacher. Last autumn it happened to me, I was wispered by an unknow mage who inspected me and asked for advice. It was so unexpected and so fun to help me out - I even wrote a post about the experience. We kept contact for a long time and it was great to see him joining a raiding guild shortly after that and progressing quickly.

@Kiryn: everyone happy at his own way. I can respect yours, even though I think I'm looking for something slightly different.

@Chad.S: great to hear! Yes, staying around for long is defintly a good thing. I can't help envying people who have played together teh whole way through WoW since the release or even in earlier games as well - guilds that will keep playing together after they've moved from WoW to the next MMO. I get they've got quite good teamwork going by now.

Fulguralis said...

Very interesting and glad I caught this. For some reason my blog list doesn't like telling me when you write a new article. I'll have to look into that. I have two very long comments (apologies in advance).

1. If you have every played a sport, especially at higher levels, or follow a sport, you KNOW that any great leader makes those around him better. Look at Michael Jordan. He was amazing, but he also made everyone around him better. A team is never just robots doing their job, but a very dynamic group of interpersonal relationships intertwined to either succeed or fails a group. Henry Ford's interchangeable parts theories won't function in a true team environment. Is this what we have in WoW? For me and my raid teams, yes. For others... maybe not.

2. Regarding Maslow's hierarchy of needs; Maslow himself wrote: "By ordinary standards of this kind of laboratory research... this simply was not research at all. My generalizations grew out of my selection of certain kinds of people. Obviously, other judges are needed." Generalizations; pause for a moment and reflect on that word. If you take any classes in psychology, you'll quickly learn that, like the English language, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules. I would point to close familial bonding as one such exception to Maslow's generalizations. Love breaks this "rule of thumb" every time, hands down. The very essence of love is putting someone else before yourself, shattering the very foundation upon which that pyramid is build. Do you love the game and the people you group with? To some extent, I certainly do, but that is another personal question you need to ask yourself. And if you don't love what you're doing in an optional hobby, why do it? What do you get from WoW if not enjoyment?

This game, like many other things in life is most certainly what the individual makes of it. I maintain that you're going to get out what you put in. Feed it love, compassion, and hope... you'll get those returned 10-fold. Feed it malice and hate? Well, you do the math.

Larísa said...

@Fulguralis: thank you. I can't add much to your very well put comment. It speaks for itself.
About the linking issue: it's known. I've written a comment on your blog how you can make it work as it should.