Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why you might want to cut down on your blog reading

I’m a huge fan of World of Warcraft blogs. I think you can tell from the excessive size of my link list to the right and from my bad habit of meta blogging. Like I'm doing right now.

Apparently I just can’t get enough of this little network of ours. It fascinates me, it entertains me, it educates me as a player and writer. And to be honest I think it’s one of the reasons why WoW has kept me hooked for over three years.

The voices. The personalities. The distinguished geeks. The clashes. The intelligence. The silliness. The ideas bouncing around. Not to speak of the super talented writers, who actually are enjoyable reads in their own power, not just because it’s about WoW. (I won’t mention those by name since I’ve pointed to them so many times by now that it’s kind of ridiculous. Oh bugger, I just linked them again. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. )

Curse of Boredom
However, we have now come to This Time of The Expansion Cycle when a lot of the links in our feedreaders and blogrolls suddenly turn into a nasty purple color. Yep. It’s the seasonal Curse of Boredom, Burn-out, Bitterness, Lost faith and Godknowswhat that strikes again, just as it did towards the end of TBC. It is remorseless, the victims are countless and unfortunately it isn’t as easy to click off as the in game-version.

First a piece of advice to the affected bloggers:

There isn’t any quick cure from this, so you’d better treat it as a bad case of battle rez sickness. Rather than writing about what a miserable state the game is in, blaming your guild, Gearscore, Ghostcrawler, the Casuals, the Elitists, your ISP and your Wife, I would suggest you to take a break, not only from WoW, but from blogging and podcasting about it.

Log out from the WoW community, clear your brain from the fog, go do something else. You have NO obligation to anyone. Do not feel forced to rant about something you don't enjoy anymore.

And if you ever decide to come back, like for Cataclysm, I would dare say that you’ll be stocked up with rested energy, spitting out posts like never before.

Advice to blog readers
My second piece of advice is to the blog readers. Normally I would never ever dream about telling someone to read fewer blogs. Frankly I’m probably a bit annoying to people around me, I just can’t stop myself from constantly pushing for the blog community, spamming our guild forum with links to posts of interest.

However in This Time of the Expansion it might be a good idea to cut down a bit on your blog reading for a while. At least if you’re still enthusiastic, energized and pumped up about WoW – or if that is how you would LIKE to feel.

You need to protect yourself. That curse is contagious as hell and it’s ever so easy to get dragged down in the drain by an eloquent and convincing blogger in a bad mood. Suddenly you realize that the daily quests that you actually enjoyed pretty much are a tedious drag and a time sink or that pugging instances is a ticket to hell rather than a box of interesting chocolate pieces with unknown content. You hadn’t thought about it yourself, but reading that blogger you think he has a point.

If there’s a blogger who keeps dragging you down, consider deserting him for a while. Yes, that includes deserting Larísa of The Pink Pigtail Inn as well, if I’m the one causing you the lethargy. I’m aware of that there is an undertone of melancholy in my writings, and sometimes I write slightly cynical rants about stuff that bugs me a bit. It's theurapy for me and possibly for readers who recognize themselves, but it's not for everyone. If I make you unhappy, I would suggest that you’d have your pints in another pub for a while, where the beer is more sparkling.

Blessing of Happiness
Don't dispair at the sight of the darkness, look out for the lighthouses that still are shining thanks to their Blessing of Happiness buff! There are a few enthusiasts around, many of them players who were a bit late to the party and still are enjoying the game at its full potential. Tamarind is one of them, now that he finally has found some good dance partners. (Damn it, I just linked to him AGAIN. I've SO got a blogger’s crush on him.) But there are also old-timers, such as the crew behind The instance, who still have an unbroaken spirit and a heart that obviously beats for WoW.

Give those bloggers and podcasters - new as well as established ones - some comment love and encouragement. This will make them even more enthusiastic, and before you know it the infused power has bounced back and forward until it has created a field of positive energy. I suppose you could call it magic, but there’s nothing supernatural at all about it to be honest. Pick a positive environment to be in, contribute to it yourself and you your world will glow.

I suppose it might work in real lie as well, thinking about it. But that’s another story.

PS I can't help hoping that the return of BRK (even if just temporary) will give the blogosphere a well needed energy injection. I'm totally giggly about it myself and I suppose I'm not the only one who is tempted to roll a hunter alt now. Just because.

21 comments:

Redbeard said...

You could go fishing. I hear there's a fishing derby that's not to miss...

Or you could go questing.

(Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

Keeva said...

I'm enjoying the slowdown - it's our chance to take a breather, even if it's not a complete break from the game.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I'm not blogging the way I should - but it's important to remember that it's not just me. I'm not the only one who doesn't have much to say right now, and I shouldn't feel horrible about it.

Forcing myself to blog when there's not much happening.. well, that just makes me feel pressured, plus the quality of the posts won't be high either - so I'd rather space them out (not disappear entirely) than force the issue. I'm also not a huge fan of "Dear diary" type posts where I talk about mundane stuff I'm doing in-game. Better to just scale back and wait for a more exciting time to write again.

But 18 months in and I still feel like I'm building my initial readership, so I don't want to fade into obscurity. It's a balancing act.

I'm glad I started up my resto guide, it's given me something to keep me occupied for the time being. I'm the kind of person who can't function without a project - and it's keeping me busy.

Jaedia said...

I've literally just found myself needing a reroll and suddenly the game feels fun again, I barely get around to reading many blogs as it is, if anything's going to drag me down I guess it'll be the other half who is quite fond of sulking. *That's* contagious.

Chris (Game by Night) said...

This time of year can be a little depressing, but I'm not feeling it as much as last time. I took a break for a while, came back, and rolled an alt of the opposite faction. BAM! All the sudden, it's like a whole new game. If you've only played one side and are now feeling bored, try out the other. It might surprise you.

As for the negativity in the blog-o-sphere, I've found myself doing more skimming and less actual reading. Usually, you can get a good idea of what a post is about early on and decide if it's worth continuing on. If a blogger is being excessively negative, consider politely letting them know in a comment or email. A lot of us strive for a certain tone, and, if it changes, we might not realize the extent of it.

Great post, Larisa, and great advice within.

Keeva said...

To be honest I'm not feeling the negative vibe from the blogosphere...

I'm just going with the flow, enjoying the semi-break, and excited about things to come. Maybe the negativity is there but I'm having fun and it's not registering with me? :)

I guess with the last expansions, everything was horribly stressful because my guild broke up, or I was between guilds, etc. This time around, there's no risk of that happening (because we'd be fine with just doing 10s), so the stress just isn't there, and it feels great.

I don't think the sad sacks can drag me down on the way to Cataclysm - this is finally an expansion transition that ISN'T negative.

Fitz said...

/agree with Redbeard. Go fishing and stock up those Fish Feasts for Cataclysm!

Speaking of, I've got a terrible track record of catching the fishing contests (my weekends are tightly scheduled after working long hours during the week), but I've come up 10 seconds or less short twice in the last month on the Dalaran one. So heartbreaking, but I hope to get a bit more lucky soon.

As for the negativity, hopefully my blog does not bring you down. But then again, I don't write enough to bring too many people down! I'm still making my way through ICC, so no letdown for me.

BRK said...

That BRK is a nobody. A dweeb. Pay him no heed. NO HEED!

Klepsacovic said...

Negativity is merely a symptom of insufficient creativity.

Dwism said...

How did I miss BRK returning?

Sweet.

Its weird, I have so many great blogpost ideas and stuff I want to discuss, there just does not seem to ever be time enough for it. So I have 5 posts in my draft-folder just waiting for some loving.

Gevlon said...

I'm full of enthusiasm and plans like owning WG and downing the Lich King in blues.

Tomasz said...

Anyone who's burned out should
watch Woundman's recent videos (3 through 7). They'll make you want to resubscribe and bash some scrubs in 3v3.
Woundman's WCM profile

Larísa said...

@Redbeard: I don’t feel that I’m in any emergency myself. Raiding three nights a week on my main, slowly getting my healing druid to 80 and tanking an instance with my baby tauren every now and then. Sure, the general activity is in decline, you can tell that. But I still enjoy it.

@Keeva: You’d be surprised how long readers might remember you even if you go silent for a while. It doesn’t take a BRK to get a warm welcome back if you’ve been gone fishing for a while. I’ve seen it happen for a lot less well know bloggers. So just don’t stress yourself too much about it.

@Jaedia: That’s great that you’re enjoying the reroll! Let the energy flow over in your blog!

@Chris: I love to read posts from bloggers who have taken a break and then come back to the game. Often they don’t only have a renewed interest, but also some new, interesting perspectives after stepping away from Azeroth for a while. I’m afraid I don’t give that much feedback to bloggers, at least not negative. If anything I try to encourage, especially new bloggers, with a little comment here or there when I’ve read something I like. If I don’t like it I’m more likely to just remain silent.

@Fitz. I’ve never ever done any fishing contest and have no idea about what it is. Yeah, it’s one of those embarrassing confessions. Maybe something to try out before cataclysm? I sure know where to go and look for information about how to do it though. El’Anglin. That’s you need.

@BRK: Hehe. You thought that Mr Nobody could sneak back without anyone noticing? One of the two bloggers EVER to be honoured by an epic drop in-game? Pffft. But on the other hand – here at the inn you’re just one of the guys hanging around the bar, getting the same beer (best in town by the way) and treatment as anyone else. We have a no-harassment-of-celebrities policy here. So you can feel safe.

@Klepsacovic: hm… yeah. There is something in it.

@Dwism: are they on the positive side? In that case, come on and get them out, lazy man!

@Gevlon: You definitely are. When you not get stuck in your bashing of morons, slackers and socials, you’re actually rather positive and inspiring! One of the things I find enjoyable about your blog. Cheers!

@Tomsz: Woundman? Never heard of. Is that some sort of Arena? Hm… yet another of my completely unexplored areas in the game. I’ve got to find someone who’s in the mood for losing and having a ton of patience with a PvP noob.

Saga said...

You make a good point, in general I haven't felt too down by blogs out there though. And while I have my own little WoW depression regarding raids I try not to write so much about it, but rather focus on what I want to do for Cataclysm (like choose a main :P)

I guess it helps being an altoholic - I always have something to do in WoW and that keeps my spirit up to some extent :)

So I don't think I'll cut down on my blog reading, unless people get too depressing *lol* But so far so good :)

Rhii said...

I'm actually really enjoying the slowdown period. I'm finally happy in my guild and I actually have time for my alts again, and I love my alts. It's why I have so many of them!

My main is pretty well as far as she's going in ICC--which isn't nearly as far as I wanted, but oh well, maybe I'll come back and kill Arthas later like I did Kael'Thas and Illidan. I'm currently working on gearing up my mage so I can run my guild's fun-raids with her. She is pretty much good to go with Uld, Ony, or TOC. She struggles a bit with Toravon in VoA though.

And I'm bringing up a resto shaman and a holy priest both through the dungeon finder. I'm feeling cautious and not entirely optimistic about the direction I think holy paladins might be going, so I've got some "backups" in case I don't want to be a pally in Cataclysm.

AND I'm saving a full set of hunter heirlooms for the goblin I'm planning to roll! I'm going to name her Klikzi! Hunters can wear LOTS of heirlooms... shoulders, bow, chest, two daggers, two trinks... I can run randoms from now till doomsday for those.

Anyway, yes, pre-expansion blues have not struck me. Not at all.

TechDeft said...

Well I'M just getting started. Especially with a well written gnome encouraging me to be more active. :)

Grimmtooth said...

Voices ... hehe :)

I'm not so much seeing doldrums set in right now; our guild is rather casual and just now hitting 5/12 on ICC10, so we have much to look forward to. In a way, we have an advantage now, over guilds that were in a rush to get to the Big Kahuna.

Tobold said...

My answer got so long that I had to put it on my blog instead of in a comment. :)

Gravity said...

Interesting.

Zaeni said...

I guess I'm one for the few late to the party... I've only just reached level 71(for the first time XD ) last night and got enough gold for dual spec.

Will be transferring the paladin Zaeni to SAN's server when that happens ^_^

Zaeni said...

"for" != "of"
Silly fingers.

Larísa said...

@Saga: I guess not everyone is affected by reading depressing blogs. Some have thicker skins than others.

@Rhii: I'm glad to hear you're still unaffected!

@TechDeft: gogogo! That druid post was awesome but you need to get more productive if anyone's going to find you.

@Grimmtooth: you have plenty of fun, fun bosses to learn! And most likely also plenty of time to enjoy it. Good timing tbh!

@Tobold: cheers! I think you misunderstood this post slightly. But it was a great read anyway.
´
@Zeni: ah! See you at AD then! I'm not there everyday exactly, but eventually! (if it's EU SAN ofc)