Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Retrospective, September 2010

Funny, I can't remember anything about what I was doing four years ago.  I remember I had a few plans.  I was going to write about the products behind my trade table, so I started a post on metals & minerals that became one of those posts with the most views ever (mostly because of people looking for metals & minerals, and not this blog).  I also tried a completely failed effort at building a general database among several DMs - which would help to convince me afterwards that where it comes to a serious view on the game, I am alone.

I wrote posts about the random generation of maps, which I know someone did have use for as they told me a couple years later.  I ranted against modules (nothing new), which would eventually lead to my making a deal with James Raggi and my attempt to run Death Frost Doom.  But that's another month.

The most significant event of that September was my spitting in the face of Alexander of the Escapist - following an obscure offer on his part to somehow be part of the online magazine that he still runs (so far as I know).  The initial meeting began with this post, in a conversation between Zak and I. Basically, Alexander offered,

"I wasn't envisioning that the material would go up on "my" website (The Escapist). I'm assuming material would go up on a to-be-named website, at another domain name, unaffiliated with The Escapist (wiki.DandDAcademy.com or whatever). 

"It would simply run on spare bandwidth and capacity that we have on The Escapist - Basically we pay a lot of money every month for a server and database capable of handling a million people downloading videos on Wednesday morning, which means that the rest of the week we have lots of idle capacity, and there's nothing this wiki could do to put a dent in that."

I remember looking at that, four years ago, and looking at the website for the Escapist, thinking, "What an immense pile of crud."  That was more or less it.  Maybe there was an opportunity there, but somehow I couldn't see myself affiliated with a site that promoted spewed infantile entertainment.  For free.  I saw it (and still see it) as a sleazy attempt to exploit my material without offering me any real compensation, while practically guaranteeing that I would never be taken seriously.  That's my name associated with that website - and while Zak has no trouble being one of the infantile crowd, or having everyone in the world know he wallows in the world of porn manufacture, I find myself seeking a somewhat better crowd of supporters.

There were, however, consequences.  Many people who felt the jury was still out on me declared me guilty after that.  Doors were closed.  A flood of people directed from Zak's side of the community stopped coming around, stopped commenting.  The first attempt at a data base would die a sour, lingering death and I would lose a lot of faith.  Many of the bitter posts that came from me over the next year would have their roots in my sense that the community as a whole had it's head in a dark place.

That's changed.  I've seen far too much positive support these last four years to question my decision. I don't know what the future holds - but it isn't being part of a joint effort.  I wouldn't want it, knowing that I'm on the cutting edge.  The only thing holding me back is time.  

1 comment:

Dave Cesarano said...

You're better off not going over to the Escapist. While I once enjoyed it, the place has become a bastion of political ideologues masquerading as "video game journalists," for example. I lost interest about a year ago when a rebuttal to a MovieBob video (in which I took great pains not to offend) was met with derisive dismissal and a horde of abusive comments from the Escapist peanut gallery.

Well, they're not my audience. As of now, I've not much of an audience at all, but screw it, I'm happy with what I write and the few who read it.

That crowd isn't your audience and they shouldn't be. They effectively de-selected themselves as your audience when you and Zak had a falling-out. That's great, actually. You don't have to write for an audience that you have no interest in writing for in the first place.