Friday, July 23, 2010

Disappointed but undeterred: why you'll never get me to quit helping EVE Bloggers


I've recently come under fire for somehow being a marketing tool of CCP. These accusations, have led others to ponder over my relationship with CCP and as well as question my writing style.

I thought I'd try to respond to these accusations.

It's kind of funny that after putting all these efforts over the last 2 to 3 years helping out other EVE Bloggers (by providing them with opportunities to be in the spotlight through the EVE Blog Pack, win some EVE merchandise, ISKs or GTC, or discuss various aspect of the game in the EVE Blog Banters) that my reputation should be slandered in this way.

It's a bit disappointing to be honest.

I promised myself that this post wouldn't be too long, but bear with me while I tell you a story.


The Beginnings

I started this blog back in 2005. Back then, there were not many other EVE Blogs. Over the years I started gathering links to other EVE blogs, to guides and anything that I found useful or that would help me out playing in EVE. At that time, I had no children and could easily play EVE for 30 to 40 hours a week without facing the wrath of my better-half. Then MiniCK came into our lives, and my gaming time started to suffer.

A few months passed and I found myself unemployed for a few month, during which time I started focusing a lot of my efforts on this blog, and on building up the EVE Blogging Community. Thus the EVE Blog Pack saw the day, as did the EVE Blog Banters (something I had copied from @bsangel and her Blog Banters). Just a few months prior to this I had started The Drone Bay with @Crovan and @Alsedrech, and we very quickly gathered a loyal following.

At the same time, I had a chance to freelance for Massively and wrote a few articles for them. It's about then that I was approached by CCP and offered a Free EVE Online Media Account, as were other Fansites, to show their "appreciation for the work that you do to support our EVE Community". Of course, you can imagine I didn't decline the offer!

November 2008 came along, and I, with hundreds of other EVE players, made the pilgrimage to the EVE Fanfest 2008 and met with a number of the CCP Devs. Though it had been difficult to convince my better-half that her employed husband would use "money-we-just-didn't-have" to travel to the top of the world for a Party of Internet Spaceship Geeks, she gave in!

Upon my return from Fanfest I was lucky enough to find employment as a Media Intelligence Specialist, a position I still hold today. Now a father, working full time and wanting to make a name for myself with my new employer, I put in all the efforts into my new job. Though the blog suffered for the following few months, I nevertheless continued to blog, to organize the EVE Blog Banters, and to add new blogs to the EVE Blogging Community.


Things Start to get Ugly

It was about at that time that things started going downhill with 2 important members of the EVE Community, with whom I had become good friends - or thought so at the time. I'm referring here to @Galen_Druid and @Black_Claw, the individuals behind the EVE Player Blogs OPML and the EVEBloggers.com site respectively. For the last couple of month we had been working together keeping our complimentary listings of EVE Blogs up to date. Things were going great. I was ecstatic at the wonderful community we had built and felt on top of thing.

And then all hell broke loose!

Both of them had voiced their desire to see me move my EVE Blogroll listing over to EVEBloggers.com and let them be the keepers of that list, in view of the difficulties keeping such a large list up to date on 3 sites. At the time, I had politely declined, explaining that I wanted to keep the list on my site as well, but didn't see a problem if we all continued working together and have EVE Blogs be listed on all 3 sites. Which would of course be beneficial to all the blogs on these various lists (more referrals means better search results on search sites).

That's when Galen_Druid's accusations began. It's sad that I have to bring this forth in public, but this has gone on long enough.

To make a long story short, I sent out an email for the 14th EVE Blog Banter, which he somehow didn't receive, despite being on the Gmail mailing list I was using (and still use today). Seems he had not received any of the last 3 Banter notices and was accusing me of trying to keep him out of it. What?!! At the time I was using the Bcc: field so that everyone's email was kept private. Now, I don't know if that was the reason behind the dropped emails, but I've since then used the To: field only and haven't had such issues.

Suffice to say that Ga'len wasn't happy! I tried to calm him down, explained that I had no such intentions and reminded him that I had even posted a notice on my Facebook Fan page about the upcoming Banter, for all to see - which even got tweeted at the time. I provided him with a screenshot of his email listed in the Bcc: field. Despite all my bet efforts he never gave me the benefit of the doubt, and our mutually beneficial relationship within the EVE Community came to an end.

And though I still have that email, I have no desire to make it public. Somehow, I'm still hoping we can work this out - if thats still possible.

So if you're looking for the seed of Ga'len fury against me, there you have it. I do know that he's also accused me of ignoring his requests for helping him out with contacts at CCP, but I don't recall any of that. If I did ignore him, I did so unknowingly. I've always tried to help out anyone who's come to me with requests for help; whether it was to get into contact with CCP, or providing advice on blogging, podcasting or anything else for that matter.

As for his accusations that I'm being used by CCP to put forth contests on my blog I'll say this: in some cases CCP came to me, in others I came to them. But it always been about pointing the spotlight at other EVE Bloggers. Letting "them" win cool EVE swag and having a great time doing so. Is that a crime? How is this malicious on my part?


Disappointed, but undeterred

And that's where the disappointment lies. Despite organizing a bunch of contests where I gave out  hundreds of dollars of EVE store credits, GTCs, ISKs, Fanfest swag, EON magazine (going so far as paying for the shipping myself) I'm accused of being a selfish blogger, who's writings are "self-congratulatory", and who lets himself be used as marketing pawn by the developer of a game he loves to play - but has very limited time to do so these days.

Are you serious! Have you ever thought of the time and effort that's needed to do this!

Yet despite all this, not a day goes by where I don't get an email asking me to add someone's EVE Blog to my blogroll, thanking me for being the inspiration that got them blogging, o even the help I've gotten over the years from folks like @Rettic, @AnMiTh, or the friendships I've built with so many of you.

The Good still outways the Bad. The Force is still stronger than the Dark Side. And this blogger, whether you like if or not, will keep doing his part for the Community!

Fly Safe and see you in New Eden!

35 comments:

AnMiTh said...

Well Said CK, Thanks for the clarifications and insight.

ralphadogs said...

Non illegitimi carborundum, CK.

liangnuren said...

Comments:
- I cannot imagine why you have such a screen shot to start with.
- Congrats on being a father. Its a special thing. I approve :)
- The seed of Galen's fury is definitely the "special treatment" from CCP - at least as I read the situation. This of course means I'm making a stealth allegation of jealousy on his part... and I'm not trying to make waves/annoy anyone. :(
- Ultimately I'm not sure how you can even help him with his request of getting better ties with CCP. A "good word" might go a ways, but it seems that at least parts of CCP are active in the community - and I have pretty strong suspicions that the devs post and blog just not with their "dev mains".
- The purpose of the Eve Blogging Community, as I recently pointed out, is to make for a better Eve experience - for the players, for CCP, for the bloggers, for the tweetfleet... for Everyone. You are doing your part
- As for "self congratulatory": I hvaen't noticed it terribly much, but most of us toot our own horns occasionally. And MY horn is YAAAAAAAAAY big! /arms spread wide

Meh. Its overblown. Much ado about nothing. Carry on. Also: Can I have a cool account too?! I've got 13K posts on Eve-O and I'm the 8th most common poster *ever*. :p

yriellevandis said...

CK,

Nice to see you responding to those posts.
I always think it best to get to know both sides of the story.

I've always loved your blog, even though I don't agree with you on some points.

All I really like to say is:
Give it time, and I'm sure things will mend.

Stabs said...

I enjoy your blog (and enjoyed your podcasts) very much. Best wishes and many thanks.

Wollari said...

Don't let yourself get down CK. Keep it up, even I'm not on the blig roll :-) but that's more likely due to not being a story teller rather then a techblog.

Heads up!

Ga'len said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ga'len said...

CK,

I have never asked you to help me "get in" with CCP nor do I have that desire. I have asked you one, simple question, over a year ago, and you refused to answer.

Did CCP initiate contact and ask you to run the contests?

You are the ONLY person who refuses to disclose that relationship. I applaud you for taking the time to respond, but yet again, you refuse to disclose the nature of your relationship with CCP.

Benicio@BrisVegas said...

He said, she said.

Get it all out in the open and clear the air so we can all move on and enjoy some great blogs about internet spaceships.

Oh, and answer that guys question already.

Mord said...

Ga'len

At the end of the day, does it matter?

Posing a topic for writers to speak to in their blogs is a good thing. Gets the creative juices flowing. Gets you thinking. Spares you hours of staring at the blank page.

It's a common tool for writing workshops and, I believe, has improved the quality of writing in the Eve blogging community.

It's the writing that matters.

Whether CCP approached CK about running the contest, or they saw the contests after the fact and decided to shine the spotlight on them is academic. The contests are helpful - a public good.

Your insistence on "disclosure" suggests that a serious wrong has been committed and is being covered up. However, from what I've read here and elsewhere, it appears that the "wrong" has to do with bruised feelings on your part.

This feels like a private grudge and I. for one, would prefer that it remained private.

You and CK both have made tremendous contributions to the EVE blogging community. You've put a lot of work into it and all we wanna-be writers appreciate the good you and the other blog enablers out there do.

Let that be enough.

Ga'len said...

Mord,

I have no problem with the banters, I in fact agree with you on at point.

The issue here is the relationship between CCP and CK.  Many people have asked if there is a formal relationship so yes, it does matter since I am not the only one asking.

Look, many companies do many things with marketing that can be considered questionable.  I'd like to think that CCP is NOT one of those companies.

CCP has gone to great lengths to be very open with the players and honestly they have done more than any company out there.

If CCP asked, hey CK.  Would you run this contest for us?  Maybe do a blog banter on topic xyz and we will give you the prizes to do it, that be perfectly fine in my book.

There is nothing wrong with that.  Telling people that the reason you are running such a contest is not a bad thing.  It shows that you are honest about what you are doing.  

If you think about it, it makes you like a company such as CCP.  It shows that they want to take a chance and hear what people think about them and their products.

When you hide the source or inspiration for such activity, it makes people ask questions.  When a company has taken steps, like creating the CSM and communicate with players in dev blogs and their forums, the last thing they need is something that can build and air of distrust.

I didn't start asking questions because I was wanting to rake someone over the coals, I was asking to put to rest any doubts about CK's actions.
 

Manasi said...

Man oh man where the hell have I been? I guess not being able to tweet or use facebook, really does allow me to have rose colored glasses.

I for one have been extremely grateful for a mention by CK, or anyone else for that matter. I scour google reader looking for mention so that I can then mention someone else in return or at least comment so they know I saw what they wrote.

I will not wade into a an argument I do not understand.

I happen to Lke CK because as a rule he has always communicated well, in an open and honest manner.

I like Galen too ( although he stopped blogging IIRC)

I have read some posts by others who complain or berate or try to smack down people. To these people I say "let not the babbling of the incompetents drive you to do something against your nature"

Keep on keeping on CK. You got people at your back mate.

Bryan Ward said...

As usual Mule stole my comment. My support is where it will always be, with Eve. Not with CCP, or the CSM or with individual bloggers, but with the game itself. I admire and respect all my fellow bloggers and appreciate their hard work and what they bring to the Eve table.

Take a deep breath guys and work this shit out.

eonjunk said...

Your site, being the newer player that I am, was one of the *first* I found when looking for EVE blogs/help.

That you keep it so well updated, informative, and well written - is a bonus to me and every other player out there. If you lived close, I'd buy you a beer.

Keep up the great work, man.

o/

Ga'len said...

Ahh, I see a ninja edit.

As for his accusations that I'm being used by CCP to put forth contests on my blog I'll say this: in some cases CCP came to me, in others I came to them. But it always been about pointing the spotlight at other EVE Bloggers. Letting "them" win cool EVE swag and having a great time doing so. Is that a crime? How is this malicious on my part?

CK, this is a cool ninja edit, one that was long over due. If only you had answered this a year ago, all this drama could have been avoided.


Thank you for finally answering this question. To answer your two questions, no, it's not a crime and no, it's not malicious.

I would suggest that in the future when you run a contest, just let us know if you are doing it on your own or if CCP asks you, okay? If CCP is shelling free prizes, they should get credit for throwing that money at us, right?

Heck, if you are running it on your own and need help with prizes, let us know. I'll gladly chip in because as you say, it's about the community.

CrazyKinux said...

Morning folks!

Glad that the conversation is polite and constructive. Thanks to all of you who have shown their support. It's very much appreciated!

I'd also like to take the chance to thank you Ga'len for dropping by and clarifying where you see me not being open with my readers. And doing so in the respectful manner you did.

As for my involvement and relationship with CCP in regards to the contests, I thought I had been clear when I mentioned that sometimes they came to me and sometimes (most times actually) I came them. The only time where they suggested the topic of a banter (or any contest for that matter) was for Banter #18, on the 7th year anniversary of EVE. I thought it was a great idea and decided to use that topic.

Otherwise, every topic was proposed by fellow EVE bloggers or myself. See the list of banter topics so far. Your more than welcome to suggest a topics.

And just to make it clear to everyone, except for that Free EVE Online Media Account, CCP Games has not given me any freebies, or loot, nor am I employed by them (either as a freelance marketer or a full time employee). I had to pay my way to Fanfest 2008 like everyone else.

I have however become friends with quite a few of their employees over the years, and cherish these friendship very much so. Years from now, if I ever stop blogging about EVE, or playing the game, these friends will still be friends. And that's something I value greatly!

There, you have it all!

[P.S.: Just saw your last comment Ga'len. Glad we're working this out! Cheers!]

Nashh Kadavr said...

keep up the good work!

rocwieler.com said...

Only thing I will say about this, as it affects several players, is the following:

ANY player that develops a relationship with CCP typically is held under NDA, that is, non-disclosure agreement.

That means even if we wanted to discuss any aspect of our relationship with CCP, we cannot.

That has to be respected, or the relationship crumbles, and quickly.

Jokine said...

CK,
I've greatly appreciated all you've done for the community through this blog and TDB. I think its rather unfortunate that you come under such fire for your relationship with CCP. In the words of Jay-Z "Go on nigga, brush ya shouldas off", let this shit slide off. There's always gonna be people who are scrutinizing every little aspect of your writing. To be honest, your relationship with CCP is some private business that you have the choice to disclose or not. I think it neither discredits nor validates anything you write. The usefulness of this blog comes from your personal knowledge of the game and things gleaned from other players. IMO, the drama is childish.
Keep up this great blog and thanks for adding to the community of EVE.

Eve SOB said...

EGO can be such a bitch no?

Cheers

EVE SOB

Richard said...

CK, I have been reading your blog for years now and will keep reading it.

Thank you for the time and effort you have put into all of this!

Ebonscarab said...

Let me just say that I just started playing Eve and have found your blogs to be extremely helpful and insightful in immersing me to Eve.

Don't worry about the naysayers, the world is full of them!

Just keep doing what you're doing for the community. I appreciate it. We appreciate it.

Eelis Kiy said...

Blog banters run for a week, so I dunno how missing out on the heads-up mail a few days before is a big deal?


CK your site helped me get started with my blog, as far as I have seen you are probably the most unselfish person out there in terms of blog promotion. You actively encourage the blogging community to promote each other and I know how time consuming all this must be - you dont just post for yourself and about your own interests and as such this site has become a fantastic support and resource for new bloggers.

As for other blog lists - well people are able to submit them by themseves - and I only found out about Eve blogger through CKs site lol

Keep up the good work!

Arrhidaeus said...

This whole ordeal mostly shows me how certain players are so frustrated by the topic of the CSM that they'll lash out at just about anything. Personally, I thought the Blog Banter topic was a poor one because it struck me as beating a dead horse, and just about everyone who had an opinion on the matter had already written extensively on the subject. Personally, since there was nothing insightful for me to write that others hadn't a million times already, I abstained.

To imply conspiracies behind it though, was a little absurd to say the least.

Silicon Buddha said...

I'm sorry to hear of the drama in the community.

I know that I've been on the receiving end of that stick before and I got lots of good advice (some of it from you) and am glad that you've been able to patch things up (as well as you probably can) with Ga'len.

I know one thing for certain. Each of you is placing all the time, effort, and passion into your blogging and the community because of your love for the game and the people in it. You both have done what you've done because you believe in what you do, and want to participate and contribute in the community that each of you have helped to build.

We all want what's best for EVE and that's the common ground that I think we can all stand on and start out from.

Silicon Buddha

Cartoon Boy said...

CK, you are respected and trusted by the vast majority of this fabulous community from all walks of life. That speaks volumes to me.

Regarding anything you do; YOU choose to say whatever YOU want mate, it's YOUR business. Don't let anyone ever tell you what to do, and don't EVER apologies for being yourself and doing what YOU think is best.

Sod 'em, CK. The best of us appreciate your hard work, and it's always a pleasure to read and contribute with you and it's clear to me that you want only the best for this community, even if some(grumps) don't realise that.

You are my star! Shine, shine!

Acute Dragonis said...

Glag to hear everything is cleared up and settled!

Bekka Jae said...

As I return to EVE and my blog after seven months away, it's nice to see this drama come to an end.

This blog has always been one of my favorites since I've been playing EVE, and I'm glad to see that's it's going to continue and that CK is going to continue doing the great stuff he does to promote this game and our work. As far as I'm concerned, he richly deserves any and all benefits get gets as a result of his years of hard work on all of our behalves.

Rock on CK! :)

Xeross said...

I'm not against you, or your efforts for the EVE community, however the blog banter questions should be asked in a neutral way and without a lot of spelling errors like the last one.

I don't like the stuff that's going on here, even if you do this purely for marketing reasons or possibly money you still help out the blogging community in the process.

~Xeross

defconquell said...

CK, been reading your blogroll for a year now. Found so much useful info to help my friends and I enjoy the unique madness that is EVE.

Don't stress. Stay classy, Can Keggo.

Velocity Prime said...

If this isn't a sign that you need to add me to the blogpack, I don't know what is.

Stop fighting it, CK.

;)

cailais said...

I cant help but see the deep irony that two bloggers (which is a past time all about communicating really) fell out over...blogging.

I enjoy reading both Galen and CK's posts, you each have unique style of writing and I am pleased to see a mending of fences here.

Drama averted I shall now return to eating my Sicilian lemon and poppyseed muffin. :)

C.

Flashfresh said...

Dear me. What was this drama all about? Glad it appears to be over. I have been a fan of CK since, well - a long time. He has been a focal point for many EVE bloggers and their efforts. Without CK, the blogosphere would be a very disparate place indeed. All power to you CK and my deepest thanks for unstinting and dedicated service.

couzin2000 said...

Galen, just shut up.

Here is a guy who has done all the work so that YOU can setup your own site, which you would never have done in the first place; and you have the nerve to question motives.

Ok, so if CCP asks him to put together a big contest and he's giving away tons of prizes, getting a modest fee in return and nice visibilty on his site, that's perfectly OK. These are your words.

But if CK doesn't SAY whether it's CCP that asked or if he asked himself, then that's a crime ?!?!?
Why? Do you think that, perhaps, CK is getting isk rewards, inside info, more control over his char, so that this puts YOU at a disadvantage?

So who cares if CK has a nicer ship than yours? If you stopped your gums from flapping you 'd probably be playing a bit more, ratting a bit more, mining a bit more, trading a bit more, and you wouldn't have to even worry about something like this.

This is not something "illegal". This is not something that is game-changeing or eve-shattering, or giving advantage to a huge alliance like IT/BoB over everyone else.

Out of ALL the players, what the HELL are you bugging HIM for?

I hope you get banned from this site. CK rocks, and I hope he makes you swallow the words with his railguns.
I'm out.

TiSnetworks said...

Even if you did work for CCP who the fuck cares. I love your blog and your a great guy. Thank You!