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.
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!