Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Short History of the EVE Blog Pack

What is the EVE Blog Pack? What is its purpose? What functions does it serve? Are those still valid today? Which blogs should, and should not be part of it? Who currently maintains the Pack? Who should?

All these questions are valid. All deserve an answer.

Earlier today, the influential @RocWeiler wrote a post in which he offered his opinion on how I should proceed with the shake-up of the Pack. He offered a few interesting ideas and the reasoning behind it. Some of these went against the approach I had decided to take and members of the EVE Blogging Community started commenting and offering their take on it.

This got me thinking.

I've always been an open-minded kind of guy, and have certainly always welcomed the opportunity to argue my position, to listen to others' opinion and to even reconsider my position, if & when I have erred. Which is what I eventually did after putting a lot of thought into it.

Before we go any further though, I'd like to take you through a bit of the history of the EVE Blog Pack. This shouldn't take too long, so bare with me!

The Blog Pack saw the day back in June of 2008. At the time, there were less than 40 blogs dealing with EVE Online. Yes, that's right less than 40 blogs. Of those, there were 17 blogs that only focused on EVE. Back then, there wasn't any of the cohesiveness and daily interaction there is today within our blogging community. Nobody who's blog I followed was on Twitter - hell, I had just joined Twitter! There wasn't the sense of belonging there is within the EVE Blogging Community today. We were at its Dawn.

That's how, after reading about the concept of a Blog Pack, I decided to step-up and create our very own group of elite EVE Bloggers. We would be the lighthouse for other EVE players, those of us who wanted to put in writing their adventures, their ideas, their advice about our beloved virtual world.

And it worked! The community started to grow. Soon we were 50, then 100, then 200 EVE Bloggers! It kept growing.

And as the blogging community grew, so did the Blog Pack. Going from 18 blogs, to 20, then to 30 and last time to 40 blogs! The original 18 blogs (including mine) were all chosen and picked by me. As the Pack grew, I started to ask for help from within the Community as to which blogs they deemed worthy of the Pack.

Early on, I decided to put some rules of conduct for the Pack Members, and though at first everyone got on the band wagon, over time the enforcement of these rules wasn't as thorough as it should have been. And that's mostly my fault I'll admit. Having said that, most of the current members of the Blog Pack today keep an active blog.

Which is why I decided to keep the Pack going.

Originally, I had wanted to narrow the Pack back down to 20 members, not for lack of time on my part, but more to create a sense of an elite. And that's where I may have erred. When I asked for your input, I wasn't trying to get a popularity contest going, so that the "most popular" blogs got picked. My intention was to take the pulse of the Community, see which blogs were being suggested, and then choose 30 or 40 amongst those, which would then be narrowed down by you.

In the end, I wanted the community to have its say in some way. But all it did was split it into 2 camps - those who wanted the "Community to decide" and those who were against what was coined the "popularity contest". In trying to please everyone, I was pleasing no one. Not even myself.

And so I've decided to go back to my original modus operandi. I'll go through the blogs that are currently in the Blog Pack, remove those who are outdated, or have requested to be taken out, then pick from the blogs you suggested the ones that I deem well written, well structured and useful to the Community. In all, the Pack will have 50 members. That's right, not the 20 I had previously indicated, but 50. On that, @RocWeiler was right, the Pack should grow, not diminish.

The Capsuleer Dev team was kind enough to include the Blog Pack within the app early on. Back then, it was a WIN-WIN situation. I'm still very proud to know that the Pack is being fed into the app and that bloggers get noticed that way. As long as this arrangement is mutually beneficial, I don't see why we shouldn't continue to work together. If however this were to change, if the Devs decided to put together their own listing of EVE Bloggers, then I would certainly look back, cherish our accomplishments, and wish them good luck!

In the end the EVE Blog Pack is a group of good bloggers that I, has a player, has a blogger and as a member of this healthy and strong gaming community, deem worthy of my time. I can't read through 500 blogs on a daily basis, but I can through 50. Well I try anyways!

But it should not stop with me. The EVE Blog Pack is a group of 50 EVE blogs of my choosing. There is nothing stopping you from creating your own. I'd actually love to see what you can come up with! I've got a few ideas myself!


In the last 2 years the EVE Blogging Community has matured and grown beyond the means or control of any one individual. My goals were never to oversee that Community. I wanted it to grow and did everything in power to help nurture it. Along the way I've made some new friends, some of which have come and gone as active members of the Community. Today the Community is a successful, highly involved group of players, some of which blog, and even podcast about our experiences while we play the game we love (well I do try when I can!).

I look forward to its continued growth!

Additional Reading:

In an effort to show transparency, I've listed below the blog post that were written in response to @RocWeiler's original post.


jtyler said...

To the future!

Dante Edmundo said...

Here here CK! Whatever you decide you've done a great thing for the community and many of us Bloggers who might never have had a chance to be heard. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Im glad you have decided to expand the pack..i hope one day to be a part of it :)
i think this is a good decision CK.

Anthony Thurston said...

Ive written a proposal for a community driven list that I feel addresses the shortfalls of the blog pack.

The blog pack is GREAT CK, and we all love it and the work you have done. I hope to see your comments on my list/directory/site idea. Keep up the great work and may the blog pack live on forever!

http://keldar.evewebz.com is where ive posted my ideas.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Good for you, CK. Regardless of how much of the EVE blogging community it serves or involves, the EVE Blog Pack is YOUR franchise and yours alone. Requesting feedback from the community is noble and useful, but why the hell a few individuals think they have a right to whine, bitch, and moan about how you manage your own damn project is beyond me.

I'm proud to have been a Blog Pack member since its inception, but if you choose to take my blog off and give the spot to a deserving newcomer, I will applaud your decision because I respect your right to make it. If you choose to continue to include my blog, I will appreciate it and hope that my writings continue to do justice to the concept of the Blog Pack.

Anonymous said...

I do not envy you my friend. Who knew how much angst this would all cause. I applaud your taking the reins and driving this horse forward.

As I said in twitter to thine own self be true.

What I find interesting is the number of people who didn't know or even care to follow rules imposed by the creator(you)

I have been and will continue to be a reader of your content and the content that you help winnow down.

here is to another 5 years of blogging mate!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing the blog pack grow rather than shrink. While I understood your rationale for the original idea I like this one more because it gives me more Capsuleer blogs to read in the airport!

Thanks for all the hard work!

Rixx Javix said...

I've been a blogger for over 6 years myself, even though I only recently started blogging about Eve, and one thing I've learned in that time is simply to be true to yourself. While not everyone is going to agree with everything you say or do, as long as you are true to yourself, you'll never have anything to apologize for.

Keep the blog pack your list. It always worked better that way.

Spectre said...

I can only imagine that you're a little taken aback by the backlash CK... I know I didn't really see this coming. It's like that Spider-Man line from uncle Ben about "with great power comes great responsibility". It is your blog pack and no one else should forget that fact or the fact that they can simply create their own packs and community groups if they aren't happy with yours. Regardless, it is important for you to keep in mind that in its current state, the blog pack is very popular and generates a lot of traffic for any blogs associated with it and apparently some people take that very seriously (maybe too seriously).

Good luck with however you decide to refactor things and try not to let the whiny bitches affect your decision too much.

A former gamer coming out of retirement said...

CK, I'm pleased that you have decided to increase the number of blogs in the blog pack. The time for a refresh had come as a number of the existing blogs had/have become inactive or very rarely updated.

The blog pack is your baby, to do with as you choose. Sure you can take other peoples opinions but ultimately the final decisions should come down to you. If it were not to be so then you may not be happy with the end result which in my opinion would negate the benefit of refreshing the pack and probably bring about its eventual end.