Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reviewing the Reviewers: All Fools Day Edition

Well, the blog has been coming along nicely and we've arrived at our first week off. We've come into this treating this blog like a job (a job that we happen to like to do) and I think like Jim that if we keep this mindset we'll be able to avoid the burnout and other general craziness that seems to be going around the WoW community lately.

Anyway, what better day to review the clowns writing for this insane blog than All Fools Day? Since I've only ever done one other Reviewing the Reviewers column, and that was before any of us had written anything about podcasts, you might want to take a look at that one before reading this one to see what my initial impressions were and how they've differed in reality.

Jim Surge: Jim has been far too busy trying to play diplomat to do much reviewing, never mind getting anywhere close to saying something outrageous for the sake of being outrageous as I initially suspected him capable of. He's been playing games with the rest of us by inserting errors into our stories and seeing if we notice before we post them which led to a drama-fest culminating with Pete Pete having to face the blog a while back. Jim's also been the most diligent, In the Chamber has been right there every day even while he was knocked out sick for a week, and I think he's toned down his pseudo-intellectual persona and let more of his actual personality come through in the last couple of weeks. This immediately leaps to mind:

We might just have a couple of us reviewing and a couple doing the other columns, we haven't decided yet. But more importantly, if an asteroid hit the planet we'd just have to deal with it at that time. No excuses.

Okaaaaaay. Even though it's weird I kind of like it... it's the real Jim trying to break through. Overall I think Jim's done a good job leading the blog, even if he might be too obsessed with walking the "fairness" line. His favorite podcasts at the moment are: Ctrl Atl WoW, Proudmoore Pansies, and How I WoW.

Pete Pete: Peter has surprisingly turned out to be the softest touch on the team thus far, and maybe that's not all that surprising if you consider he grew up on the beach in California but he seems much more uptight in person. His Transcribing Master column hasn't really gotten off the ground yet. He gave a good review to a BigRedKitty podcast, an encouraging review of the WoW Insider Show, and a poor-but-looking-for-the-bright-spots sort of piece on Yet Another World of Warcraft Podcast, and memorably had a review rejected for being "too positive." He hasn't really demonstrated his conspiracy-theory madness that we thought would be an interesting aspect of the blog. I'd say that if one member were in danger of being dropped from the team it would be Peter Massimo. Pete gets all of his info from our friend Hatfield anyway so if he's not going to be doing his original pieces then he's got to figure out something else of value to contribute. We all like Pete but he hasn't been very helpful and Fred wanted him off the blog already for his Code violations (sorry Pete, but I told you this in person yesterday so it shouldn't be a surprise). Pete says his favorite show remains WoW Things Considered although he's been listening a lot to All Things Azeroth, Epic Dolls and Rawrcast.

Fred Jones: Fred liked an episode of Blue Plz!, and disliked an episode of The Instance. He has pretty much lived up to my suspicion that he's a bit afraid to be around us or contribute much to the site in case his "serious friends" catch wind of what he's up to here. Fred hasn't really been as much of a wildcard as I thought but he is a little more prone to salty or "old school" language and ideas in his posts than the rest of us (I may well be reading too much into that but that's the feeling I get). I do know for a fact that he's been playing the least amount of WoW of the five of us and therefore it's hard for him to get into listening to the podcasts regularly. So I think Fred is primarily going to do his Delayed Recall column and become more of a feature of the blog than a regular contributor going forward. Fred is the one among us who really doesn't have strong attachments to any one particular show, although he still likes newer shows and he says he too has been listening to Rawrcast, along with Bind on Equip and The Elitists.

Toothy: Mr. Toothy as an emailer called him has probably been the most outspoken reviewer at UWoW thus far. He couldn't make it past 45 minutes of World of Warcast, he liked Rawrcast even though he didn't want to, and he put a mixed but "solid" stamp on Casually Hardcore, in addition to having a decent time with Mailbag (and thanks for defending me against that emailer, Toothy). I think that Mailbag will continue to grow as a funnier aspect of the blog because if the current sort of questions remain the sort of questions we receive the piece can only be funny. Jim has taken Toothy to task on the blog recently for being a slacker, saying we've only received 10 emails in the last six weeks so he should be making other contributions. We shall see... Mr. Toothy's favorite shows at the moment are: Ctrl Alt WoW (still), and Blue Plz!

Mel: I'm writing my own this time because we're all on vacation and it seems to me that no one is checking their messages very often. I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work, but I did have the chance to do a fantastic 7 Questions with Aprillian of Ctrl Alt WoW and also gave a positive review to Epic Dolls. I'm still a new player to the game so I like to hear WoW Insider Show so that I'm pretty much up on all of the latest official word from Blizzard and The Instance for a little more perspective on some of the top issues. I think Epic Dolls lately have done a great job in particular to keep in mind new-to-the-game players, and I think it's easy to forget that not all 11 million (or whatever it is now) players have been there since November 23, 2004. I don't think my "on-blog" presence has been very "dramatic" but again I'm doing a lot of work on the graphic side of the blog, improvements that will start to seep in over the next few weeks and months.

Well, that's the five of us right now as I see it.

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