Monday, October 5, 2009

Easing Back Into Things with an Apology

Hiya! It's my first post back with the blog!

Before I start I want to say thank you to everyone who sent notes either to me or to Jim on my behalf while I was away. It was completely unnecessary because if you've been a long-time reader here you can tell the blog hasn't exactly been on fire since it was left solely to Jim, but flattering nonetheless. There are still some folks that I owe emails to too, namely Stompalina, and I'll be taking care of that outreach sort of stuff in the days and weeks to come.

One of the most surprising things to me, though, is that despite Jim's erratic output these days, according to stat-tracker this blog is still getting hundreds of hits per week from unique ISPs. I'd like to think that the continued activity is more of a testament to the sort of unfiltered opinions that we built the blog on, and not Jim's less-than-thrilling three part series on using Blizzard's faction change service, or his idiocy at not installing his Champions Online key properly and losing a whole day's worth of game time. Whatever the reason, it is much appreciated that some of you are sticking it out.

The early incarnation of the blog was an intense experience for all of us. The five of us barely knew each other, and rather than getting to know each other we had "The Code." In some ways it was exciting. When one of us saw the other around campus there would be a knowing smile or gesture between us that made me feel like I was apart of something bigger than myself.

But when Jim had to do his job and edit our writing, the lack of communication in those instances wasn't exciting. It was often misinterpreted as "Jim wanting to write the whole blog" or Jim not living up to the honesty portion of The Code. Our reviews were supposed to be just that, our opinions on that particular day. And while Jim certainly wouldn't change the spirit of our opinions, he would sometimes phrase things to be a little more diplomatic, which is what we thought he wanted to avoid at all costs.

So, like children, Pete (who you'll notice is now officially back as a contributor) and I used Fred's illness as a perfect time to run off. We already knew behind-the-scenes that Toothy's studies were taking up almost all of his free time and that his presence on the blog was probably going to end, so Jim was already going to be a writer down. But Fred's illness took everyone by surprise. The night we heard Fred had gone into the hospital, Pete and I both, on our own initiative and without each others' knowledge I might add, also told Jim that we were leaving.

Why am I saying this? Because I need to clear the air publicly before I feel right about writing for Jim again. Because in one day Jim went from heading up a team of bloggers that was pumping out new content daily, to it just being him left holding the bag alone. And he came under a lot of unfair criticism from our readers and some members of the WoW community when he made the decision to shut the blog down to readers as he tried to contact us and plead with us that we didn't know what we were doing.

Maybe in retrospect it wasn't the smartest thing to do because people saw a note that the blog was now "invite only," but people were making obscenely insensitive comments on the blog at a point where Fred's life was basically hanging in the balance and two other writers had just resigned and so he did what he thought was right.

Jim Surge is one of the most open-minded, funny, sincere people I've ever met and I apologize to him for not speaking with him personally when everything went down. I'm happy to put this chapter behind me, as it is something I'm far from proud of in my real life. Many of my fears, I've realized, were just misconceptions based on us not communicating.

Hopefully I've grown a bit since then.

No comments:

Post a Comment