Way of the Totem

A small community based rant

by on Mar.13, 2012, under Uncategorized

I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and finally decided to let the fingers dance along the keys. I love being a member of the WoW + community. I say WoW + because it encompasses so many more games now. SC2, SWTOR, LoL etc. We’re gamer geeks. We’re united under the wonderful banner of nerdery. To me, part of being in that community is not expecting anything other than to be a part of it and to support each other. Basically the old “treat others as you would have them treat you” thing again. Maybe an odd concept but follow me down the rabbit hole a little bit if you don’t mind. 

Social media, blogging and expectations

Blogging is a passion of mine. I love writing. I love seeing my thoughts formed into words in digital ink. It makes me happy. I love reading other’s pieces as well. We all invest ourselves in our writing and knowing that other people read it, or draw inspiration from it or identify with it makes us all feel good about our writing. Well, at least that’s how I feel. Every time I see someone re-tweet a link to one of my posts, or every time I have a comment waiting to be moderated I get a warm fuzzy. I don’t expect it mind you, I don’t beg for re-tweets. I’m just happy to know people read and care about what I have to say. I also do my damnedest to share posts that I find inspirational, that I identify with or that I really just enjoyed reading. Case in point, look at recent posts by WoWExclusi, Nymphy and Apple Cider Mage. Their posts were amazing, inspirational and honest. They were ones I felt everyone should read and draw strength from, so I shared them. They in turn shared my post, for which I was honored and humbled.

See to me that’s what being a part of this community is about. About helping each other, sharing with each other and being excellent to each other. Some of my best friends I’ve meet because of the gaming community, hell I count my podcast co-hosts as brothers from another mother. I’ve gained a whole new family as a result of being a member of this community, and for that I will be forever grateful. That’s why it chafes at me when I see people with unreal expectations from the very same community.

There are those that demand re-tweets to drum up traffic for their site, but yet I never see them do the same for anyone else. I know life can be hectic sometimes, and even I don’t get to RT everything especially when it posts when I’m at work. But I try to make sure I do it as often as I can. I try to help people personally in tells, on aim, in email over RealID. I try hard to give back. The people I’m talking about though, just simply never help promote anyone else’s posts or products. I know I can’t be the only person to notice it. Again, my expectation is that you help the other members of your community, you share and help promote them when you can and you don’t demand it of them. There are those among us that take, and take, and take, and take and give little to nothing back. We have a word for that, it’s called a parasite.

Honestly it’s a pet peeve of mine, people who do that. Who seem to crawl over others in an attempt at their own stardom. I mean, I’m a jackass, I know I am, but I never forgot where I come from and those around me that supported me. Yes I write for WoW Insider, yes I’ve done some amazing things in the gaming community, but none of that would have been possible with out the support and friendship I’ve received over the years. Without that, I’d be nothing really.

Do you give as much as you take?

As I’ve said, this community is full of wonderful people. Smart, intelligent and emotionally diverse persons. Some of them, however, are too nice and I see them get taken advantage of. It’s hard for me not to just cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. I have a bit of a crusader streak, a hero complex. I know that as much as I want to call someone out, it generally won’t do any good. So I support the people I see getting taken from, and taken, and taken. I try to give them enough to help compensate for those who keep taking. So this is behalf of everyone who keeps giving without getting in return.

Check yourselves. I want everyone of you who claims to be a member of this community to sit back and ask yourself “Do I honestly give back? Do I support other members of the community?” If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to consider being less self focused and give something back. A RT, a thank you. Acknowledgement to the folks who have given to you. Maybe someone who hosts your site and is looking for endorsement for one of their projects, maybe someone who guest posted on your blog but you didn’t for them. Now is a perfect time to repay those folks.

If you find yourself a giver, and you give to the point it hurts and you get nothing in return. Don’t be afraid to say the word “No” there is zero harm in using the word from time to time. Don’t just let yourself get used, at least not by a parasite. Not by someone who doesn’t give anything back. If you say no, I can tell you that you will honestly have my support.

Remember, it’s a community. Everything swings both ways. Give and take. Make sure you give and not just take. Just my 2 copper.

28 comments for this entry:
  1. Brian Hough

    This is something that has bothered me for awhile. When you look at a bloggers/podcasters twitter and all you see is them asking for retweets or only retweeting positive “press” about themselves. Every tweet seems to be thinly-veiled self-promotion. There is no promotion of other community members, no genuine interaction with the community. It is truly sad.

    I think people forget that a blogger/podcaster is just talking to themselves without an audience. Value that audience, interact with them, promote them like they promote you. No matter how big you think you are, remember, you were once on the other side of the fence. Having built a podcast up from literally 20 downloads an episode, I can attest to how much you owe to a strong community to build a popular product. If it weren’t for community support, you can’t get there. The least you can do is reciprocate what you have been given probably a thousand times over.

    I think the community, WoW especially, has been around so long now they forgot what it used to be like, and have developed this sense of entitlement. Without other members, there would be no one to pass along word of your blog/podcast, no guests to have on, no community conversations to have, no roundtables to moderate. A lot of folks think they would be just fine if theirs was the only product out there. But the truth is, we ALL benefit from a stronger, more collaborative community.

  2. Lodur

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  3. Olivia Grace

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  4. Rogue Tomato

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  5. Jesse

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  6. Dev

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  7. Brian Hough

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  8. Ceraphus

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  9. Molly

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  10. Renee

    RT @LodurZJ A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/s77QeAF4

  11. Ali Territory

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  12. Lara Jones

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  13. Nickie

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  14. Laeleiweyn

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  15. Bryan Gray

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  16. Malchome

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  17. I'm Link, dwi

    A small community based rant http://t.co/SDIPDOMu by @LodurZJ

  18. Carson Green

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  19. Newman Swoboda

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/VyeVrmcL

  20. Roxsey

    THIS is what it's about folks. Parasite. I love it. Kudos @lodurZJ RT @TopsyRT: A small community based rant http://t.co/OrSCsIOD

  21. Roxsey

    Are you a Social Parasite?? Self Check please. http://t.co/4FApwXsp

  22. Liana Haley

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/wQLw7cDd

  23. Lodur

    New at WayoftheTotem A small community based rant: I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and finally decided … http://t.co/pwC9NScd

  24. For The Lore

    RT only because you're guilting us into it. @LodurZJ: New at WayoftheTotem … http://t.co/R4qGsKDP”

  25. Vidyala

    New at WayoftheTotem A small community based rant: I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and finally decided … http://t.co/pwC9NScd

  26. Gnomeaggedon

    A small community based rant. Hopefully it's coherent http://t.co/BAoCSpeV

  27. Logan Michaels

    New at WayoftheTotem A small community based rant: I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and finally decided … http://t.co/pwC9NScd

  28. Viktory

    First, I agree with the sentiments expressed both in this post and in Brian’s comment. Those of us who create content do it primarily because we have a good time doing it. Along the way, if people start to like what we’re doing, that’s hugely uplifting. If that starts to snowball and more people enjoy what we’re doing, well hot damn! But all of this will change in a moment if you aren’t engaging with your community.

    Admittedly, I have a platform that works well for highlighting other content creators and sharing their great work with everyone we know. There’s no reason every blog/podcast can’t do something in this regard. Joe points out retweeting, I’d say guest posting or collaborative efforts of some kind. We can only survive as a community if we continue to grow. Staying to your same circle of yes-men makes you grow stale and moldy and your thoughts shrivel up.

    The one thing I would add, though, is that it’s perfectly fine to not share/retweet/endorse someone. Don’t dilute your influence by recommending someone who’s not helping evolve the community, even in some small way. Bloggers should blog because they have new & interesting ideas on certain topics, not just because they see something is a hot button issue and figure that posting their largely-recycled thoughts on the matter will make them seem relevant, or get more pageviews. I’d much rather have inspired, though-provoking content to read on a less frequent basis, than read about your thoughts on the trending topics each week. (and don’t get me started on people commenting on portions of games they don’t play….)

    TL;DR: Game recognize game.

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