Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Am I news?

I'm not by nature the world's most humble person. That is pretty much evident by the simple fact that I have this blog, which is a vanity tool for self-promotion, I have no financial interest in it. I derive a certain satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from the fact that I get over 2,000 visitors every day, plus another 1,000 people reading my RSS feed. But this week I'm starting to feel slighly uncomfortable about the level of celebrity status I appear to have achieved. In the last 3 days the new MMO news site Massively published three different articles that can best be described as re-blogging my content: Linking to a post of mine, summarizing it's content, and asking their readers what they think of it. I wouldn't have thought I'd be *that* newsworthy. "Tobold writes something" shouldn't be a headline.

It is true that I'm trying to post articles with original ideas to mix with the otherwise predictable articles with comments on MMO news. "Bioware teams up with LucasArts to make new MMO", you try and come up with an original comment to that one, *everyone* has the same "the next Star Wars MMO is coming" idea here. Thus posts like the one on level-less MMOs are me trying to offer something different. But that doesn't make me unique. There is a good number of excellent MMO blogs with original ideas out there that I am reading (and linking to) regularly. And some are much better researched than mine, like Keen and Graev's blog to give just one example. So why should I be any more newsworthy than the other blogs? I'm having trouble getting my head around that.
The problem with Massively and Wowinsider is, that they need content, lots of content. They are picking up whatever they can get. You are a good writer and you have original ideas. That's why they are using you to fill their sites.
Yeah, that's pretty much the size of it. You seem to pretty frequently post articles that capture an interesting insight I've never thought of before, and generally, if something catches my eye, I'll post it at WI/Massively, no matter where it's from.

I was a little upset when you posted the level-less MMO post, though -- because just earlier that day I'd been thinking about that myself! And then you wrote it up before I got a chance to :-P

And thanks for the link to Keen and Graev's blog. I'm still trying to build up a good list of general-MMO blogs to read, hence why you don't see me posting much at Massively.
You're well known, and as one poster says, Massively needs that content flowing, hence they use your posts to grab people.
Haha, I never thought I would see the day that an MMO blogger would bemoan their celebrity status. Perhaps I will make a, "LEAVE TOBOLD ALONE!!", YouTube video in order to express to the world at large just how difficult a life in the spotlight truly is.

Of course, imitation is the truest form of flattery, I'd suggest you chalk it up to your track record of good writing and original content and soldier on. Content hijacking in the blogosphere certainly isn't a rare phenomenon. At least they are giving you credit.
Tobold wrote: "So why should I be any more newsworthy than the other blogs?"

Ummm...not so much more newsworthy than others, but I'd say that I prefer Tobold's because it's simple in design, consistent with posts, timely on news and presents engaging and relatively innovative ideas.

For example, I saw no one else offer up Indiana Jones as a possible MMO from Bioware. I personally don't see how it would work, but it was cool to see that someone didn't automatically assume it would be a Star Wars story.

I'd say get used to the attention, and keep doing exactly what you always do.
You post frequently and don't use vulgarity. That pretty much explains it.
As many have said, they're probably just trying to make money on your content, pure and simple. If you're happy with the ego boost and a link in, fine. The rest of us are happy instead to put our comments on your site.
Ha! I like the 'you don't swear' comment! Honestly, though, I've been plugging my way through a lot of content, looking for good sources, and your stuff is pretty consistently fresh. And as others have noted, massively needs a lot of it.
Fame is an exponential force. The more regular readers your site attracts, the more often and easily it attracts new readers. Not only does your site reach more people second-hand with each new appreciative reader, but greater popularity also affects how non-readers perceive your site. If five people I know read a site, then I'm more likely to check it out than if only one person I know reads it.

I started reading your site because a number of other blogs I enjoy linked to yours. I keep coming back because you don't just rehash what others say. You try to come up with new topics, new ideas, and you explore them intelligently.
Massively has massively too much news. And most of it is junk, but it is a cute attempt. I almost put an app in to write for them.
I'm quoting you quite a bit in a law review article I'm writing.
I'm quoting you quite a bit in a law review article I'm writing.

Send me a copy when it's done, or a link if it's online. I never made it into a law review before. :)
Hmm, I also like the way you write your blog, as well as what you write about. You have an easy way of discussing things, making the blog sound as if you're "just another gamer" (as of course you are) instead of a "formal reviewer".

And, although you don't have a bloglist, you do mention other bloggers which means I get to try out other blogs - like Wife Aggro.
We do more than news, I actually prefer a "theory-craft" post than a random news post on a mmog I don't play. It's good to mix it up. If you don't want me (I can't vouch for the other Massively bloggers) personally to link to any of your posts just let me know and I won't.
All I write is in the public domain, and you can reblog it as long as you link to the source. I was just suggesting that Massively casts their net a bit wider instead of posting my stuff every day.
FYI, Tobold, nothing you write is in the public domain unless you explicitly put it there. And then, if you do, you can't put a "as long as you" restriction on it. Look into something like a Creative Commons license if you're looking to share your work without giving up all your rights.
The bloggers there get paid on a per article basis, I've heard. So if that's true it's easy to see why the bloggers there churn out as many articles as they do, most of them lacking any kind of original thought.

Should these guys be allowed to profit from your ideas? In return for giving you a link? Food for thought.
The shady thing is the summarizing of tobold's content so there is really no need to visit Tobold's blog at all. It would be one thing to give a heads up that Tobold had posted something juicy.. but the "re-blogging" doesn't sit right.
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