Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 12, 2010
 
Thought for the day: Internet drama

My readers overwhelmingly are in favor of ignoring internet drama, which is what I will do. Nevertheless I can't help but notice how the internet drama thread got more attention in the form of links and comments than three game-related threads posted on the same day together. Are you sure you actually want to read about games on this blog? :)
Comments:
I too noticed that. But imho the reason was that the Drama post was the latest one. On your Blog only the latest post gets attention for some reason.
 
You wont find me commenting on a post where I agree with the majority of your opinion. However, I do keep a watchful eye out for certain subjects like RMT, Holy Trinity, Social/Guild Systems...ect, and will usually post my own opinions about these subject areas as they are at the top of my watch list.

I think the reason so many people respond to your blog(in regards to posts like your last one), Tobold, is they actually care about your blog enough to justify voicing an opinion and/or giving advice on how to deal with something like this.

But, I also agree with Nils - in that depending on the time of day, and when the newest post is actually posted, the number of people who comment seems to be higher for the latest post. Maybe it's the whole geographical/time zone effect in play here?
 
I want arguments about games. If a confrontation is going to spark that discussion, great. But too often the result is a mere clash of the egos or a turf war where both sides are victims of the sunk costs fallacy, unable to accept anything from the other side.
 
It's easier to come up with opinions on drama than on game mechanics. For most of us non-foaming-at-the-mouth-about-PvP types, that is.
 
Well, I agree with Nils. As it was the last post of several it caught my eye. Also, as it was a request for help from your readers I was more inclined to comment.
 
My guild's forum never had as much traffic as the day a large chunk of the members made a bunch of dramatic leaving posts and split off to form their own guild.

Drama sells ;).
 
Yes, Im sure.
 
Here's the most simple way to describe why:

People love drama. When it's happening to someone else. :)
 
One more thing :)

The number of comments on a post is not a perfect indicator for how intellectually brilliant or even welcome the post has been.

For example, I made several comments on the 'ignore' post. But it was the one I liked the least that day.

I posted at Gevlons yesterday:
The quality of a blog can be judged by the quality of the commenters it attracts. Not the number or even ow much they write - the quality.
Just because the number of comments can be easier determined than the amount of text per comment or the overall quality doesn't mean that it is more important.

This comment, for example, has low quality - as has this post yours :)
 
But imho the reason was that the Drama post was the latest one. On your Blog only the latest post gets attention for some reason.

So in response to me making the joking suggestion that people prefer Jerry Springer to punditry, the response is: No, people are much more shallow than that, we only ever read your last post!

Hmmm, maybe I should limit myself to one post per day?
 
You Feed it, I read it. Depending on the subject, I may not get all the way through, but as I like your writing style, the majority of the topics you post about, and the frequency of your post, I'm inclined to give all your posts a good chance at my attention. :)
 
This comment, for example, has low quality - as has this post yours :)

I would argue that a discussion of whether people prefer cheap drama over deep discussion actually has a lot more quality than the cheap drama itself. Even if the post starting the discussion is a short one.
 
Hmmm, maybe I should limit myself to one post per day?

You could also change the layout. People who do not check their blogs as often as I do *grin*, obviously concentrate on the first or first two posts.

If you had a link to the posts of the last three days on the top, that might help.

Otherwise, yesterdays I wished that you had posted less, because all the intersting posts got surprisingly few comments :)
 
Saying something is the best solution doesn't mean it's what people are in really in favor of ;)

Fight Fight Fight!! :D
 
I would argue that a discussion of whether people prefer cheap drama over deep discussion actually has a lot more quality than the cheap drama itself. Even if the post starting the discussion is a short one.

Agreed. The quality is still not very high, is it? After all, these ffects are all well known.

- People prefer to comment on cheap drama.
- People prefer to comment on contentious posts.
- People respond more to emotions that brilliant arguments.

'BILD' has more readers than FAZ (two german newspapers).

These effect all well known.

The fallacy here is, as I already wrote, to conclude that the number of comments on a post is an indicator for the quality.

Actually, very bad quality posts can feed on the reputation of the blogger.

Means: If Mr. Noone creates a blog today and makes a stupid post, nobody will comment - even if people read it.

If the pope today made such a post almost everyone who read it will comment. In some way you trade reputation for comments. Make a hundret stupid posts and your reputation is gone and the comments will decline again.

I'd never spend these 10 minutes writing this comment if I wouldn't like reading/commenting your other posts.
 
As much as I find your blog very interesting, A lot of your posts are deep intellectual mmo ponderings and are quite hard to think up an adequate response to, I find.
 
Is it possible to note how many viewings a post has received?

Many people read your posts but may not necessarily comment.

Keep posting as frequently as you like - unless you prefer a high number of comments to each post, of course.
 
one of my favorite columns was guildwatch :)
 
If we look beyond comments, you'll also see that the drama post got tons of links from other blogs, while the game discussion posts got none. I did detect a certain hypocrisy in other blogs condemning blog wars, while effectively feeding them, even feeding *of* them.
 
You have to keep a couple of things in mind. Your “partner” in the drama is young and it shows up as a lack of maturity in his posts. Secondly, he is treating the whole drama as a form of PvP; which fits in with his own self image and the self image of a good portion of his reader base. Lastly, he is getting attention on his blog and possibly even deriving income from it. The type of person who plays the game he is acting as a huckster for likes this kind of thing. You have yourself a greifer. By responding to him, he gains and you endanger your credibility.

I’ve removed his blog from my reader because lately it is all about in-game status updates – which I don’t care about – or Tobold drama, which I don’t have time for. It is a pity as he used to make insightful posts about design.
 
No one wants to talk about World of Warcraft honestly. Been there done that. So I skim and move on because the stuff you ask about has been answered 3-5 years ago and I have done it already
 
/Bloggers/ love internet drama because it gives them something to talk about. I don't think readers are all that thrilled with it really.
 
As a disclaimer: The reason that I comment even more heavily here, than on other posts of yours, is that I fear you might draw conclusions from the obvious facts that wouldn't be to my liking - and in my opinion wouldn't suit your long term preferences, either.

I did detect a certain hypocrisy in other blogs condemning blog wars, while effectively feeding them, even feeding *of* them.

As are you. You complain about other bloggers on your blog and thus make them dramtically more popular!

The Tea Party gains a hell of a lot of attention in US media nowadays. Do you really think that's because of the potential to help US regain what it has lost?


The media (just like other bloggers in your case) rush to comment about them - even though the vast majority of the commentors do not support what they comment.

To make a contentious post from time to time helps a blog prosper, because it encourages people to comment. Once people commented the first time, they are more likely to remember and even care about the blog and return later; even comment on less contentious topics.

So - yes - contentious posts do help a blog if they don't become too many.
That's unfortunate - at least in my opinion - but it's a reason why I accept a certain percentage of even stupid posts on blogs (no offense).

After all blogging - like all activity in life of humans - is a social activity and feeds on (good and bad) feedback.

Since the number of comments is easy to measure you - and other bloggers - tend to use it to judge your success at blogging.

That is about as wrong as using the dps of a dmg meter alone to judge a WoW player.
DPS can be very important. But only by interpreting it.

You need to interpret the comments - not count their number - if you want to judge the success of your blog.

And in the end you simply need to know what you want:
Do you want to maximise traffic? Like BILD ZEITUNG you need a high percentage of contentious and even stupid posts - perhaps even a bit more on Sex and WoW and WoW-addicts.

Do you want to only attract the most brilliant minds out there to comment on your blog?
Only write something if you feel that it is highly important, creative, offers new and unexspected insights. Draw more readers to your blog my making brilliant comments on other blogs.

And at all times be aware of the journalists-interviews-journalist effect.
I like it if bloggers post about each other. This way information about good posts and even good blogs reaches me easier. But there is a maximum of bloggers-post-about-blogs that is advantagous for the blogosphere.
After this maximum the blogsphere enters a closed space that is only interesting for those already in it.
 
Are you sure you actually want to read about games on this blog?

Yep! I'll also go ahead and state the obvious (and the already stated) by saying:

a) To paraphrase cracked.com: Saying "drama attracts attention" is stating something so obvious I feel stupid even typing it. It's like saying elevators elevate.

b) You asked your readers a direct question. Answering questions is the new black! You asked a question in this one too. Count on getting some answers ;)
 
Drama builds worlds.
 

If we look beyond comments, you'll also see that the drama post got tons of links from other blogs, while the game discussion posts got none. I did detect a certain hypocrisy in other blogs condemning blog wars, while effectively feeding them, even feeding *of* them.

Because someone trying to break up a fight is actually making the fight worse, am I right? Let's just say this isn't the first time I've heard someone use that warped logic.

Secondly, backtracks and comments are not an accurate barometer on whether people like something. If they like something, they'll just silently nod their heads and will only write and link back if it was extraordinarily good. Likewise, if it was just mediocre, they'll just close the browser window and leave it be. They won't link to it unless if it was extraordinarily bad. Unfortunately, the latter is much easier to accomplish. Just keep tapping the berserk button and you'll get your links. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.
 
A forum I subscribe to had a helpful reminder to remember that "You are not your postcount".

I guess bloggers could sometimes do with a similar reminder that "You are not you comment count".

I admit that is somewhat naive. Getting comments is one of the big warm fuzzies of running a blog. It is up to you to decide which is more important to you: writing what you like or writing what gets attention. I think you know this very well Tobold. Your EVE post was deliberately provocative and attracted the expected response. The Syncaine saga on the other hand has probably run its course and has become a bit of a bore.
 
Drama threads involve us more. If you post a review of Allods I'll read it but probably not comment. If you're annoyed because Syncaine was rude about you I'll probably comment.

I'd still prefer the first.
 
Absolutely. I noticed and mentioned earlier that you seem particularly sensitive (nofi!) about what is written or thought about you on the net. This continues to amaze me tbh, since it seems to me to be something more suited to young individuals, not more mature persons like you (and me). At a certain point you recognize that acting upon these "injustices" would be an utter waste of precious time and energy: who cares what virtual others think, and : you cant win the internet.

So please, just focus on games and let the meta arguing and flame wars for others.
 
do not comment here, but read every entry you post (mainly via RSS feedreader, but, ya know, it's reading, right? *grin*)

In my case I usually see my arguments or debated points already addressed via other comments (I'm a slower reader and don't check RSS every day). Thus, do not feel the need to go directly to the website and comment again myself as me, the same comments with my own words, redundantly. :)

Still, the internet Drama was more of an "asking your readers for input" that we had direct influence over. So it probably is why it generated the most activity.

While I can vote/comment on something like the newest RMT news, or game-mechanic, I generally don't consider that comment as affecting anything directly. I just don't play many games outside of a VERY casual WoW.

I'm guessing more "direct involvement" from the commenters and linkers is what led to that particular article claiming more "net realestate" than other game-posts from the same day. Does that make sense? :)
 
I know I did not go look at Syncaine's blog yesterday, and I have not in some time. I'm not really interested in drama, or encouraging it by hitting a drama queen's blog.
 
I think many people posted out of compassion for your issue, not because they wanted to stir things up.
 
Blogger changed said...

It's easier to come up with opinions on drama than on game mechanics. For most of us non-foaming-at-the-mouth-about-PvP types, that is.

^^ What he said :)
 
Mel Brooks said:

"Comedy is when someone else gets hit by a bus. Tragegdy is when I stub my toe."

Yeah, many people like Drama when it is happening to other people.

That, and requests for advice are going to get some comments, because many folks like to give advice. Couple that with a request for advice on something most folks have experienced at one point or another, and you are definitely going to get a fair number of comments.
 
N9I hahirove to admit, I only read the top post. Oops. I kind of assume single posts, and I was in a rush.ussually I check, but of course the one day I'm reading by phone, it's a triple post :p My bad!
 
You asked a question about internet drama; we answered.
People like drama, even if we say we don't, but too much is distracting.
 
You want to know why I posted a comment in the "drama" post?

It wasn't because I enjoy drama.

Its because within these types of posts, your tone contains the merest whiff of a hint that you may quit blogging if you hit the end of your patience. I will do my utmost to prevent that. I posted my comment to help you get over this problem.

If I post only once in every 20 game analysis posts, its because I have read the analysis and feel enriched. I only add to a post if I feel that I can enrich the analysis further, and I have the time to do so.

The "drama" post has no analysis... Instead, it contains a Problem. Its a problem you want solved, and you are asking everyone directly for those solutions.

You made a plea, and I answered - because I don't want the writing on the stuff I care about to stop. I want to see 20 more analysis posts. Perhaps I'll pick one and comment on it - but only because I have something to add - not necessarily because I enjoy that post more or less than the others.

If you want an analogy - its cooking. The game analysis posts are about what makes the best recipes and what ingredients to use. I don't need to suggest using more salt when I can already taste that it's good soup. I'll just sit down, have a good meal and smile, than you very much.

The drama post? That's a fire in the kitchen and the head chef is in a panic. I'll do my part, yell FIRE, call the fire department, and lug buckets of water before I let this kitchen burn down.
 
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