Tobold's Blog
Thursday, April 05, 2018
 
15 Minutes of Fame

Google Analytics sent me an automated mail telling me that this blog had 1.7k visitors last month. That is less than I used to get in a single day a decade ago. The good news for Google / Blogger is that I don't blame them for the decline, and won't be showing up at their HQ with a gun. I am pretty certain that the loss of readers can be explained by the following factors:

  • I am writing much less now, 1-2 posts per week instead of per day.
  • I am not writing about a single topic, MMORPGs, any more, but about a variety of different things, which interest different people.
  • The original MMORPG topic of my blog isn't of great interest any more.
  • Blogging, and hanging out on blogs, isn't the medium of choice any more.
So basically I had my 15 minutes of fame, with highlights like being invited to a Blizzcon with a press pass around my neck and allowed to interview a Blizzard developer. Or getting free "review copies" of games (all of them disclosed on the blog) and stuff. I even got a few hundred dollars as donations over the years.

Blogging never was more than a hobby to me, it was obvious that quitting my day job for internet fame would have been an extremely bad idea. And then I am part of a generation that still believes that they are responsible for their own success or failure. My impression of younger generations is that they more often believe that success is owed to them, and that any of their failures must be due to evil acts from others. Now combine that with the fact that a YouTuber today can be a *lot* more famous than a blogger from a decade ago, and make a lot more money; and then you get closer to understanding why somebody might take a decline of internet fame so serious that she starts shooting people.

The internet has dramatically lowered the barrier of entry to self-publication and possibly fame. But that isn't just true for you, it is true for everybody else as well. Thus fame is getting more and more fickle and short-lived. Being "internet famous" can be fun, but it appears that it can also be dangerous.

Comments:
Yep, my viewer count is also down, though 26K views, 8K visitors per month is still better than yours HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

In seriousness, I agree that our results are our own making and not owed to us. We must also realize that the internet famous people usually entertain instead of inform, just look at the purposefully hilarious streamers (or the infamous booby streamers).

Though I believe we are not dinosaurs as common sense can't die out. The "feelings matter" society is burning right front of our eyes (GO TRUMP!) and I believe we will rise again!
 
The liberal agenda is pulling in people like a dying star right before it implodes from the sheer weight of stupid it attracts. It will be over soon. Common sense will reign again. I'm certain of it. I just hope I have enough popcorn and coke to last the duration of the show.

A few weeks ago we had a special training at work, for managers, on how to deal with the cultural shifts that are occurring with each new generation as they enter the work space. When asked what their biggest concern was with our current work environment, the millennial's overwhelmingly responded that our company's retirement system was detrimental to their advancement. The millennial's indicated that it is unfair for them to have to wait for someone to retire(or die) before they had a shot at promotion. Talk about entitlement....jeesh.
 
My Analytics report this month says I had 1.1k visitors, an increase of more than 20% over the previous month. I'm very happy with that.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
And then I am part of a generation that still believes that they are responsible for their own success or failure.

So you aren't part of the Boomer generation? You know, the most narcissistic, spiteful generation of the modern American era? The ones who took summer jobs to pay for college, and don't seem to realize that that is no longer possible? The generation that mocks participation trophies despite being the ones that invented them and gave them to their children? The generation that squandered the wealth left behind by their parents, and then looted their children's future via unsustainable tax cuts?

I dunno. Maybe the generations work differently over in Europe. From where I sit, we have people making comments like this:

When asked what their biggest concern was with our current work environment, the millennial's overwhelmingly responded that our company's retirement system was detrimental to their advancement. The millennial's indicated that it is unfair for them to have to wait for someone to retire(or die) before they had a shot at promotion. Talk about entitlement....jeesh.

...and it becomes impossible to tell if they're being serious or ironic. Because you would think that promotions based on merit - as opposed to simple seniority - would perfectly align with the whole "responsible for your own success." But I know people, including possibly the person I quoted, who are incapable of recognizing the absurd contradiction in their own argument. In this bizzaro world, meritocracy is entitlement, and seniority is "being responsible for your own success."

In any case, there's nothing especially noteworthy about the Youtube shooter other than the "employer." In fact, it's the 58th mass shooting this year. Just another disgruntled employee shooting up a workplace; no generational gymnastics necessary to explain it.
 
Well, it's like one of my favourite sayings... "You are not stuck in traffic. You ARE traffic."

The sense of entitlement has been around for a while. That's not a new saying.

We saw something similar happen several years ago with indie devs and Steam. It used to be that getting your game onto Steam was a guaranteed career-making pay-day for indies who weren't trying to recover millions on their budget. And curation was keeping a lot of indies out, which they naturally bitched about, and brought the gaming press along with.

Eventually, caving to the pressure of the complaints and the growing volume of submitted entries, Valve opened the floodgates and gave indie devs exactly what they'd been asking for: everyone could be on steam.

Except what they'd been asking for wasn't actually what they wanted. What they WANTED was the guaranteed pay-day, not just a digital distribution channel. In the process of tens of thousands of indies all demanding a seat on the life-boat, they sank the fucking life-boat.

And many have such a ludicrous, absurd lack of self-awareness that they complain about that, now.


 
@Azuriel

"But I know people, including possibly the person I quoted, who are incapable of recognizing the absurd contradiction in their own argument."

My comment shows the lack of disregard, or at the least, a lack of consideration by those millennial's that a strong work ethic and performance on the job are necessary, and are needed for advancement. The fact that they would focus on our retirement system, and not our merit based promotion system, speaks volumes about their ideology. We actually employ a merit based promotion system where I work, but these same millennial's don't want to be held accountable at performance review times for coming in late, causing drama in the work place or a host of other entitlement issues they bring with them. They always try to offer an excuse for everything. Nothing is their fault. A few days ago I received a report that was signed off by a subordinate employee that was 3 days late. Upon reviewing this report I found several factual errors and omissions in the report data. After kicking the report back and reviewing this persons computer usage, I found that they spent an inordinate amount of company time logged in to social media and other non-company sites. This person did this even after a prior reprimand for the same activities. Should they feel entitled to a positive performance review in light of this?

Please don't make this sound like these and other issues are the employers fault. They're obviously not.
 
Same experience here with the millenials being very anti-merit: If you have a group of millenials and you give one of them a raise for merit, the others are complaining how unfair that is.
 
@NoGuff: I'm afraid it's not popcorn you'll need, but an AR-15. The crazy-liberals are going down, but they won't go down in silence. They can't, as they have no backup plan, they have no skills to produce any wealth to the World, they MUST take the tax of others or starve.

@Azuriel: the college costs skyrocketed because colleges give "free" tuition to immigrants and minorities and also hire awful lot of good-for-nothing social justice workers (from title IX coordinators to diversity officers). The solution is NOT going to college but getting a trade and a job with $40K starting salary. Yes, I realize it's unfair that back in the day colleges were cheaper and gave in-topic education, but clinging to a lost past is crazy. Anyone who goes to college in the USA without being stupidly rich is being dumb AND is responsible for the survival of the campus nonsense. Your student loans pay for that Title IX commissar who will leave a permanent mark on your career for misgendering the football team mascot (it's not a hyperbole: https://www.glsen.org/article/misgendering-and-respect-pronouns).

Promotions inside a corporation has nothing to do with meritocracy. Private companies do as they please. Large companies usually have pointless procedures. Meritocracy means that you can find a better job with your better skills or start a company yourself. By the way most of these companies wouldn't even exist if that commie Obama did not save them in 2008 from taxpayer money. All should have burned in the wake of Lehman Brothers to make place for better.

@NoGuff again: it IS the employer's fault. If someone who produces faulty reports (for whatever reason) can work there, then go figure ... people will produce faulty reports. Let me guess: useless guy STILL works there, AFTER he was on Facebook and made the report over an hour by bullshitting. Please explain why should he do better if he gets away with it?

@Tobold: remember when 10 years ago I told that bad players are not entitled to good gear and you disagreed? You got what you asked for, now eat the cake YOU BAKED!
 
@Cam: "You are not stuck in traffic. You ARE traffic." I never heard this one before but I love it!
 
@Gevlon: "remember when 10 years ago I told that bad players are not entitled to good gear and you disagreed? You got what you asked for, now eat the cake YOU BAKED!"

I would argue that merit systems should work differently between a company job that pays you, and an online game that you pay. 99% of your merit as a player of an online game come from the money you put into the game, not your performance. 99% of your merit as a worker in a company come from your performance.
 
> quitting my day job for internet fame
> would have been an extremely bad idea


I don't agree with you here. Had you chosen to make it your day job... You would have committed to it in a completely different way. Your "today's" blog is just a nice place to chill and read some well-written stuff about various topics. You don't focus too much on "long" content, you don't provide images, you don't make any kind of "propaganda" to promote yourself and/or be more visibile. It's like drinking a beer with a nice friend, as simple as that. In my opinion the blog became a place to keep your long-time readers still active. And this is why your visits are now 1/30th compared to the past :-)

Youtubers work hard on their content to be interesting, fresh and popular. Because they believe in what they do and people "vote" them with subscriptions. Commitment, investment (time and money), giveaways, interviews... That's how it works. You can't have any kind of attention if you write a few lines about your 3D printer and then sit on the couch. That's not enough, not anymore. Also, I agree with you... Blogs aren't the best place to be famous nowadays.
 
"Because they believe in what they do and people "vote" them with subscriptions."

That is a somewhat optimistic explanation. I don't think YouTube in general works that way. I have seen more bloggers who "believe in what they do" than YouTubers, with the result that many of these bloggers never reached much fame at all. On YouTube there is a large degree of "doing the things that work" going on, even if those things that work don't represent the core beliefs of the YouTuber in question. I would go as far as saying that to be really successful on YouTube, you need to prostitute yourself to a certain degree, content-wise.

I totally agree that your number of readers / subscribers is proportional to the amount of content you produce and the amount of work you put in. However if you want to remain true to yourself you will hit a ceiling at some point, where your core beliefs simply aren't optimally popular.
 
@Tobold: that's not how real world games work. I pay to rent a billiard table or a darts set or a bowling lane. My results only depend on my skill. The people who grew up by these rules became decent. The people who grew up with welfare epics became millenials.
 
@Gevlon: If you rent a billiard table you get access to the exact same number of billiard balls and the exact same number of square centimeters of table as every other player, regardless of how good you are with the game. Actually you get more content out of your rent money, because it takes you longer to clear the table.

The model that you are proposing is that people who don't play well have to pay the same money, but only get to play on half the table with half the number of billiard balls. That simply isn't a viable business proposition.
 
I feel like a largish audience for blogs is still around, particularly if you stick to a topic and post regularly. It's just that the audience for things you don't have to read hundreds of words to consume is a lot bigger, and it always has been. How many people watch TV compared to people that read newspapers?
 
I've seen a bit of a downward trend in my own readers, but in truth I was never really much of a big deal. Basically the people who are interested in hearing me ramble on about nonsense stick around and those who aren't wander off. I've reached a point where my morning routine is probably more therapy than purpose. Sure I still mostly write about MMOs in the larger sense but if you are not interested in me as a person, it is unlikely that you would be interested in anything I write.

The biggest place I have seen the shift is in my own attempts to find information on games and their communities. There was a period of time where there were blogs devoted to pretty much anything you were interested in, and it was fairly easy to find the community that was into whatever you happened to be at that moment. Now I have had to reach out and start mining YouTube to find information on a good deal of the MMO-Lite games that I seem to be into lately.

Reddit has more or less replaced the blog as a central gathering point for a lot of communities, and sorting out who are the authoritative voices in each community on YouTube has become a bit of a survival skill. As I have explored Destiny or Monster Hunter, I've learned the personalities associated with each to start sorting out where I can get the information I crave on those sort of games.
 
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