There is a perception within some parts of the community that Blog Azeroth is a giant circle-jerk where we all have nothing better to do than pat each other’s backs and tell everyone how awesome we all are.  I thought that a lot of this hubbub and general resentment had died down, but it was mentioned by someone (whose blog I can’t link simply because I have no idea where they write!) in a chat room today that they have issues with BA, and see it as a giant circle jerk.  I’ve heard it referred to as this before, and I’m sure I’ll see it again.  However, I do also believe that this is entirely incorrect.

Oh, and yes.  I am probably very biased.  I should probably mention this right up front.  I used to moderate the BA community for quite a while, before I took a step back because, believe it or not, school teachers tend to be amazingly busy people with very little time for extra activities.  It was either BA moderation or sleep.  I have also been a fan of BA throughout my entire blogging career (as small as it may be).  However, I think my perspective as a moderator of the community gives me, if anything, more insight to how the community works and what it is all about.

“All you guys do is agree with each other!”

Uh.  No. 

If you really like, I can go through my own blog as an example and find posts where I disagree with other bloggers.  And not ‘small’, ‘unknown’, ‘brand new’ bloggers either.  I’ve never been particularly afraid to disagree with the big bloggers, or to write something which might be seen as contentious.

“But those posts are all so old!” you might counter.  And you would have a good point.  I guess that’s mainly because my enthusiasm for the game is waning, people are much less likely to write stuff I disagree with because, hey, hardly anyone writes anything of massive import anymore (yes, I went there!  Link me a post I’m likely to disagree with – and be passionate about – and I might write something).

I see people disagree with others all the time.  I guess the only thing you are really going to notice is that the disagreements, for the most part, tend to be polite.  As a community, most WoW bloggers don’t like to write nasty things about one another.  It’s fine to disagree with someone, but it’s not fine to be an asshole while you are doing it.  If that’s circle jerking, then get me a rubber glove and a bucket and lets get to it! (Seriously -  I don’t like cleaning up mess after my circle jerk sessions).

“Sometimes, people suck.  Yet you guys just don’t say it”

OK.  Why is it the place of me, or any other blogger, to inform someone that ‘their writing sucks and they should just give up’? 

You see a kid on the sidewalk.  The kid isn’t in your way – they are actually across the road from you.  The kid is trying to learn to ride a bicycle.  He’s pretty wobbly, he can’t go in a straight line, but he has his helmet on and a giant grin on his face.  Are you going to walk over there, drag him off the bike, and tell him that he’s never going to be able to ride worth a damn and to get another hobby?

If you think a blogger sucks, that’s fine.  If you think an illiterate flailing octopus could write better than them, that’s also fine.  However, there is nothing that says you have to say that to them.  The internet is a fucking big place, and you can ignore anyone you damn well please.  Blog Azeroth is a big enough community that anyone but the moderators can ALSO ignore anyone they wish to as well.

But when we give someone advice?  Try to help them out a little?  It’s not fucking circle jerking, it’s being part of a COMMUNITY.  Tips on writing, on blog design, on most anything else people ask for advice for on BA… they are there to help people try to be better.  If they are ‘never going to be better’, what does it matter?  Who are they hurting?  I know it’s not hurting me – I just don’t read you.  No biggie for either of us.

Links spread faster through BA than nits in a primary school

Yeah, there’s a LOT of link love in the Blog Azeroth community.  Blogs link each other, get linked back, all of a sudden there’s linked text all over the fricking shop.

So what?  If a blogger over-links, it might make you think they are a bit nutty.  A bit weird.  They probably don’t have much to say.  So your opinion of that blogger might go down some.  Again, you aren’t forced to read their work.  Nothing says you can’t skip over a post.

(Truth? – I subscribe to hundreds of blogs.  Each day I only ‘read’ a fraction of the posts in my reader.  I skim posts by EVERYONE)

Bloggers like to link to other bloggers.  This isn’t only true of WoW bloggers, or of BA bloggers in general.  I read a lot of different types of blogs, and many of those blogs link amongst each other! 


At the end of the day, I think a lot of this stupid idea happens because people obviously can’t tell when people disagree unless they are being outright assholes to one another.  Blog Azeroth bloggers have disagreed with each other before.  We will disagree again.  It happens.  However, the Blog Azeroth Community is NOT the following

1.  Twisted Nether Blogcast: BA and TNB are not the same god damn thing.  At all.  One is a forum, one is a podcast.  One has the input of all members, one has the input of two people plus the guest of the week.

2.  An organisation: I can say with a fair amount of confidence that ‘organisation’ and ‘BA’ basically do not belong in the same sentence.  An organisation has an administrator, a ‘vision’, and some form of goal.  BA is merely a forum where bloggers can seek advice and feedback, and organise collaborative events.

3.  A weird closed circle of protection: No, we do not close ranks and bash people up when they criticise another blogger.  There may be commentary on that sort of issue on people’s blogs, but there is never a ‘directive’ or even an ‘understanding’ that we ‘must protect x because they are a BA blogger’.  What a fucking load of hooey.

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9 Responses to “FYI – Sar Does Not Take Part In Circle Jerks”
  1. Who the hell says this stuff? I miss out on all the good flamewars, I guess. /pout

    I got nothin.
    .-= Grimmtooth´s last blog ..I get a wee bit misty … =-.

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  2. The people, they must remember a Destro Lock will ALWAYS win a flame war.

    … yes, even against those insignificant Fire Mages.

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  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Saresa and Angelya, Korzik of Staghelm. Korzik of Staghelm said: RT @Saresa: New blog post: FYI – Sar Does Not Take Part In Circle Jerks [...]

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  4. A very good reason for all the “circle jerking” as well, at least from my own point of view, is that after a long hard day of pugging and having random nobodies tell you you’re bad because you only have 4k gear score, and then you decide to go outside for a bit and everything fucks up, it’s nice to at least pretend that there are no problems and everybody is nice enough to discuss things with, just in one tiny part of the internet. If I have to “circle jerk” to get that small bit of internet, then please tell me you have a spare pair of rubber gloves?
    .-= Jaedia´s last blog ..I Applied To A Guild =-.

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  5. Never trust hearsay. This conversation started on Twitter and went to someone’s blog. Through it all, I don’t recall Blog Azeroth being mentioned one time. It was more of commentary of WoW’s twitter people than bloggers. I honestly don’t know if bloggers are a circle jerk because I don’t read enough of them on a regular basis. I am on twitter and see people of all walks tweeting their dissatisfaction with WoW and/or Blizzard as of late and they are pummeled by people who in one breath will admit they aren’t happy either, but in the other breath will pile on just for the sake of defending. THOSE people are who the blog post was aimed toward.

    So the bottom line, I have no idea what the chat room told you but none of what you mentioned/ranted on were what the circle jerking comments were about.
    .-= Jeg´s last blog ..World of Cashcraft =-.

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  6. While I highly approve of circle jerks as an activity outside of WoW, I only wanted to point out that this line made my weekend:

    “If you think an illiterate flailing octopus could write better than them [...]”

    Oh the imagery, thank you!

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  7. @Jeg: I think we must be on a different wavelength :-) This wasn’t actually in BA Chat; it was in a totally unrelated forum, where someone explicitly said to me ‘I think Blog Azeroth is a circle jerk’. I have also seen this viewpoint elaborated on in comments on various blogs, in tweets from people no longer involved with the WoW community, and so on and so forth.

    I actually have no idea what incident or reference you are talking about!

    @Jaedia: Sure I do, I’ll toss a pair your way. Dagpep keeps them in his creepy little room with the black cats and the baby livers.

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  8. I’m really new to BA and I have to say I am HAPPY to see other inexperienced bloggers looking for help. This isn’t the elementary playground, folks. You aren’t the fat kid getting poked at and picked last for the kickball team. Hopefully because uh, you know, when you do this thing called “growing up” you find ways other than being retarded and pointlessly judgmental to express your opinions? Part of the reason people like blogging is BECAUSE some see it as an ESCAPE from the stereotypical adolescent pointless arguing that occurs in-game. Does that mean everyone has to agree? Hell no. I’m extremely new to the community myself and I have already posted a LOT of comments that, while I can see where the author of the post is coming from, I present a different or new idea/opinion than the author of said post.

    Hey Sar. I just started reading your blog. I find it stupid, your opinions invalid, and my brain cells are too tiny to comprehend any opinion other than my own.

    .. am I a good blogger yet? I’m deathly afraid that an anonymous person on the internet might think I am being polite, AKA participating in a circle jerk.

    .-= Poptart´s last blog ..Lord Marrowgar 25m Heroic: “Cliffnotes” Strategy =-.

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  9. Jerks – sure
    Circle of Jerks – most likely
    Circle Jerks – dunno about that.

    In my 2 years in the WoW blogging community, of which I have loosely been associated with BA (lack of time sucks), some of the most heated arguments seem to have originated from BA chat., for/between people that otherwise respect each other.

    Same with Twitter, I have seen erstwhile lovers become bitter enemies and the reverse of course. I see some agree totally, other disagree absolutely. Shit happens.

    I know personally that often an opinion I hold in a chat tool does not stand the test of time in a blog post. Often by then I have had time for different points of view to ferment, thus maybe I end up looking like a hypocrite, but I prefer to think of myself as a smart Gnome that does listen, can process, and can change an opinion if the data lends itself to the new position.

    God knows I have enough RL friends that can’t be converted to truth/facts even when they are kicking them in the face.

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