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There is no “Faeldray” in “Community”

I know that I missed my last Machinima Monday. In my defense, I got an awful cold right after the wedding, spent the week working in the comfort of my home. This past Monday had been my first day back in the workplace, where I actually had to wake up early and couldn’t hang out in my pajamas all day, and I still had a lingering sinus headache and cough. I was not in the mood to write anything that day. However, I hope to resume the regular feature next Monday.

I want to tell all of you about the great time I had at the wedding, my latest activities in WoW, and a whole lot of other things on my mind. But before I do any of that, there’s something I need to get off my chest. There’s an issue that has been pestering me for months. It’s been jabbing insistently at the back of my brain for a long time, despite my various attempts to beat it into submission. I kept telling myself that it was inappropriate to bring to the table, that I was just being my weird self and whiny. Poor Kazi has had to listen to my rants about it, just as he’s always willing to listen to my rants about anything. And I was going to keep on ranting until BBB reminded me of something I should really try doing more often: Being myself.

Well.

My issue is with the WoW blogging community. Or I really should say “community” with the finger quotations and all. Because lord knows that I do not feel much a part of any community there.

Perhaps I should put it a different way. Due to the fact that I have a blog about WoW, I am indeed a member of the WoW blogging community. Just like how I was one of about 300 people in the community of my small town. Some people knew me and I knew them. We lived in close proximity to one another so we had at least one thing in common.

However, I did not feel like I was a part of my home town. In the same way, I do not get the warm and fuzzy feeling of being a part of the WoW blogging community.

Back in February, Larísa wrote a post suggesting that the blogosphere may be a better place to make friends in WoW. I remember reading it with a confused expression, trying to understand how this could be possible. I quite enjoy Larísa’s blog but this post did not strike true to me at all.

I will admit to not being the most social person in the world. In fact, I will readily agree that I am rather shy and anti-social. Large crowds and new people make me slightly nervous and uncomfortable, so it should be unsurprising that I have few friends, but they are close ones. I’m picky with my friends and frankly, I like it that way.

This “community” that WoW bloggers keep referencing in glowing terms reminds me of high school. There were 36 kids in my graduating class and I had known some of them since kindergarten. We were a community as far as we all lived within an hour’s bus ride of the same school and we were all born in the year 1985. It’s true that we weren’t at each other’s throats every day. But this did not make us all best friends.

Just like high school, WoW bloggers appear to me as a series of cliques, formed around certain topics or alliances. In the almost 4 years I’ve been blogging about WoW, I’ve seen “elite” clubs formed and disband, vicious jabs and sneers being thrown around like candy, new people flailing against the current of the more established and popular, some becoming popular simply by befriending someone popular, and others leaving in tears and anguish, never to return again. High school can be a vicious place. Apparently so can the blogosphere.

In high school, I was one of those who stood outside most of the drama and cliques and simply watched this real-life soap opera unfold around me. I wasn’t popular but neither was I despised. I have come to realize that this is also my position within the WoW blogging “community”. I’m never someone who’s named when popular or long-timed bloggers are praised, but hey, at least I’m never caught in the crossfire of all the mud slinging.

Maybe my efforts haven’t been enough. I tried to get into Blog Azeroth but quickly lost interest. I try to comment whenever I feel it’s warranted and I’m not simply mimicking someone else’s response. I do have a Twitter account but let’s face it, it’s not a conversation like some claim. It’s a bunch of people saying random things that happen to them/pop into their heads, taking no heed to the random things that other people are talking about. I’ve imagined that Twitter is like a room full of people all talking at once and the majority of the statements or questions get lost in the general chaos. More often than not, my own words disappear into the Nether. Which mirrors the feelings I get at times in regards to my blog posts.

I’ve been aware of Alas‘s guild Eff the Ineffable since she first mentioned it on her blog. It certainly sounds like a good idea and more than once I’ve toyed with the idea of joining it. I might finally be able to start raiding and what better way is there to become a part of the “community” than to join a guild that boasts so many bloggers?! I was getting ready to roll an alt to test the waters when I stopped myself and confronted reality.

Was I really considering transferring to another server that had absolutely no roleplaying, where I would have to change Niqora into an Alliance race, and join a group of people that I barely knew? I could see myself now, quietly hanging around guild or voice chat, feeling miserable for not just being friendless but for coming there on some disillusions of the “community”.

In my guild Bloodriver, I can identify just about every member. Our characters are intertwined with RP stories and we as players are bound by many memories. I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, done stupid crazy things with them. I’ve even met some of them in person and did more crazy stupid things that made me laugh and cry. I’ve been furious when my members have been betrayed, I grieved for days when a prominent member passed away, and I was elated when I was able to attend my guild leader’s wedding. These people are my community, my family, for better or for worse. Sorry blogosphere, you’ve got nothing on these people.

I’m certain that Eff the Ineffable is a great guild. Just as I am certain that not all bloggers belong to their own created factions that war with each other and look down their noses at “lesser” bloggers. There are bloggers who are kind and friendly, who always make you feel welcome and a part of something bigger than you are. Maybe one day I’ll even get to know some of them better and be able to call them my friends.

So to the bloggers who tout the virtues of the WoW blogging “community” and how close everyone is, I’d like to humbly disagree with you. Everything is not all peachy and not all of us feel a part of the “community”. Friends can indeed be found within the game, as I found almost all of mine there. I won’t ask you to change but I will ask that you realize that you’re like that person who remembers their high school life through a rosy haze. And I’m getting tired of you walking up to me and talking to me as if I was your BFF back then. Simply being in the same class makes us nothing more than acquaintances.

25 Comments

  1. Posted March 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Very solid post. The kerfuffle a while ago with all sorts of blog drama had people picking sides and getting awfully cliquey, and it was a little disappointing to see.

    It’s interesting thinking of where one stands in the WoW blogger community. I also tried the Blog Azeroth scene but I couldn’t get into it, same with Single Abstract Noun. Perhaps I just have no interest in being part of a community simply because it exists?

    I have an alt in Eff the Ineffable, but it wasn’t to be a part of a special blogger community and feel included so much as it was simply the chance to hang out in real time with people I’ve only “spoken” with through comments or Twitter. Now, I’m perfectly content in my guild, so I’m not going to be transferring over there anytime soon. But If I were looking for a new guild, this would be a perfect fit – not only would I already know a lot about the mood/personality of the group, I’d know their dedication to raiding, their general attitude about any number of guild rules, etc. Compared to blindly joining a new guild? Yeah, I’d take Eff in a heartbeat. I think in this sense a blogger guild is a fantastic idea.

    Finally, I’m not sure how accurate this really is, but I like to think I mostly happily do my own thing while reading everyone else’s stuff. And if someone happens to comment on my blog, or start up a great lore speculation discussion on Twitter ;) I’m thrilled to respond and partake in the conversation. Most of my blogger/twitter acquaintances are just that, acquaintances, though ones whose opinions and knowledge I almost always greatly respect.

    I guess my summary of this long rambly comment is that the blogger community is, in my eyes, usually a great thing, with lots of nice people and a huge variety of topics/ideas/knowledge that is always fascinating to explore. But (for the most part) bloggers shouldn’t be a replacement for more personal relationships such as guildmates, like you said.

    • Posted March 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, I had forgotten about SAN. I remember convincing Kazi to roll a pair of draenei pallies with me and check the guild out. In general, everyone was nice but there were so many people that it was completely overwhelming and our comments were lost in the general chatter. I’ve always been a fan of small close-knit guilds so I feel like guild chat should be a place where at least most of what you say is acknowledged in some way.

      I’m certain that Alas’s guild is indeed a nice guild, but unfortunately they are neither Horde nor do they RP. My issue was mostly with my own reason for thinking of joining in the first place: to be a “bigger” part of the blogging community.

      So I think you summed up what I was trying to say better than what I did. I don’t doubt that a lot of bloggers are wonderful people (or I wouldn’t read all the blogs that I do). But as large as the lure is to be a part of the overall “community”, it might be a better idea to find friendships in-game instead.

  2. Posted March 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    The thing with a WoW blogging community is the same one as your local Chamber of Commerce, high school, or any other organization–it’s what you make of it. The blogging community doesn’t even have the ability to call itself an organization because there are no bars to entry/exit and no rules of conduct.

    Although I’m a member of Blog Azeroth I am disappointed in its lack of activity. Priming the pump didn’t help. Members have to want to become involved, to want to share information, and to want to talk about the thing that brings them together: blogging.

    I’m one of those who talks about a community, because I think connections with others adds a depth to my own conversations about WoW, but I’m willing to admit, that I could be wrong :) I know I enjoyed recognition from other people I viewed as part of the “community” when I started, and I try to provide the same for others starting out on their personal projects.

    • Posted March 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I admire the idea of a place such as Blog Azeroth, I’m just not certain if it’s all that great in practice. For one thing, generally if us bloggers want to talk about something…well, we blog about it. >.> Having two forms of written outlet, at least for me, has a tendency to make me feel like I’m repeating myself if I talk about the same thing in both places. Twitter is a little different because you can say little snippets that aren’t substantial enough to become posts.

      I really don’t think the blogging community is all bad. But I’ve been around long enough that I’ve seen more drama in it than I ever want to see. The kerfuffle that Rades mentioned is not the first time I’ve seen something like that happen and it just made me roll my eyes and groan, “Not this again!”

      Working to improve the community is a noble cause. Pretending everything is all sunshine and rainbows is completely unrealistic. With this post, I wanted to provide a sense of grounding and point out that no, not everything is perfect, and not everyone feels like they’re being warmly welcomed into a family. But I do admire you for trying to make things better, Windsoar.

  3. Posted March 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I find this post very interesting. Certainly WoW blogging has, for me, been a starting point for a lot of great collaborative relationships and friendships, and twitter has kind of helped that as a ‘live’ chat with other bloggers and non-bloggers. It’s full of amazing ‘moments’ of interaction, but there are very few people that I would consider long term friends. It’s rather too fragmented for anything tighter than that.

    However I’ll say the same of my guild, my RL job, and other online communities I have been part of over the years. Just because one is in a community doesn’t necessarily mean that every tie in that community you have has the same strength. Gaz (of Mana Obscura) IS a friend, I’ve met him IRL and podcasted and talked to him a lot. Chas of Righteous Orbs is someone I highly respected and I was interested in what he had to say (and technically we’re both members of the same community) but I wouldn’t say we were friends because we never really talk.

    I like a bit of distance, and the ability to disconnect. Blogging and the bloggers community is simply another wider community within which I might have a few friends – which would, I guess, be a clique, but then so is my server. I read other bloggers the way I might read aintitcoolnews – because I’m interested in what they have to say – perhaps ‘community’ in the blogosphere is more analogous with neighbourhood, and your guild is your personal ‘gang’ of friends that you hang out with on a friday night. I might be interested in what Mr Jones thinks of the council’s new tax levy, but I’m not necessarily going to go for a beer with him or share my current job worries with him.

    • Posted March 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I think you hit it on the nail in regards to reading bloggers. I read other blogs for news or interesting stories. And while it’s true that you can’t really read a story you enjoy without feeling some sort of a connection with the author, you also can’t exclaim “Ahmagawd, they’re just like ME!” without entering the creepy zone. >.> I certainly admire the bloggers that I read but friendships can’t be formed around the mostly one-sided conversation.

      Even within my guild, there are some members I’m much closer to than others. They’re the ones that I have long conversations with in whispers, or outside the game through IM. Or they’re the ones that I tabletop with or play other games with. Blogging by itself is too public to create close friendships. There needs to be an actual one-on-one conversation for that.

      As for cliques, it’s the ones that look down their noses at others that bother me. Popular bloggers who only link to popular bloggers and all that jazz. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a close group of friends within the community. But when that group is based around popularity only, that’s a problem.

  4. Posted March 24, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Funny you should write about this.

    I mean, I’ve done a fair bit of talking about community and, to a certain extent, it would seem that I have managed to somehow attract a small portion of said community to at least casually hang out in my guild. There are days when all is sunshine and I do feel that there is one big, happy, blogging family to be found through all the various ways we have to keep in touch. There are days when I feel so outside and removed from everyone that I wonder how I could have ever thought we were all part of something together.

    Rades already mentioned the Big Kerfuffle of last month. I’ve been struggling a great deal since then with the idea of wanting to continue blogging. I had seen Internet Drama before, but not really been so near the core of it and it was enough to make me sick and cause me to have trouble sleeping for over a week. I think I have come through the worst of that by now, but it has left a rather jagged edge on things.

    I think Windsoar is correct when she says that you get out of the community what you put into it. But some days, I admit, you can feel as though you’re putting in quite a bit of yourself and not getting anything back. That sucks. A lot. On the flip side, every so often I have felt embraced and taken in when I hadn’t particularly put in any effort of my own, past trying to keep up with posting content. And that’s really awesome and really does make it all seem worth it.

    However, I think the conclusion you reached and that Rades echoed is also true and more important: your guild should be closer to you than are the people who read your blog and whose blogs you read. Mine just happens to overlap a great deal (and I was only trying to find raiders!).

    It’s early and I am sure this comment is a rambling and incoherent mess at this point. I guess if I were to try to recap, I would encourage you to take your blogging community the same way it sounds you take your real life friendships: just a few bigger investments and a range of acquaintances. From what you wrote, you and I are similar in how we socialize. I don’t think anyone would be shocked to hear to that I consider Zel to be a close friend, nor that she’s the only blogger who falls into that category for me. So far anyhow. I’m investing a lot more now in my new guild family. :)

    • Posted March 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Maybe your recruiting practices are just that good. ;)

      I think I will take your advice and try not to view the blogging community as a place where everyone’s being friends with everyone else. I’ll do my best to be civil to everyone but I can see even now that I won’t be able to relate to everyone. Despite the fact that we all play WoW and we all blog, I dislike PvP and playing the AH, but I enjoy alting it up, RPing, and lore. There will just naturally be some people I have more in common with and I think I can live with that.

  5. Posted March 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I am new to the community (or returning after a loooooong break) so cannot comment retrospectively but I think you have to treat it with a different mentality to “making friends.” The blogosphere is there because people are interested in discussing the game rather than for the sole purpose of making friends. You are likely to meet a few bloggers that you get on with well but in my opinion the sphere is largely there to help each other out. I will help any blogger that messages me asking for a link/post etc but it would never come close to relationships that I have forged ingame over the years. Perhaps it is different for some people.

    • Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      This is very true and a good point. You don’t go to work with the intent of making friends, you go to do your job and get paid. Just as you should enter the blogging community because you have a passion for writing/blogging, not to become best buds with Blogger X. Any friends that you make is icing on the cake of course but it shouldn’t be your purpose for doing it.

  6. Posted March 25, 2011 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    An Interesting and honest post Faeldray. personally I feel that I’m still pretty much a newcomer here and only the other day I had a friend of mine tell me that he doesn’t enjoy this place in the (wow) blogosphere. I was a little surpirsed at first because I hadn’t really ever thought of it like this, but obviously it is only a small branch on a giant tree with more or less the same few 100 blogs interacting or so. I have to say that I realized rather quickly too that some of the bloggers here have some sort of ‘history’ with each other, sometimes of a less shiny kind that can create all sort of tension or even blog-drama that I initially had no idea about. it’s not really what I’m looking for when I blog and I’m not interested in blog wars at all. but there’s always fighting and intrigues where there’s people, I guess…

    I’ve always been very careful to use the term ‘community’ in the past (I’ve also written a rather lenghty post on this subject) and I agree fully that it creates a wrong illusion of something that in the end is a chance group of people who may not have more in common with each other than playing the same game and running a blog. similarities can end there.

    yet, like some of my pre-posters mentioned too, it’s really what you make out of it and what you’re looking for; personally I’m happy to have made a handful of great acquaintances and I value their blogs, personality and input. I don’t think I could cope with more than that anyway, and I’m happy with where I am, enjoying the freedom of writing whatever I like.

    • Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      It’s true that where there’s people, there will always be fighting. By the very nature of the blogosphere, when bloggers fight, it’s very very public and I think it’s something that can turn a lot of people off. Of course, then you have their blogger friends and/or commenters choosing sides and it just becomes a bloody mess that everyone is a witness to. For anyone who had never seen any of this tension before, it’s even worse because suddenly everyone is up in arms for no reason that they can see. In the Kerfuffle others have mentioned, I had absolutely no clue that any tension even existed and it made me feel even worse about the whole thing.

  7. Posted March 25, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Well… Over the years there have been a few bloggers who I’ve had out-of-blog-contact with, writing e-mails, talking about stuff. Unfortunately most of those have quit or are close to quit blogging, so nowadays I can actually share your feeling of not beeing as tightly knit to the blogging community. There are new kids on the block and I’m not like… in their party anymore. Not the way I used to. It’s funny how hard it is to see the cliquishness until you find yourself outside of the cliques. It’s only then you notice.

    • Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I have no numbers to support this but I think back when we began blogging, there were a smaller number of WoW bloggers. I thought I knew a lot of them before but now it seems there’s a new one around every corner. This definitely isn’t a bad thing as so many of them are fantastic writers. But it reminds me of when I left high school and began going to university. I went from a town of 300 people and a class of 36 kids to a city of half a million people and over 150 kids in just a single biology class. It was incredibly overwhelming and suddenly being away from the people you are comfortable with can make you feel very alone.

  8. Posted March 25, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    PS One thing more to add: Even if I currently feel that I’m drifting away a bit from the blogosphere since there are all those twitter cliques that I don’t belong to and my blogging friends quit and all that jazz, I still feel a strong friendship with some of the loyal reoccuring commenters. They’re the awesome and just as essential to the community feeling as the bloggers. Or actually more important. The day I’ll close my place, it’s more than anything else the readers I’ll miss.

    • Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      You’re very lucky to have so many commenters. :) My crowd seems to be a lot like me, happy to lurk in the background most of the time. :P

  9. Posted March 25, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that twitter is a large part of why I’m friends with any of the other WoW bloggers out there. On the surface, a lot of times, it can seem like no one’s paying attention to a thing anyone says, but my twitter feed is constantly full of conversations – some silly, some insightful, some serious – and simply responding to something someone might’ve said on twitter has really helped me connect with these people. I started following a few bloggers I liked, started following some people they followed, got a few followers of my own, and have made some truly amazing friends through the overlap of blogging, WoW, and twitter.

    But I know my experience is not universal. I’ve spent time in multiple “communities” surrounding one thing or another without forming friendships like this. I just happened to be fortunate enough to have said the right thing at the right time to one person, who talked to me, who led me to talking to another person, and it grew and blossomed from there. I was very very lucky.

    Incidentally, I envy you a bit for having a Horde RP guild to love on. Pretty much all the friends I have in WoW play Alliance, and only a scant two or three of them RP, and while I was never very active and didn’t really have any connections back in the day, I do miss my Horde RP. *wistful sigh*

  10. Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    It’s funny to see how Eff is seen now versus how it evolved. At first, the only bloggers were Alas and me. Then Rhii came along. Then Lonomonkey transferred (I didn’t see THAT coming). Grimm made an alt and decided he liked it…. and suddenly we’re a BLOGGER guild! I mean it makes sense… but we’re not together because we’re bloggers or in a blogger clique. It’s more like we KNOW that bloggers already have the characteristics we like, such as speaking in complete sentences, researching, etc. Most bloggers do those things. Then we got a few blog READERS who are in general interested in the same. And what you get from this is a whole lot of like-minded people. I see the blogging connection as a way we identified who would be a like-minded person. Of the raiding team, we usually have half non-bloggers. Give or take.

    I expect that Eff is a fad for some people. They try it out on an alt, but ultimately decide to stay where they are. Which is cool.

  11. Posted March 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Very well said. I think the parallel between the “WoW blogosphere” and high school cliques is spot-on in every regard. I had 1,000+ in my graduating class, in a school of over 4,000, and if there was one thing I learned as a result, it was that the idea of community is relative to the person describing it.

    The reality is, I didn’t wake up one day and think “I want to join a community!” I did however come to the slow conclusion that I wanted to help players and that the best way to do that was to be a blogger. If that gets me into a few communities along the way, sweet. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine by me too.

  12. Posted March 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I feel you on this one. When I first started blogging I did it so that I could have a place to babble instead of in other people’s comments section. I have tapered off in my posts (mostly because I don’t have much to say anymore) over the last 6 months or so and I still feel like I am in the same place I was when I started. Entertainment for my friends and guildies.

    I never really got much into the community. I got asked to be on Twisted Nether before I had even joined Blog Azeroth. I think I have 1 or 2 comments on BA. When I signed up and looked over the place it just didn’t call to me. It wasn’t that it was unwelcoming, but I just kind of felt like I didn’t belong so I didn’t pursue it. I almost feel the same way about Twitter. So many conversations are happening at once and half the people never reply to you (even if they are following you and can see your reply) so it feels like it is a large group that ignores you.

    As always there are people out there who make you feel welcome regardless of where you have signed up and how much you post. These are the people that I genuinely enjoy reading and where I leave comments. I get the feeling that is how you operate too.

    I think your choice to stay where you feel at home is the best thing you could do. It is rare to find a place you can call home. Once you do, keep it!

  13. Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic thought-provoking post! I wish I’d come across it sooner.

    Re:Blog Azeroth – I came to Blog Azeroth at a time where it was even quieter than it is now. It took a few bloggers and a bit of brainstorming to breath some new life in it. Nowadays, it’s hardly an active social website, so if you go there looking to chit-chat and make friends, you’ll probably be disappointed. It is, however, a place you can go to advertise your posts, ask some questions, read some blogging guides and get some feedback. Most BA members stick around until they get their wings, then they fly off. But if you post a question or an introduction thread, you will almost certainly get at least one response.

    I think the lack of purely social activity at BA is just natural evolution. Twitter has really taken off as a social medium and it’s easier, faster and flashier than any message board when it comes to simple socializing.

    Re:Cliques – I’m sure they’re out there, but in trying so to ignore them for so long, I don’t really notice them anymore. I think it’s inevitable whenever you get a medium to large size group together: people with similar personalities will branch off into smaller groups. It’s a shame when those ties become unhealthy and result in other individuals being shut out.

    I do /facepalm whenever I see people getting in arguments just to defend a cliquemate or just because they don’t like the other person, or when someone comments on friendships being broken over disagreements on blogs. It’s the main reason I don’t really get involved in heating discussion anymore. They just end up becoming so silly and I don’t want any part in that process.

    Re:The Sense of Community in WoW Blogging – When I first started writing this comment, I was thinking “back in ‘the good ole’ days’ there were less bloggers, WoW blogging was a new and scary territory, so people were more likely to stick together.” And I believe that’s true to a point. But what else is true is that we don’t have any natural leaders the community at the moment (with perhaps the exception of Larisa). Looking at the history of WoW blogging, we’ve had individuals like Phaelia, like BRK, like Miss Medicina, like Tamarind who seemingly effortlessly got people banding together and talking to each other. What I’ve learned in my attempts to bring the paladin blogging sub-community closer together is that it takes a special kind of personality to inspire a feeling of brother/sisterhood within a group.

    Re-Blogging/Social Guilds – I joined SAN when it was first founded but I lost interest fast. I was really interested in getting to know my fellow bloggers when I first started blogging, but I found that the game didn’t give me anything I didn’t already have from Twitter. Being a guild with other bloggers can be a fantastic experience, I enjoyed my time in Conquest with Matticus, Redhawks and the Leetsauced guys, but the blogging aspect of the guild was more of a bonus than anything else. What kept me interested in the guild during the 14 months I was there was the serious approach to raiding with a limited schedule.

    Re:Making Friends through blogging – I find that the social aspect of blogging isn’t much different than the other social aspects of my life. There are a few people I don’t really know but deeply admire from afar, a few people that I get along well with and 1 or 2 people I would consider to be dear friends. From what I’ve seen, it’s kind of the same for everyone and people who are naturally more socially-oriented make more friends through blogging than people who prefer their alone time.

    Re: Pretending you were BFFs in high school – I’ve heard others echo your sentiment, but me, I *love* when someone I barely spoke to in high school is excited to see me. Even if we weren’t friends at the time, we still went through A LOT together. We had the same teachers, we experienced the same school culture, we reflected on the same world events. There’s something about silent solidarity that I find amazing.

  14. Posted March 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I am going to comment before I finish reading (then go back and finish, of course) because I have to agree with what you’ve said already. I feel very strongly that the WoW blogging “community” is one of very strong cliques. I never felt welcome in it, despite twitter and Blog Azeroth and the chat they had going. That’s why I stopped blogging about WoW when I did, a few years ago.

  15. Posted March 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I was just recently telling Rhii on Twitter that for me the WoW blogging community is a subset of cliques. Twitter just enhances the cliques even more to a degree. Sometimes I even think of the WoW blogging community as a giant circle jerk, though that’s a bit of a disturbing image.

    There are some fabulous people out there in the community and on Twitter, and I am pleased and honored to have met a lot of people this way. But the community itself is not so wonderful and praiseworthy in general, and the brightest lights are usually those who make the biggest noise.

  16. Posted March 27, 2011 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t stop thinking about this post, so in addition to the novel I already wrote you, I’m going to say a few more things.

    I’m one of “those bloggers” who always goes on and on about “the community”. But in reading your post, I noticed that you and I have very different definitions of the word “community”.

    To me, community isn’t about being bestest best friends with everyone and knowing the intimate details of everyone’s life. That’s silly and unrealistic. There’s like what, several hundred, if not thousands of bloggers! No one’s going to be tight with everyone else.

    To me, community is about finding support when you need it. It’s about showing and accepting (yes, accepting!) kindness when it occurs. And yes, the WoW blogging community is full of that. When I was sick last fall, I was overwhelmed at how many people, bloggers, readers and random strangers reached out to me. When I left my last guild, it was a hard time, yet again, bloggers, readers and strangers reached out to me and supported me. When I was a new blogger and wanted to learn more, again, I asked those strangers around me and was given answers.

    *That’s* what community is to me. More about the kindness of strangers and less about being buddy buddy.

    You write a long standing, high quality blog. Yet, until I was shown this post, I’d never heard of you. And I go out of my way to keep tabs on the ins and outs of the blogosphere. Which leads me to believe that you’ve simply never made yourself visible.

    Having readers isn’t about who you’re friends with (if that were the case, I’d have like a total of 3 readers). If anything, bloggers who post private jokes with other bloggers and go on and on about who’s part of their circle *alienate* readers.

    The end of your post, about not liking it when old high school acquaintances are excited to see you, makes me sad. Don’t scorn those who appreciate you! You’re just as deserving as anyone else of receiving kindness, appreciation and admiration. When you reject others, you’ll feel rejected yourself. When you embrace them, a sense of community will happen naturally.

  17. Aiyara
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to tell you I love you too beautiful!