The 4th Estate

Next year could be a very interesting year in the blog community.  Ripard Teg seems to be almost a lock to earn a seat, and maybe a ticket  as a CSM.  Mike Azariah is also running, so is Roc Wieler.  Riverini has also thrown in his hat.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  Any one of these guys has the ears of New Eden to a greater or lesser extent.  They can influence both the activity and thinking of the game sitting at home in their boxers and bathrobes.  What’s more they offer a check on both the players and CCP by having the ability to raise the bullshit flag when things go crazy.  Ripard Teg us a fantastic example.  His clear, well written analysis is obviously brilliant, communicative and almost always spot-on.  He’s volunteering to wear a muzzle for a year to serve on the CSM.  If he wants CCP to hear what he has to say he can do it.  He can post a blog and watch for the hits from Iceland.  If he wants to influence and communicate to the players he can post a blog or send it to The Mittani Inc.  Ditto for Mike.  Ditto for Roc.  Even more so for Riverini.

Sure they get to strut on the stage.  Fly overseas a couple times, enjoy the limelight, but they trade off a lot.  They get access to CCP directly, both formally and informally.  They get to hear CCP’s plans and have some influence on where they go.  Sometimes that even works.  They have to sign an NDA too.  They are limited in what they say by their agreement with CCP.  Some of the most outspoken and capable critics of CCP, the communities, the structure of the game, and even other bloggers are going to be strictly limited.  It’s one thing for an alliance leader like The Mittani to bear the muzzle, or even a middle manager like many of the current crop.  Their responsibility is to their alliance.  The muzzle sits lighter and they just have to avoid “insider trading” type moves.  Their conflict of interest is in putting the profit of the alliance over the knowledge they gain.  Bloggers are the whistle-blowers.  When they get inside information that they disagree with their need is to trumpet it.  When they get inside information that something amazing is coming out, they want to trumpet it.  Their goal is to be a seamless conduit.  Information spread openly and completely.

I know the CSM is supposed to communicate, but it’s far from seamless.  Minutes take forever to release.  They are heavily edited.  CSM members are strictly limited in what they can say on their own.  Sometimes they may not take full advantage of everything they can say, but other times they are very limited and suffer for it.  The responsibility of the 4th Estate, the price for the pleasure we take in blogging is a responsibility to share.  To take ourselves seriously (because internet spaceships ARE serious business) we have to hunt down stories, break them, follow up, and find out what we think EvE players need to know, and make sure they know it.  A CSM might know things players need to know.  They also might not be able to do a damn thing about them.  Hopefully the muzzle rests lightly on the mouths of the bloggers.  Hopefully those that serve on the CSM are able to maintain their level of service to the community.  Their voices are valuable, make no mistake and if CCP wants to know what they think, you know they have the blogs bookmarked.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Advertisements

About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on April 5, 2013, in CCP Hijinx, CSM Hijinks. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This muzzle thing is tired and overplayed. It’s also a big myth. I can seriously count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to go to CCP and ask permission to comment on something, the CSM really operates quite freely 99% of the time.

    The only thing that any of these bloggers won’t be able to do on the CSM is make wild speculations about things they already know about. And even there, they COULD do such a thing without breaking NDA, I just assume most would have the ethics not to mislead people by messing with expectation management recklessly.

    And speculative posts aren’t the most helpful for the community anyways. For example – Ripard posted a couple of months ago that that he was seeing “Pirate Theme” in the tea leaves. He probably wouldn’t have made that post if he were on the CSM (or if he’d asked us about it) cause he would have known that we were in the middle of recommending themes and that none had been decided yet. Does the community “suffer” because they’re not suddenly running around thinking this is the summer of pirates? O course not. In fact, all the better that they’re not getting excited about something that will disappoint them later.

    Would this have meant less output from Ripard Teg either? Probably not. Chances are he would have made a daily blog about a different topic instead, and probably something more useful than tea-leaf reading.

    Last but not least – if you could please point me in the direction of all the “whistle-blowing” posts around the EVE blogosphere that contain NDA’d knowledge that was leaked and brought to the community’s attention to warn them of a coming crisis, I’ll concede my point. 🙂

    The reality is, bloggers may have not have this mythical “muzzle” you speak of, but they also just don’t have access to the type of information that a “muzzle” would keep them from speaking about either. Bloggers discuss information that has been made public in some form already – a Sarmatiko leak off of Chaos. A bit of intercepted alliance communications. Something someone found on Singularity. Something a dev mentioned in an interview on a podcast. There’s absolutely nothing that would keep anyone from talking about this very same information if they were on the CSM.

  2. “I can seriously count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to go to CCP and ask permission to comment on something …”

    Because you’re probably well aware of what you can’t talk about. This single situation was probably one of the few grey areas you were faced with … so you asked.

    There’s probably a shitload of stuff you would have loved to talk about, but you could not.

    • You’re absolutely right – but those things I’m perfectly aware that I can’t go talk about? You don’t know about them, and neither do Ripard Teg, or Mike Azariah, or Riverini. I wouldn’t know them myself if I weren’t on the CSM. That’s precisely why the idea of a “muzzle” on bloggers-turned-CSM-reps is a big myth. You can’t be muzzled from talking about things you don’t know in the first place.

      • Right but what if Poetic and I go off on some extreme tangent, starting fires based on information in a Dev Blog, you know better, but you can’t say anything because it’s information from CCP that is NDA’d. That’s a muzzle! You can’t talk and your voice needs to be heard! Now some of the best and brightest in the blog pack are not only running, but look like they stand a good chance at winning!

      • I still have no idea why that would change anything. Lets say you go “starting fires” – there’s two scenarios.

        1.) I’m not on the CSM and at best I stay quiet or at worst I join in and fuel an unnecessary fire.

        2.) I’m on the CSM and at worst I stay quiet, or at best I say something vague like “You’re overreacting, I think its best to withhold judgement until all the cards are on the table” and the fires either subside or continue to rage.

        None of these scenarios is a net loss because someone is “muzzled” by the NDA.

      • I should have included the third option:

        3.) I’m on the CSM and you start fires in a blog *that are justified*, in which case I use that fire as leverage during my talks with CCP, talks I couldn’t be in if I hadn’t been elected.

        No matter how you slice it, individuals will always be able to influence more when they are in contact with CCP than when they attempt to evangelize using limited information, no matter how widespread their audience may be.

  3. Hans may have not blogged about certain topics, but he also may have been spurred onto different ones.

    For instance, instead of waxing lyrical about pirate themes, he may have kicked off a blog banter about it instead….

  4. Sure they get to strut on the stage. Fly overseas a couple times, enjoy the limelight, but they trade off a lot. They get access to CCP directly, both formally and informally. They get to hear CCP’s plans and have some influence on where they go. Sometimes that even works. They have to sign an NDA too. They are limited in what they say by their agreement with CCP. Some of the most outspoken and capable critics of CCP, the communities, the structure of the game, and even other bloggers are going to be strictly limited. It’s one thing for an alliance leader like The Mittani to bear the muzzle, or even a middle manager like many of the current crop. Their responsibility is to their alliance. The muzzle sits lighter and they just have to avoid “insider trading” type moves. Their conflict of interest is in putting the profit of the alliance over the knowledge they gain. Bloggers are the whistle-blowers. When they get inside information that they disagree with their need is to trumpet it. When they get inside information that something amazing is coming out, they want to trumpet it. Their goal is to be a seamless conduit. Information spread openly and completely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: