Well. Its been a wild few days for my little site I think. I want to take a moment and address some of the comments and reactions people have had regarding my little call to arms as it were.
Now, understand when I wrote Part 1, I was not in a good place. I have been dealing with a lot of stress regarding my job (moving offices, transportation, ect), I have been sick several times with a cold followed by positional vertigo, and having my stomach try to kill me, as it often does. Suffice to say, I was in a rough place.
I am going to try to divide this post into sections each addressing specific things.
Lets start with the few Negative / Opposing Comments I got.
“I disagree good sir!”
First, my buddy Goblin Stomper wrote a counter point post on his blog which you can find here. In his view, Creators should strive to create because they want and need to. And yes, that is a completely valid view point and for some people the need to create is a driving force all its own. For others, we wish to accomplish something specific with our creations. Whether that is to entertain, to inform, to assist, or hell to make a living. His post, along with comments from Ryan Schapals and Askren yesterday on twitter made me really sit down and think about WHY I do what I do.
The answer, by the way, is because I want to help people and improve our hobby (tabletop RPGs). I want to get more well known because, if I can reach more people, I can thus help more people. I can help creators with my critique of their work, and help people find the good and avoid the bad products out there. I can give people ideas, and new creations, and provide interesting concepts that people can use and tweak. I want to expand our hobby as best as I can, as much as I can, and help people love DND and Tabletop RPGs as much as I do.
Now, I got one really negative comment directly on the post. I am not going to link to it, and I already responded to it. Although for some reason you cannot view the reply on the post? Disqus is weird. You can go view it as its public if you choose and basically the commenter stated I was insulting and demeaning every hard working creator with my view, among other things. However, given that he is the single person who seems to feel that way I don’t really worry. Opposing views are fine and all but I think, given what he said, that he really didn’t understand the point I was trying to make. For example, he claimed Fans are not a resource but a gift. Well, yea, Fans are a gift. But they are also a resource. Lets break down why.
I for example am a fan of many different youtubes and streamers, including WebDM, EncounterRP, Exploding Dice, ProJared, Critical Role, and more. Each of these people produce metric tons of content to consume in a given week. I work a 40 hour a week job, have my usual adult responsibilities, and work on this blog. I play in 2 DND games, one every week, and one every other week, each one running 2-3 hours. The rest of my free time is spent with my wife who I do not get to see very often. I am also a one man show, so any work I do is completely on me alone. So how on earth am I supposed to watch all the stuff all these wonderful people create?
Fact is: I cant. So I have to budget my time. Manage when I can watch, what I can watch, how much I can watch. My time is a resource being spent as a fan on these creators. And in that way, I am a Resource to THEM. Additionally, I am a voice that can talk about how great each of em are (and I do, frequently) to put the word out. And just how much difference can one person make? How much power does a single voice hold?
“First Rule of Promo Club: Always Speak of Promo Club”
Lets take a look at the traffic my little blog got before, and after, I made that post, and discuss what I consider the moment my post took off:
See that insane spike in activity? Kinda wild dontcha think? I went from 20-40 views per day overall to those days having over 1000! This started because of a single retweet by Matthew Mercer, a major voice actor. Now, I did actually tag him in a tweet asking him and several other medium to large creators their opinion on my thoughts, and most of em, including Matt himself, commented and agreed with me.
But Matt has insane reach compared to me. Him retweeting it got it in front of literally 269000+ people. Who then started to see it, read it, notice he liked it, suddenly it starts spreading, growing, moving, getting talked about, commented on. Discussions are born, suddenly my post is shared on REDDIT (found that out from traffic sources) suddenly my post is on a friend of a friends Facebook feed out of nowhere (found that cause said friend called me famous), and according to my little share thing, its been put on facebook over 100 times now. Suddenly a youtuber created a video and started quoting me, see the video here:
This is a perfect example of what one voice can make. Sure, it was a massive voice from Matt, but apparently what I said resonated enough that he felt compelled to share it. Its taken almost a life of its own now. Which is good, its what I want, to reach people and make them aware of something they can do to help, however small it is. You may not think your voice is worth anything because you are not as big as someone like Mercer but ya know what? It might just be the spark that sets things off for someone.
And will this turn into regular readership for me or change anything? Not likely. That piece, and this one, are so far removed from what I normally talk about that I doubt I will get much spillover, although I do seem to be experiencing some of that on my other articles as seen here:
Now another thing that came up earlier is also the issue of “shilling” or over promotion from a fan. This is yet another landmine in the wonderful world of the small creator. As a fan, its hard to know where the line is on promoting your favorite content creators. How far is too far? How much is too much? Well, it depends. Part of it is how comfortable you are in your own skin and how comfy you are dealing with people who might not like you talking about the creators you enjoy. Hell I was telling a coworker recently about how our downtown library has this awesome Tech Center free for library card holders to use (it even has a full recording studio with professional grade lighting and green screen, no joke) and had another coworker say “Oh are you talking about that library thing AGAIN clay!”. Like it bothered them that I was telling someone who could use the info about a resource.
I can’t tell you how much is too much to be honest. It differs person to person, community to community. If you are only comfy sharing once a day, maybe one person, then go for it. You will make that persons day when you do it, I promise you.
“The WebDM Incident”
I had a few comments from people telling me that I should not have called WebDM out in regards to what they did. Thing is, I did it to prove a point. Yes, I could have been a bit more circumspect / nicer / better worded way, and I admit that. Additionally, WebDM apologized on their own accord, and I also apologized to them for doing it. I stand by my decision though at the end of the day.
What people DON’T know is that I am friends (at least in my eyes) with at least one half of the pair. Hell, he is patron of mine and has been for two months roughly at this point. We have chatted quite a bit on twitter and in my personal discord, and I felt comfortable enough with my relationship towards them to speak my mind openly.
Did it bother people? Yea, it did. I am honest, open, and blunt to a fault. The folks at WebDM know that, and most people who deal with me regularly know that. And both me and WebDM understand the point I was trying to make. It was not that I was angry with what they did, no. But sometimes, the greatest harm can come from the best intentions, and it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back in my mind.
I am human, I am not perfect, I will make mistakes. we all do. I still however would not change what I did, and why I did it.
So what was my endgame with all this discussion? What was my point?
To show people how their voice matters, and why it matters, and how words and actions can affect each of us. I have begun to make my own strides in dealing with my personal loathing of self promotion, and I aim to continue learning and growing and trying to promote others who I feel the world should see. I always practice what I preach, after all. I am not in this for money, I am not really in this for fame other then as a means to an end (reaching more people).
I just want to help people.
Thats all I ever want to do really. And at the end of the day, I hope I have helped you reader, in some fashion.
Thanks for reading, and Stay Nerdy folks.