Tuesday, October 20, 2009

State of the Blog

I went on vacation last week, hence the lack of posts. Before I start posting again, I'd like to take a brief moment for some introspection.

Blessing of Kings

This year my posting has been rather streaky. I'll post several days in a row, and then stop posting for a bit. I think I need to spend less time thinking about potential posts, and more time actually writing them.

I should also do more response posts to interesting articles other people have written. There have been a lot of neat posts that I've wanted to talk more about, but after thinking about it for a week, it feels like the discussion has gotten cold. I should strike while the iron is hot, or be more willing to pick up "old" topics.


I don't get a lot of spam on this blog, but for the last few months, I've been getting a comment in Japanese characters on one post. The comment comes roughly once a day, or once every other day, and always to the same post (Making an Impact). I can't read Japanese, but it looks different each time (or is rotating through a collection). Of course, since I can't understand it, I reject the comment every time. It's really weird.

New Blog?

I'm also thinking about starting a new blog for non-gaming material. Kind of honestly, the only problem is that I'm having a devil of a time coming up with a name for it.

Raider 101

Well, so far Raider 101 is a bit of a bust. Several months ago, it basically got overrun by spammers. I tried pruning it a bit, but eventually surrendered to them.

I don't know. It was a somewhat good idea, but the whole wiki aspect didn't really work out as I planned. Not only did it give the spammers an open doorway, but a wiki is only as good as the last edit. People would make edits that I would consider incorrect, or at least not suitable for basic information. For example, I had the complete 969 Prot rotation listed, but someone cut it in half and I did not notice until a few months later when a comment pointed out that the rotation was incorrect.

Or I had mages organized into four sections: Arcane, Fire, Frost, and Frostfire. Someone decided to replace Fire with the Frostfire information, and delete the FrostFire section.

I don't mind being corrected when I'm wrong, but having to revert incorrect "corrections" got old fast. And when you're dealing with many changes made by spambots, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Finally, I find I don't really have a lot of motivation to keep it accurate. Self-interest is a powerful motivator, and Raider 101 really offers nothing for the people who are most qualified to add information. EJ doesn't have this problem, because it is cutting-edge, and the most qualified people who post also benefit from it.

I'm not really sure what I'll do with the site.

Other Stuff

I hate spam. If I could change one thing about humanity, I would make advertising fail to work. I think everything would work better. Alas, advertising works, and we are stuck with so much nonsense because of that fact.


  1. I read Japanese, so I can tell you what the comments say if you'd like to know... probably just comment spam, but who knows!

  2. I find Raider 101 useful. It is a nice brief summary of what raiding with each spec looks like, which is useful when deciding if I want to roll an alt of class X, or if its endgame looks boring. Sure, I could poke around EJ to find that info, but it takes longer, and for some specs may not even be present in any brief form.

  3. An idea might be to make Raider 101 a link map, linking to more accurate information (therefore al you need to update is the links). Or to remove open access and contact a few bloggers and writers about writing specific sections and keeping them up to date.

    I know keeping all my own information, just about retribution paladins, up to date from patch to patch is sometimes a challenge. So depending on who is using/writing it the Wiki format can end up very out of date.

  4. Maybe the thing to do with Raider 101 is to not allow it to be edited by anyone, but have all changes go through you. It's more work for you, but means that you won't find out that something's been horribly wrong for any length of time.

    Of course, that assumes that you then know enough about all the other classes to be able to confidently edit/approve others' work; it sounds like you're already doing it.

  5. Whatever you plan to do, please keep it. Especially for new people or a fresh 80 alt the information is invaluable, because I especially do not want to wade through 100 pages of guides if all I need is 4 paragraphs with Glyphs, Rotations and Crit > Haste or MP 5> Spirit ratings.
    Maybe if the wiki software allows it, "reviewed" versus "draft" versions would be cool. Plus trying to get 1-2 people to check stuff once in a while (or be notified by email of changes) - I'd surely be up for it

  6. I had exactly the same repeating Japanese comment spam, always on the same post. I copied and pasted it into the Google translator, and it appeared to be about a Japanese dating site. Solved the problem by turning commenting for this one post off, it's not as if there are too many valid comments on most older posts anyway.

  7. Please don't abandon Raider101. I have a lot of friends that are new to the game that I still point there to try and help them get up to speed.

  8. Hmm didnt know you were having problems like that with the wiki. I hope you keep it around, it really helps and is a great beginning source for new players. In a time when alot of players just level through AV they don't get actual experience playing their class and/or their spec. Also with dungeons like TOC and pvp gear they out gear the instances after a while and think what they are doing is correct. The wiki is a great source to point them to and say here take a look at this, and they don't get overwhelmed like sites like elitist jerks. So I hope you continue the wiki. Maybe make it so that peole have to apply for permission to edit it and such. Thank you.

  9. I agree that raider101 was a great idea and I hope that you find a way to keep it around. It seems clear that the wiki format is the real problem with the site, not the idea.

  10. Raider 101 was a fantastic resource - though I noticed the wiki problems off and on, the basics were great for when dual spec'ing came out and I wanted to work with all my characters to understand the initial direction that I needed to go.

  11. As a long timer reader; first time poster I will break my silence by saying: please don't let raider101 go away. It has been a tremendous help to me and I given the link to countless other people in my raid community as well (who have all embraced it as far as I can tell)

  12. I never realized you were the person behind Raider 101! As a guild officer, I loved the site, not only to help struggling or new players up their game, but also for some quick guidelines on evaluating applicants from classes I knew nothing about. It's helpful to have all the basic information on one site and not have to sort through pages and pages of stuff I didn't need.

    I had noticed that the site wasn't getting updated the way it should, but had just assumed it was because it was new. Adding to the suggestions others have made, perhaps having one person per class be in charge of making sure information gets updated after a patch and of approving changes made by random strangers would keep things tidy and lighten your workload.

    I'm hesitant about volunteering to help because I'm a complete newcomer to the wow community, but I am fairly skilled at researching and summarizing information and always willing to lend a hand in that department. I'd really hate to see such a great resource like Raider 101 be abandoned!

  13. I love raider 101, and link to it from my blog.

    I haven't checked it out in awhile since I'm replaying through old world and haven't needed to look into it in awhile, so I was unaware of spam bots on it.

    I think you need to do it in a way where you approve people to be able to edit the info, and only let a certain number do so.

    It's a great idea, and has been really useful, I don't know if you have a way to keep track of traffic, and maybe not enough people visit it, but I know that whenever I needed help, like with my wife's frostmage, I'd use raider101.

    Also, whenever someone is asking for help with their 80s I point them to raider101.

  14. I think the problem with Raider101 is just that it hasn't hit critical mass. Once you get enough people reading and editing material then those incorrect-corrections would be found by the community pretty quickly.

    Personally I'd completely forgotten about it, I'll try to make it a point to visit it more often, maybe add a thing or two I'm absolutely sure of.

  15. I have 4 80s all with dual specs and I visit raider101 constantly! Don't let it go, it's a really good baseline for someone who has just hit 80 and isn't sure where to start.

  16. i had the same problem with the Japanese comments, did just like what Tobold did, and didn't get any new comments from that person again.

  17. I have to agree with all the comments about Raider101

    I use it fairly regularly. As a guild officer I use it to frequently help new raiders. I also have 5 80's that I have used it for. Sometimes, just because I am just starting out a new spec that I don't know well.

    I have 5 60's that I have used Raider 101 to look at since at 60 you are close enough that the rotations, glyphs and specs are pretty close.

    I completely understand your frustration with the all the bad edits.

    Several ideas that have been suggested above and some of my own grouped nicely together based on what I would love to see :)
    1) Turn off the general edit, at best force moderations or just do #2 below
    2) Get somebody to own each spec, another bloggers, member of your guild, somebody who volunteers. I think a person per class might be too hard, just look at Druid and Paladin.
    3) Maybe more resource links to several other good blogs, pages, tools etc a the TOP making it even easier for people to do research

    I think it will be hard to wait for volunteers btw :D.
    I recommend just flat out sending a request to people you respect or have good blogs for each of the specs.

    Actually, if you would like help rounding people up. I would love to help build the resource since I think it has great value.

  18. Thanks for all the comments about Raider 101.

    To be honest, the bad edits are really just an irritation. The spammers are the real problem. The quantity of new accounts and edits they made were too much for me to deal with.

    I'm still thinking about it, but I think that I will have to move to a model where only specific people can edit.

  19. Another big fan of Raider 101 here. I'm not the first person with this idea, but I do think the open wiki concept may not be the best way to for the page. One of the reasons wikipedia works, is there is such a vast amount of information that it is impossible for one person to know it all. With regards to wow specs, it is quite conceivable that say 5 people have all the correct info, throw it on there and it's done until the next patch.
    On the other hand if you take wiki's that might be found at companies, they are closed off to only employees, and they just keep track of stuff that slowly (if ever) changes. It is much more of a repository than a public thing. So one idea might be to allocate a few people (maybe one per class) to be able to edit a page, and then throw open the discussion pages, so others can contribute to the "backend" but not the "frontend".
    Might be too much work, but give it a thought, and keep up the good work.