Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cool Kids

Over at Freebooted blog last week Seismic Stan wrote a post about the impending end of the Evebloggers.com portal and then he said:
Clique Favouritism?

Personally I have seen other signs that the community team may be operating under a siege mentality, with evidence of a lack of resources or understanding of some areas of EVE's complex society. Some examples that I have recently experienced suggest a bias toward the "cool kids".

For example, Mintchip produced a brief and awkward interview with Lead Designer CCP Soundwave at roughly the same time CCP Dropbear and CCP Headfirst gave an insightful and entertaining interview about EVE's storylines, live events and some exclusive DUST 514 info for Voices from the Void. Which interview got some CCP love in the December newsletter? Yep, you guessed it. The Mintchip/Soundwave non-event.

Another example of lop-sided favour concerns the recent podcast produced by one of CCP's favourite sons, Kil2 (of Alliance Tournament commentary fame). Along with Kovorix they have started a podcast focusing on solo combat. More power to them, however I felt for Arydanika who despondently pointed out the My EVE section of the official forums, where her thread which she regularly updated with the latest podcast episodes and information was vastly overshadowed by Kil2 and Kovarix's new effort. Which one had been tagged by both CCP developers and GMs? Yep, the new one by the cool kids.
Has anyone else noticed this change? Is the need to focus on the numbers forcing an understrength community team to leave some of us out in the cold? Or is being sensitive to these issues indicative of an over-inflated sense of entitlement?
Then last night there was the sudden and unexpected end of the awesome Starfleet Comms podcast:

As they say, all good things must come to an end and unfortunately this is true of the Starfleet Comms Podcast and Radio Show.
Those shows are on a hiatus. Once circumstance changes then maybe they will return either in the same format or in a different one, who knows?
In of itself it seems unrelated, right? Except this part near the end of Max torp's post:
I am appreciative of those podcasts, sites and individuals that supported, liked or mentioned us. Especially those that returned compliments and generally behaved in a courteous manner. The cliques can fuck off and die, you know who you are and a special place in hell is reserved for you, you miserable pieces of shit.
Whoa! That was a very jarring note of vehemence in an otherwise sanguine "hiatus" post.

In any community/society large enough, there are going to be groupings. These groupings will often have something in common that binds them together, something that can be small or quite significant. Individuals may belong to multiple groupings, or even to none.

In Eve's society there are a lot of different groups. Null sec'rs, low sec'rs, pirates, industrialists, pvpers, carebears, wormholers, goons, russians, griefers, botters, scammers, roleplayers, etc etc etc. The list goes on a long way with ever more distinct and smaller groups, some overlapping and some never coming close.

One of these groups can be call the celebrities of Eve, the glitterati, the 'cool kids'. They are the 'big names' in Eve that almost everyone recognizes, and they got there either through hard work or charm or luck or a combination of all three. This group (or possibly multiple groups with different levels of fame/recognizability) has special access to parts of CCP and the developers that has come about due to working with them in the past through special projects like the Alliance Tournament, CSM, forums, ISD, EON magazine, role playing, fanfest, etc. The upshot is that this special access results in a positive feedback loop: CCP is more likely to recognize and celebrate the efforts of this group because they know them, and the individuals get further fame and access as a result of the recognition. This has similar analogs in real life of course.

The down side to this phenomenon is that a small company like CCP with limited resources for community management, especially since the layoffs last month, can miss a larger but less visible group of people who are making efforts just as intensive and worthy of recognition as what was done by the glitterati. This is a fact of life in any similar situation and the best way to combat that is to work together to highlight the good work of all kinds done by everyone and do our best to get the word to CCP about how they should look further afield than the closest sources.

Regardless, it is not acceptable for anyone who has made it to the big leagues to look down upon others toiling in degrees of relative obscurity and disparage their efforts just because they don't happen to have the visibility and official support that others have. I don't know who did what to make Maxtorps so angry, but I know the feeling of frustration that can come from not being part of the "cool kids cliques".


  1. For the record, I'm not one of the cool kids.

  2. yes Kirith, you are, thats why we love ya!

  3. riverini here... confirming am not one of the cool kids.. am just too cool for school.

  4. For the record I don't care about cliques or cool kids or any other bs, I never have. In hindsight this probably hasn't served me very well... but I'm too damn old to change now. I sincerely try to treat everyone the same and help out when I can. Other than that I write and draw purty pictures that some people seem to like. I"ve never tried to get CCP's attention, but I also haven't turned it down when the big eye swings my way every so often.

    I can understand people being frustrated. But I suggest that if you are actively looking for validation, then something is fundamentally wrong to begin with. Validation comes from within, the rest is transient, fickle, and as likely to hurt as help.

    My two cents.

  5. I agree with everything you say here Kirith. Your approach is very pragmatic, that goes a long way I think, to generally getting the most out of our creative endeavours and better still being inspired and interacting with others who like to do similar.

    "it is not acceptable for anyone who has made it to the big leagues to look down upon others toiling in degrees of relative obscurity and disparage their efforts just because they don't happen to have the visibility and official support that others have" - from my perspective I don't know of anyone who has done that?

  6. I think the truth is that no matter how resilient a person is, if they work hard on something negative comments or lack of acknowledgement from those who enjoy the benefits of their labour can be tough to take.

    As much it is easy to tritely proclaim that "the act is its own reward" or that people shouldn't pursue praise or favour, there's nothing wrong with expecting a thank you.

    I can understand why some thinner-skinned folk might feel less inclined to put the effort in if they perceive they are not being appreciated, especially if they see that others are. Ultimately it comes down to communication.