Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blood elf porn

On Monday Tobold posted a poll to know what his readers like the most. He got 52 comments at the point when I'm writing this. Somehow (I can't imagine how) 37 (75%) of the commenters demanded blood elf porn (or discussed why people demand it).

This is a landslide victory for the topic, so unless Tobold openly disrespect his readers, and ignore their almost unanimous choice, his site from now on will be a rich source of blood elf adult material.

Or maybe not. At first, 52 commenters are around 1% of his readerbase (guessed from mine and subscriber numbers), so it's a vocal minority at best, and definitely not the will of the masses. It is the same like the official WoW forums. When 5 topics with 10+ pages demand something (usually to nerf paladins), it looks like an urgent situation, but it's not.

Secondly the poll was obviously trolled. People just for the sake of fun went there and commented some obvious nonsense. It cost them nothing. They did not have to put their money where their mouth is, the comment did not cost them more than 1 min of their time, they did not have to back their decision with their reputation and so on. So they could not care less about the whole poll and gave some silly idea.

While blood elf porn was obvious trolling, the same could have happen with more "legitimate" answers. How about someone posts on a Darkfall forum to rally Darkfall-fans to go comment on Tobold's blog "write more about Darkfall". A developer of a new MMO can create 30 aliases with 1 hour work to ask for a review on his own game. Someone who doesn't like Tobold, can post several times to make Tobold focus on a topic what is the least interesting, just to harm his blog.

Opinions of random people are useless. Asking for them is social to it's very end: "do you like my blog"? And for that question there is a much better metric than asking opinions: check the visitor numbers, as visitors have to put their time (=money) where their mouth is.

Why have comment section at all if the opinions of people is worthless? Because they can give more than that. They can give data and analysis (logical conclusions). Both are easy to verify, hard to find/create. So by giving them an opportunity to give these to me, I become more rich (information = money). So by having comment section, you can get lot of value. Subjective opinion is just trash. Of course I'm not telling to delete all of these, simply because you alienate the commenters. People love to share their opinion, telling them "I can't care less" can make them no longer comment their data/analysis. So reading their opinion is a price you pay for getting their valuable content.

What is the distinction between "legitimate opinion" and "mindless trolling" then? Actually not the worth of the opinion itself. It's the approximated future contribution. "I liked this post because I have similar feelings while raiding" is just as wortless as "lol this suxx u fail and hav a blog cos its the only thing u can do". If I'd be sure that I'll never see these people again, I'd delete both. However there is a chance that they will come back and post further content. There is hope that the next post of the former guy will be useful for me. There is no hope that the second will ever posts anything of value. So I delete his comment as alienating him will not harm me.

As a bottom line, while subjective opinions are worthless on their own, we shall tolerate them to keep the author, because he might post something of value later. But asking for opinions is just silly.

Clarification:
  • Data: something directly observable like "shamans have wind shear".
  • Analysis: logical conclusions based on data, sometimes directly observable but (assuming the data is verified) they can be verified simply by checking the logic like "shamans can interrupt LDW frostbolt (as it is interruptible and shamans have interrupt)
  • Opinion: something without data and logic or without referencing the data and the logic like "shamans are OP" (pointless emotional opinion) or "the best hunter spec is MM" (true, but unverifiable as lack references)

18 comments:

Azzur said...

Gevlon posted this in Tobold's comments in the post:

Choosing content for YOUR blog is your choice and yours only

Well, Tobold is choosing to hear his readers' opinions on the subject. He never claimed that he will then be forced to write about that subject.

So, Gevlon tells Tobold to write what he wants, but then says that Tobold should not write what he wants. Irony...

Vinnz said...

You enjoy your readers opinions, so, here's mine!

I disagree with this point: Asking for them is social to it's very end: "do you like my blog"?
You're comparing a closed question (only quick Yes/No answers) with an open one (which requires the posters to have some thoughts about what they want, and possibly why they want it).
Something along the lines of "what are the strengths of my blog?" or "why do you read it?" would be a better rephrasing.

As for the same could have happen with more "legitimate" answers, the only flaw in your analysis (or rather opinion) is the lack of data : it's never happened yet on Tobold's blog, neither in his poll post, neither in the previous open-sunday threads...

Gevlon said...

@Vinnz: how do you define "strength" besides "what I like in your blog"?

We DON'T KNOW if it happened in any of the suggestions. We don't know why the commenters wrote what they wrote.

Bobbins said...

After reading Tobolds blog on the subject I just was wondering do you have an opinion on the actual subject of pornography and blood elves?

Why did you leave out night elves indeed the noisy rogue uses her sexual appearance to lure her victims to their doom?

The debate also seems to lack the male elf-in-tight pants factor? Why is that?

Asking for suggestions on topics and debate is good as it opens up unexpected possibilities. Indeed Tobold has written a decent article on blood elf porn and you another article on a side issue.

The result asking for feedback = success.
Living in glass bowl = failure.

chewy said...

The comments are either subjective or objective.

You've stated that you'll tolerate (to some degree) the subjective comments because the author may bring objective,therefore,valuable information in the future.

So effectively we're paying you with information to write your blog ?

Gevlon said...

@Chevy: "subjective or objective" is rephrasing "opinion vs analysis", clarification section added.

No, you are paying me with information to have a comment section (it costs me time to moderate it, it would be easier to just disable it).

For reading the blog, you are paying by reading my opinion (which I believe to be true, but cannot prove in advance).

Bobbins said...

This reminds me of your marketing proposal with His Dirty Business partner.
So could this Blood elf stuff generate cash for someone while they remain indifferent saying they trolled. By making people aware of the subject matter in a clever way while they reap rewards with compromising themselves.

Fake Nils said...

1. What do you think about herding "your" troops to comment on Tobold's blog? Isn't that social too? Specially when many of them did comment, as you "ordered" them to. Social at it's best, no? I'm sure you'll find a different explanation but the fact remains: you're already the Chieftain Sheep.

2. Tobold replied to you at least 2 times. Where's your response? Today's post tells nothing about it.

3. And why do you care? It seems you have a grunge on Tobold.

Gevlon said...

@Fake Nils: since it cost them more than a minute, they gladly joined a joke. It doesn't need obedience. Consider it a flashmob.

Tobold made a great opportunity to display this. Without someone requesting opinions how could I prove that people post lot of silly opinions?

Yaggle said...

Probably because you care about your blog and put some thought into deleting some comments is a big reason why Greedy Goblin is so popular, I, myself, don't care about any blog I start and don't care if people troll it. I see it like a piece of food that fell on the ground. I would come back now and then to see what sorts of insects showed up there and how they are interacting. On the subject of blood elf porn, sounds boring, need more mixing of the races.

Fake Nils said...

Everyone knows there are lots of silly opinions. Your "proof" wasn't necessary. Also, you haven't replied to all mine or Tobold's questions. Could you do it, please?

"Consider it a flashmob." - wow! Are your serious? Yes, it was exactly that. And you don't consider it obedience? I would think that a "flash mob" would be something aberrant to you.

Vinnz said...

@Gevlon:
I don't think "strength" and "what I like in your blog" to be very different either(especially for the matter of blogs). My point was: asking "what do you like in my blog?" and "do you like my blog?" is certainly not the same.

And we do know that nobody created [30 aliases ... to ask for a review on his own game]: noone suggested a very specific game or topic in the poll (except obviously your blood elf porn).

Anonymous said...

Tobolds post on BEP (blood elf porn) was very good! Some interesting comments leading from it also.

Who knows, maybe someone will see this and run with it, BEPing might become a new craze...

Lamnium said...

This idea of "forgive them now for later contributions" seems rather ungoblinish and almost directly conflicts with the earlier tit-for-tat strategy when dealing with people.

I suppose the situation that you meant in that post was a pass-or-fail type of situation, with consequences for all if one failed, while the comments section, opinions only take up space, but they don't bring down other comments.

Wilson said...

"Without someone requesting opinions how could I prove that people post lot of silly opinions?"

If you look at the comments on Tobold's post, you see that they come in too kinds: serious comments, and requests for blood elf porn. What one does not see are random silly requests - knock knock jokes, who would win a foot race: Murmur or Ragnaros?, etc. Therefore, had Gevlon not instructed his followers to go troll the post, there would not have been any worthless crap. So, again, Gevlon was wrong.

Internet polls that have a multiple choice format ("Position X. Agree or Disagree?") are worthless, because they are easily flooded by one group and nothing is learned. But Tobold's open "What are you interested in?" format works fine, because one can easily filter out all the responses saying the exact same thing, and instead look through the remaining comments for something that sounds interesting to write about.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention YOUR feelings, and how it felt to direct your audience to troll Tobold's blog.

You engaged in it. You typed out the orders, posted it. You sat back, and waited for the result. You anticipated your follow-up post on the subject.

How did it feel to troll? How did it feel to direct others? Did it feel good? Bad? Lacklustre? Would you do it again?

Your experience can benefit a debate on trolling, why it occurs, and how to exploit it. So tell us. How did it feel?

Anonymous said...

Anonymity plays a big role in this.. How can you be so sure that the person who is trolling isn't someone who can offer some insight in a future post? This is why anonymity is the deal breaker for that type of reasoning and all you are left with is chance. Sure you can turn the tables in your favor by "logically" eliminating the person who appears to be the fruitless idiot but in the end the one with potential could easily be as fruitless as the second guy.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Elf Porn! I can't believe that stuff actually exists!

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