SYTYCB: Matt & Wyn’s Critique – Week 2

First of all, I have to make a confession. I don’t watch So You Think You Can Dance. I’ve only ever watched one episode. So I’m going to compare myself to Paula Abdul. From that other talent show. No, not because I’ve quite possibly addled my brains past the point of coherence, but because of all the judges on these kinds of things, Paula is always the one who struggles to find something critical to say. And that’s how I feel right about now. I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the quality of writing, sense of fun, and attention to detail (like links and graphics!!) of each person submitting entries. Here are my thoughts, followed by Matt’s, on the submissions this week. Thanks again, to everyone who wrote, and all the commenters who’ve participated this week!

With Tulani bowing out, we’ll have a bottom 2 this week instead of a bottom 3. Furthermore, only one blogger will be eliminated instead of two.

The Critique

Joveta: 10 Reasons Horde Is Better
Status: Safe

Oh, Jove. This post was hilarious, and so, so, so true. (For anyone of EITHER faction who hasn’t seriously played on the other – you’re missing out. You’ll either find that your main faction is really best for you, or you’ll realize you have a much better home on the other side of the fence. They really do have very different feels to them. It’s surprising.) You picked good graphics, and made great points. The only negative thing I have to say is that your competition really brought it this week. Keep pushing to polish up your style – I’m looking forward to seeing what else you can do!

Matt’s Thoughts: A good post overall and it sparked some discussion. Of course, anything that boosts one faction and puts down another is always going to generate controversy (which is good!). Love the image choice and selection. My only complaint is in image uniformity. I’m not worried about the height of images as much. I do think in a list post, any images used should maintain some degree of uniformity in terms of dimensions. A fun post to read, for sure. 

Sydera: How to Recruit a New Healer in 10 Easy Steps
Status: Safe

In my opinion, yours was (again!) the best entry of the week. Your writing style is informative and approachable, and your topic was not only timely – so many guilds stuck in xpac doldrums looking to recruit – but useful. The progression from step to step is dead-on, and I love that you include the necessity of following up with and nurturing your new recruit. The sample ads also illustrated your point very well. And I loved your Uncle Syd mash up. Great Job!

Matt’s Thoughts: I’ll write about the good parts first and the bad parts after. The good things I liked was the custom image for one. I know the amount of time it takes to manhandle and photoshop and image. I recognize and commend your effort. As a skimmer, I can read your post in 30 seconds, catch all the emphasized sentences and still make out with what the message you’re trying to convey. One of my deeply cherished principles is the fact it’s not all about the information. It’s how you present it. The points here were listed thoughtfully and there can be no mistake on the reader’s part.

And now the bad.

*pause*

…I can’t find any! Well done!

Jen: 10 Silly Timewasters
Status: Safe

Your graphics were far-and-away the absolute best this week, and I know how time-consuming those shots and the formatting involved can be. You did a great job with a hilarious post. (I keep picturing what will happen when that Smite lands on Illybeanz!) These are all things I find myself doing on the weekends or on non-raiding nights to keep myself entertained – I heartily endorse each one. Great job!

Matt’s Thoughts: Like Wyn said, the images you chose were excellent. In fact, they might have been way too excellent. I was worried the overall sizes of the images might’ve distilled your individual points. Images and graphics are there to help accent and function as as backdrop unless it’s in specific cases (like a screenshot highlight).  

Crutch: 12 or More Songs for a Musical Karazhan
Status: Bottom 2

Another fine example of the sense of humor that has impressed me with all of the entries this week. And a completely unexpected list – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a compilation like this. You also get bonus points for digging up the YouTube links for each and every selection. I do think your writing needs a little bit more polish, but your creativity carries the day for you!

Matt’s Thoughts: First, I want to say that I loved the idea of this post. It was creative. I can’t think of any blogger (right now) that’s written a like this out there that is even remotely similar. Now, while the idea unique, I feel that in the execution it could’ve been better. Big props to you for digging through Youtube and picking out the vids. Good effort and any blogger can tell you that hard work will always trump everything. Don’t be discouraged that you’re in the bottom 2 this week. You’re not a bad writer by any means but it doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Keep reading, keep writing, no matter what.

Veleda: The Humble Checklist
Status: Bottom 2

This post, like last week’s, is a good entry, but still has a very overwhelming feel to it. You make excellent points – the need to prepare adequately for raids, and a very appropriate list with which to do so, and why it’s so important. The list, though, almost gets lost under the weight of the rationale. It almost feels like this could have been split into two posts – the rhetoric, then the list. Your writing mechanics are excellent, and you are very well-informed. I’d love to see a little more of your personality in your writing.

Matt’s Thoughts: This is a great post and I dare say a worthy sticky in any Guild forum that intends to go into raiding. While it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, I was still pleasantly surprised when I saw that I received 2 posts in one. Most lists usually have a number in the heading as an indicator of not what points that readers will read but the amount as well. Guy Kawasaki, when he gave one of his keynote presentations, explained why he presents lists the way he does.

“The audience want to know when [it's] going to end!”

From a technical stand point, I can’t find any fault with the post whatsoever except it lacked emphasis. Headers, check. Kickass iPhone graphic, check. List tags, check. But you missed out on emphasizing the different points you made.

Tulani

Tulani pulled out this week, due to mounting commitments in real life. You are more than welcome to come back any time and write a guest-post. We will miss you!!!

This week has been great – getting to know each blogger a little better, and to see the direction that they want to take their writing. Both Matt and I have enjoyed each and every one of your articles, and can’t wait to see more from you, both next week, and in the future – whether as the official 3rd blogger, as a guest-poster, or on the forums at Plus Heal. (was that plug subtle enough?)

Thanks again to all of you, and to everyone who reads and comments! We’ll be back this weekend with the official week 2 decision!