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!

SYTYCB: Week 1 cuts

I’ve been staring at this screen for about an hour. It’s been blank for the amount of time. I ended up typing, backspacing, and retyping it again from the beginning because I didn’t like how it started. After a while, I realized that it’s not going to matter. Write from the heart, right?

Veleda

Status: Safe

I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself. I mentioned in my critique that you laid out the ground work but were a little slow on the execution. Using a sports analogy, follow through on your serve. Your instincts are good. Trust them.

Jen

Status: Safe

While I think you were lacking in several points, I also think that you’ve got an amazing and bubbly personality that hasn’t been allowed to fully develop yet. We’ll see how week 2 treats you.

Rusco

Status: Eliminated

I’m going to have to let you go. Thanks for participating and I don’t want you to be disheartened or anything. You’ve got your own unique style and voice but it’s not something I’m looking for on this blog.

Most of you guys may not know about this, but Rusco has his own blog which he started not too long ago. Let’s show him a bit of support!

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

This is a SYTYCB submission from Veleda, one of the top 7 finalists.

veleda-post How broken do you have to be to think that stealing from other people is okay if it’s done through a cartoon interface?!

I have a number of alts scattered across various realms, mostly to socialize with friends that have their main characters there. In some cases, my alts belong to guilds along with those friends, so I see a bit of a number of guilds from the inside.; Recently, one had it’s bank robbed of what to them is a significant amount of material. Unlike the usual situation where the thief vanishes into the shadows, knowing that they’re scum and trying to keep from being identified, the perp in this situation made no attempt to cover his tracks, and even seemed boastful of his misdeeds.

Many of you are familiar, by now, with the scam that involves asking an officer to invite and promote a character that claims to be an alt of another high ranking character in the guild. If successful, this person has stolen the identity of the person in question, and can use that person’s status to withdraw items and gold from the guild bank. This guild had been hit by such a thief a few weeks ago, and had just mostly recovered from that incident when this newest theft occurred.

One way to prevent such a situation is by having the person make the request from his character that’s already in the guild. Assuming an account that hasn’t been hacked (if the account has been hacked, there’s no need to do this identity theft routine), then the person trying to gain access can’t log onto the character they claim to be. Having been burned once, recently, the officers were wary, and asked for just such confirmation this time. Initial contact had come from a character claiming to be an alt of, say, Tinman (not the character’s real name). The officer asked for contact directly from Tinman, and soon afterward received a whisper from Tïnman saying he wanted his alt – the thief – in the guild. Did you notice the change in spelling with the accented I? Neither did the officer. While we can, in hindsight, think of more ways that this could have been avoided, we have a situation where a volunteer officer working in good faith made an effort to help someone he thought was a guildmate, while trying to be cautious.

The thief was invited and promoted on the belief that he was Tinman, and promptly withdrew the maximum amount of high value items and gold that he could, before quitting the guild. While this is a significant and demoralizing loss to this guild, there wouldn’t be a rant here if this was the end of the story. Unlike the gold farmers and other thieves, this character didn’t just vanish into the shadows. They’re still on the server. They were, in fact, seen to be in another guild. Reportedly, when the GM of the guild that was robbed contacted the GM of the new guild to warn them, he was laughed at. It seems this character is a long-time member of that guild, and periodically goes to steal from another guild. They all think this is great fun, and part of the game. Excuse me?! Just how broken do you have to be to not realize that’s wrong?

One complaint against video games is that they glorify violence or other anti-social behaviour, and thus might encourage more of that in real life. I think this has mostly been shown to be poppycock, as most people are quite able to distinguish between actions in a game and actions in real life. They simply don’t bring game appropriate anti-social behavior into real life, for the most part. World of Warcraft isn’t a zero sum game, at least with respect to other players. Yes, we sometimes kill and steal from NPCs. We even go against other players in PvP situations, but those are voluntary and even the loosing side gains honour or arena points from the encounter. Our advancement in the game never requires that we penalize other players for their participation.

So when players steal from other players, they’re no longer operating within the bounds of the game, even if it looks like cartoons. I would hope these people don’t think it’s okay to walk down the street in real life and lift someone’s wallet. How, then, can they think this is okay? How can they brag about it?

SYTYCB: Last Details and the Rest of the Seven

SYTYCB: Last Details and the Rest of the Seven

sytycb

collage-2

And here we have the remaining 3 underbloggers! Crutch was able to sneak a submission in on the last day under the wire which we liked enough to squeeze him into the remaining positions we had open.

Unfortunately, Sindaga had to withdraw from the competition due to time commitments and other real life responsibilities. Good luck in your endeavors, Sindaga (and keep trolling the Plusheal forums)!

Let me just say that by getting this far, the top 8 bloggers have earned the right to contribute to this blog and this community as guest posters.

But only one will be able to earn the 3rd blogging position. Who will it be?

Competition begins now

Two posts will be scheduled later today at 10 AM and 2 PM courtesy of Tulani and Crutch. Be sure to give them some excellent critiques and feedback! The other 5 bloggers will have their posts featured Wednesday and Thursday.