Over on Malefactor Marc is asking some serious questions about the future of certain Eve Blogging Community features, the Eve Blog Pack, evebloggers.com, Blog Banters and more are at a crossroads.
If you haven't, take a moment to read his post. I'll wait.
Back when I took over from CK the Eve Blogging community was an extremely viable, vibrant and engaged beast. I was honestly overwhelmed with the powerful response I received from everyone at the passing of the torch. Many bloggers stepped forward to offer help, support and encouragement. Especially Stan, who offered to take the reins on the Blog Banter and has done an exceptional job of it since then. But sadly, my run was to be short-lived. The impending collapse of my own RL business and the horrible storm that was approaching meant my Eve time was becoming extremely limited. Once again, the community responded and Marc stepped up to take on the EBP and even more as time went on.
As with CK and myself however, things change. And now we find ourselves at another crossroads. It isn't hard for me to imagine yet another Eve Blogger stepping forward to shoulder the responsibilities of running this or that blogging feature. It will probably happen.
The real question is - is that fair?
Things have changed far beyond the Eve Blogging Community. Back when I took over from CK Eveoganda got most of its traffic from fellow bloggers. The entire EBP was built as a way to cross-promote fellow bloggers. Frankly, that world doesn't exist today.
Very little of my traffic comes from fellow bloggers. In fact, over the past few months, the number of fellow bloggers has dropped drastically. Nashh, Eve Scientist, more and more of my friends are going dark or posting more and more infrequently. In the last two years the number of active Eve Blogs has dropped from about 300 to about 100. ( That number is a total guess on my part based on my personal RSS feed stats, but I bet it is pretty darn close )
Today my traffic comes primarily from three main sources:
1. Amalgam feeds - I don't know what else to call them, but apparently there are lots of these places that collect feeds and link to them, whatever they are, I get a ton of traffic from them.
2. Jester - I sure hope I send as much traffic to Teg as he sends to me.
3. News - EveNews24 and The Mittani primarily, but I've also lumped others in here as well.
( I also get a ton of traffic from the Eve Log-in screen, for over a year now the darn thing continues to link to me for the EBP. I'm sure this will eventually change. I've mentioned it a million times.)
Of course traffic isn't the reason I write this blog. But the numbers do serve to illuminate the way things have changed. Add in Tweetfleet, G+, Facebook, Flickr and numerous other sources and you can see that the lanscape has changed significantly.
Which begs the question, do we even need these services?
Heck, do we even need bloggers anymore? The fact is that The Mittani site has added weight to a side of the coin that didn't really exist three years ago. More and more bloggers are joining the ranks of that news service, add that to EveNews24 and others and you have a very powerful brain drain that has been sucking the need for bloggers away for months now.
The Mittani has killed Eve Blogging. Why read thru dozens of sites when you can just visit one? You get features, news, opinion, and the unquestionable loyalty of the largest single block of players in-game, fed daily thru forum support that rivals none other.
I've been approached three times to write for The Mittani. The first was back before it launched and the most recent was by the very same Marc Scaurus that now poses the questions of what to do with these blogging features. It is no mistake that other community involved bloggers are also involved in that site. By the way, I turned all three of those requests down flat.
Personally I can't support The Mittani or the Goons behind him. I don't link to the site here nor will I ever do so. That is a role-playing choice primarily, it would betray all that Rixx stands for to do so. But it is also because I knew full well what that thing's coming meant. And here we are.
And it is only natural. Things change remember? Eve is getting close to being a decade old. It is as predictable as the sun rising and setting that eventually something like that site would appear. And while it may seem like I am blaming that site, I am not pointing fingers, but simply pointing out the painfully obvious.
So. Where does all that leave us?
I love this community. I've given a lot of my time, energy and effort to helping it and supporting it over the last three years. And I will continue to do so. I wish I had the time needed to just grab ahold and push forward. But I know better. I have a hard enough time between this blog, the game and the commissions. I simply can't over-extend myself again.
Live or die. That is the question. Either way, this blog will go on until the day Eve closes down for good. As long as Eve survives and I am able, Eveoganda will endure. Even if no one visits.
I hope someone steps up to the plate, or we discover a way to open-source those resources. I also hope the blogging community experiences a revival and a renewed sense of purpose. Because things continue to change and sometimes, albiet rarely, they do change for the better.
The questions you should be asking yourself are these. Is it worth saving? And are you the person to do it? If you are, then know that I will be here to help in any way I can.
UPDATES: Please see these other fine bloggers for even more insight and opinions:
The Blogging End Game
An Ecosystem of Wordsmiths
The Future of the Community
If anyone else posts a related article please provide a link in the comments. Thanks.