Critical has been thinking about this for a while since the Gold Queen's first RL post, and after that the daily bombardments of gold posts which always include a funky income earning link.
Dont get Critical wrong. On the AH yes he is a jerk, but in Real Life he always donates to charity gold coin collectors and co-sponsors 2 World Vision children because its the right thing to do. This was one of those on-the-fence posts and I hope I dont lose readers because of it.
The question Critical is asking himself is as per the title: Are we being played by Markco and Co, professional social internet manipulators?
I dont know Markco or Alyzande, the owner/author of the Gold Queen. I dont know if she has been raped. Critical only knows what is published by someone, on her public blog. There are just some funny vibes, and I think Critical is not the only that is picking up on these strange vibes. Why do you say that you ask? Because Critical can see 2 distinct blogger groups:
- gold bloggers who are vocally sympathetic
- gold bloggers who have not been vocal (and i believe smell something fishy)
Or maybe its the GOLD SPEED RUN link in all the new posts?
Or maybe its the weird feeling that, if Critical was involved with a traumatic incident (for example a car accident), my wow blog would be the last thing on my mind behind Personal wellbeing, Kids, Family etc
Or maybe because if someone was raped, they generally do not want to tell the whole world? Especially in gorey details such as:
"Some part of me died between 2nd and 3rd rape."
Or maybe its the way the Setup was (in Critical's opinion) very cleverly set up:
- putting Markco and Warcraft Econ as temporary regents (authors) so that if it all goes to poos Alyzande can claim, oh this was all Markco posting not me
- a real world charity link, so that it looks like its not all about generating own income stream
- after the intro post comes a few neutral posts with no sell links and then BAM! daily lame posts with clever links asking you the Reader to: speed run speed run speed run clicky here!!!!
- if anyone questioned the reality of Alyzande's condition all it would take is one non-anon reader to post a vouch and that is sufficient to shut down any doubts eg Nathan posts "i have talked to Alyzande in Real Life and yes she is in hospital and is in a serious condition".
- a few weeks before an Awareness day, she has that ailment
Again I hope you dont misunderstand Critical. Increasing awareness of domestic violence and child abuse is highly needed in Critical's own country and I personally feel a piece of me die when I read in the newspaper of yet another child in our country being mistreated and callously killed.
/shrug, I happen to know from personal experience preparing and loading up a blog post via a smartphone with links and pics such as the recent Gold Queen posts is nowhere near easily done. Even though each post is signed POSTED BY Alyzande, Critical would guess they are definitely created and posted by a caretaker.
I dont know. My gut tells me, I think we are all being lead on to some extent by a very clever puppeteer. Maybe Alyzande did get raped, but Critical believes the mastermind behind these posts should not be taking advantage of her reader's pity and push internet sales, thats just poor form.
Hmmmmmmm. Hopefully Critical does not lose Readers because he voiced his opinion that something smells very fishy. I dont know .... I just cant shake that feeling.
Update 1: Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on this topic. If I do not respond to your comment it is not for lack of respect but for time. I will also refrain from referring to myself in the 3rd person that many Critical Readers are used to, so that you know you are talking directly to this blog's author not a blogspot character.
Firstly I would like to address Apple Cider Mage because her post and commenters highlight genuine concerns with my published post, rather than bandwagon everyone-all-aboard. I wish to clarify to Apple that I support White Ribbon, and that I agree rape, domestic violence and along with child abuse (I know thats not relevant but to me it is important) are serious issues that do require promotion and increased awareness to be raised. My post calls into question the appropriateness of capitalizing commercially for self gain, on the back of a serious incident.
Secondly @Sinshroud thank you for taking the time to share with everyone exactly what is going on. I have immense respect for you personally and the sacrifices you have made to give back to the wow community. I sincerely apologize for being the "jerk" who did not hide behind a corner and spoiled a surprise birthday party (to put it mildly). I am sorry you feel this way and completely understand if you remove my blog's link from your forums blog roll (if you have not yet). I do wish it to be clear though this post was not intended to be personal attack questioning whether the incident occurred, but (again to re-iterate), to question the commercial income stream attachment to a serious incident.
Thirdly @Zse Thank you for sharing a very personal part of your life. I apologize because my statement was poorly structured. Yes everyone has the right to deal with a traumatic incident in whatever way helps you help yourself. What I meant to call into question was, to what depth of detail do victims go to when describing their ordeal. It just flickered a "hang-on" switch when the post casually mentioned "oh by the way I was raped at least 3 times".
Lastly @Markco Thank you for showing me a perfect example of how to drum up interest which converts into sales figures. I have a lot of respect for you, your skills and your abilities. If I was camp Gevlon prior, I am now camp Markco. If I had the tiniest inkling of commercializing for income, you would be the first one I would call.
To address the wider audience I would also like to clarify 2 further points:
Did I release the post for publicity knowing it is an aggravating topic? No. Loyal Critical Readers who have stuck with me through thick and thin will know I am only interested in true Critical Readers aka glyphers wanting to improve themselves and their glyphing skillsets, and are willing to return the favor by helping other glyphers improve. Sports Illustrated has no use for a house wife who is not interested in sports. In the same way temporary short term visitors interested in conflict but not glyphing, are of no use to a glyph specific blog.
Why publish this post then? Along with many other gold blog authors I read a lot of gold blogs. Also like many blogs, this blog is built on the author's opinion. I had an opinion, I tried to keep it honest and unbiased based on the information I had at the time of the post. I also tried to avoid applying nasty labels to people or situations, which often happens on many other blogs. This post simply highlighted the commercialization tactics on the Gold Queen's blog and the chain of events unfolding. I did not (and have not) made a personal judgement call whether what is happening is good or bad, except to say: this is what I see happening.
I will honestly and openly admit I am a very new blogger new at blogging and whilst I have learnt a lot in the short 2 months of this blog's life, I still have a lot more to learn. With a higher readership count and therefore power, comes responsibility. Much more so than a blog with a smaller viewership base.
To the real person behind Alyzande/The Gold Queen: You have my sincere sympathies and I wish you the best and a speedy recovery.
Thank you again all for contributing to a very healthy (albeit heated) discussion. If I have let my loyal Critical Readers down with an apparent lack of ethics or thereof, I apologize in advance. I have made my own bed and rather than hide, delete this post or delete this blog I am choosing instead to front up and face the media storm ahead. This is because I feel a personal obligation to explain myself to my Critical Readers who without, my 2 month old blog would not be what it is today. I know you are there in the background not commenting/questioning and calling for my blood with the rest of the mob, but you deserve an explanation.
To everyone else calling for my blood: I fully understand if you vote with your feet, stop reading this blog and go and click the income stream links to "show your support" against me. This is an unfortunate side effect that often accompanies strong opinion Posts, that there will now be an even bigger divide between Critical Readers and Non-Critical Readers.
the real person behind Critical
@Brent I will be honest yes it was a short post, from opening, draft and complete time being <1hr. If I could do it again do I wish I had held onto the Draft longer or wish I had not published this Post? No. I have already learnt very early on that publishing a public post on a public blog is irreversible and you cannot "regret" publishing articles. I expected a few Critical Readers to share their opinions (for and/or against) but not the awesome public backlash with heavy hitters of the wow blogsphere (Sinshroud, Markco etc) also wading in. Unfortunately this is now something my blog and my pseudonym writing character must live with.
@Midas the news articles are easy to find now because readers are linking my post and the article together to spread the news and cause more outrage.
@Alto why would I want to try and forget I posted this? It was I that published it. It was myself that wrote 100% of the post, no one else helped.
To those thinking this was a publicity stunt: this post's view count is only 1,315 views. The blog's total pageview for around 2 and a half months is 22.7k which loyal Critical Readers know, was earned through hard work publishing (imho) semi-decent posts, every day. This topic is hardly interesting enough to garner 22,000 hits in 1 day. Only JTMC articles can hit those sort of numbers because of the high quality of their articles.
Reading through the comments posted through all day, the 3 that have stood out have been Markco's. I completely and absolutely admire his exceptional EQ. If not for the seriousness of this topic, I would be all over his comments and fully dissecting his "dont bash her, bash me" hero act and his "tsk tsk tsk so wrong" /shaking his head act. Markco we have to work together sometime, I am sure we could make some big bucks with your experience and my critical attitude. Hit me up when you are ready buddy.
@Dave /bow thank you, thank you for the golfclap. Wasnt it super clever of me to ruin my reputation that I have worked so hard to cleanup and build up over the last 10 weeks, for 1,300 measly page views? Ask any blogger, any real blogger would they intentionally destroy their reputation for 1,300 page views? I would not, as highlighted in Update 1.
There are obviously some very very angry readers that feel I have touched a raw nerve. As I have already mentioned, I will not try to hide or trivialize this post as a normal daily post to be pushed downwards and forgotten. I will try to explain myself as best as I can but as this is a public blog, you the public are free to flame me, burn me or hang me as you wish. I only ask you read through my clarifications and apologies before skewering me further.
This blog is now belongs to you Public Joe for 3 days, after which, hopefully I have not lost all my Critical Readers and can continue with my daily post routine.
@Alto, I have always been very outspoken about from the very beginning of this writing character. Along the way I have offended people and have made many "enemies" so to speak. Because of the above post, my blog has become a platform for wholesale attack, with comments coming from all sorts of commenters:
- genuine concerned individuals (Sinshroud, Applecider, Zse)
- defensive parties (Markco)
- Critical "enemies" (Kath, Bree etc)
- Neutral, open minded (Vendoh)
- long term Critical Readers (Brent, anon, Midas)
- let's jump on board, everyone's doing it so its ok aka mob mentality
To the genuinely concerned individual's I have tried to address their concerns as honestly as I can and apologizing where I felt appropriate.
I can also understand a defensive party wanting the opportunity to defend themselves. The interesting thing is Markco proves again he is king of social manipulation. He not only blocks a thrust, he counter punches in the same breathe. He has learnt a very long time ago that all publicity is good even negative publicity, it is all in how you handle your public relations. I do not joke when I say he is my idol.
My enemies are here to get their shots in. Go for it, we all know if you wait long enough, a strong opponent will still make a mistake once a while and that will be your rare opportunity which you should capitalize on before its gone.
I appreciate Vendoh's comments because he defends my post as an objective, open minded individual who is not taking the easy route of jumping aboard the wagon and wholesale flogging some guy because everyone else is doing it. Thank you for being a voice of reason, I hope your association with this post has not tainted your name.
My Critical Readers are who I hold the most respect for and to be completely honest Alto, they are the only readers I give a rats ass about. In the same way I do not give a rats ass about random strangers jumping in because of mob mentality and wholesale beating someone up because that person must be bad or else why are they getting beaten up. It may be counter productive in repairing my public relation to say this but it is who I am.
I do not hide from my responsibilities and for those that are here to jump on board the wagon go ahead, unrestricted commenting is still open. What I do not want is new readers thinking this is a publicity stunt with the hopes of increasing my Readership. If you are here for the conflict by all means enjoy the numerous scathing comments and feel free to jump in and get your jabs in as well. But if you're new and only here for conflict, I want you in, get your punches in, and then out. I dont want you to have any other reason to stay, hence the removal of all everything except this single post. In out, go find the next "evil" I dont want you clicking other posts that I and Critical Readers have worked hard together to build.
Yes you heard correctly Critical Readers. This blog is only what it is today because you helped build it with all your contributing selfless comments. I believe this blog is one of the few "small" blogs that have a great community of commenters which you know is true by the screenshots of comment counts that I regularly post. Dumb questions are never shutdown and are helped to be answered not just by me, but by other selfless Critical Readers. Anon posting has always been open right from the start and no non-spam post has ever been deleted because I believe 100% in the articles that I publish.
Because of this I owe it to my Critical Readers to try to shut this uproar down as quick as possible. I have a highly professional group of glyph mad Critical Readers and I stand by my articles 100% including this one. But I do not want this monkey hanging on my back, with strangers commenting on future posts.
I too may not be wordsmith or a great blogger and yes I have maybe only 100 posts and yes I have not yet hit the 3 month or 300 post mark. Yes your blog is probably better than mine. I too am not famous. Markco bam instant recognition, same for Sinshroud. Yes my blog may die off tomorrow or next year, and if that happens yes you may or not miss me. I also have no idea how I will be remembered.
But it boils down to, why do I blog and why we purists believe in not loading adverts on our blogs? We blog for "fun". Being advert-free I believe it keeps us honest, not just to our readers because we are not pushing out rubbish posts just to look active, but also to ourselves so that we continue to blog and share our opinions because we want to and it is what we enjoy. If there is no more enjoyment it is very easy to stop because we are not reliant on a $1000 per month advertising income stream.
It may seem I have turned my "glass house" into a brick house. To be honest I am not quite sure I fully understand your analogy. But I hope the above has explained the reason for the massive changes.
Thank you Alto for your words of advice. It has helped and forced me to formalize, understand and reaffirm with myself the actions I am taking are the best in mine and my Critical Reader's interests.
- Of course everything I write about here is about me me me. This whole blog is about my opinion as is the case with your ex-blog or anyone else's blog.
- Everyone has the right to run their blog the way they want, with or without ads. I tried to simply explain to Alto why its not a big deal if I "die off" as he so kindly puts it, because I dont have or need an income from a blog.
- Lastly I am not Charlie Brown from Accounting preparing a financial report. I am Critical from Tichondrius geeking up a glyph blog, hence the pen name.
1. There is a slight difference between a Critical Reader and a reader of Critical's blog. [reference to Breevok deleted].
2. My updates are not revisions. While I may correct a spelling error here and there, I do not modify my previous writings. The majority of visitors to a blog are to read the author's views. I choose (which is my right as you rightly noted) to consolidate my comments together. Whether you like this style of author commenting or not, that's obviously your choice.
/hugs, sorry buddy I know you wish everyone on your blogroll could get along but I know what I posted when I posted it and I chose to post it because I am who I am.
@Everyone else asking I continue my regular posts, please be patient. If you re-read through the early comments you will notice the bloodrage effect where all they see is blood and all they want is blood. When the drama dies down hopefully the mob will shuffle away back to their own circles.
Only just read Breevok's latest update and new blog, my reference above deleted. We may not see eye to eye on many things, but I feel your pain and hope you are doing ok.
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