Three days ago I updated the format of this site to allow me to list the main EVE related blogs that I follow. As I remarked in a comment, I wanted to do this to acknowledge in a small way the community that exists.
Yesterday Ardent Defender ** posted a number of links to current discussions around the EVE Blogging Community and two of its staples – the EVE Blog Pack (http://blogpack.evebloggers.com/) and Eve Bloggers ( http://www.evebloggers.com/). I don’t follow either closely as they tend not to be updated frequently enough, but the discussions are worth noting.
Seismic Stan will be trying to keep a list of related blog posts here:
So what is this EVE Blogging Community that we are talking about? Simplistically it is just a collection of EVE Bloggers who link, recognise and refer to each other. At its very core I would guess there might be a half dozen or more very prominent and well known writers with large reader bases, and maybe 30 or 40 more respected and decently patronised sites. Around this would be hundreds more active EVE blogs.
The Blogs come and go, and fall in and out of favour – but I think the community is now relatively entrenched and easy enough to stumble across. While the community ebbs and grows organically now, it was certainly helped in its creation by the semi-formal relationships begun through mechanisms like the EVE Blog Pack.
The EVE Blogging community can also be found in twitter under #tweetfleet, in CCP’s own Fan site list (http://community.eveonline.com/community/fansites.asp), and either directly or cross posted on EVE News 24 (http://evenews24.com/) and The Mittani (http://themittani.com/). All these, in one way or the other, have commercial interests, so rightly or wrongly I don’t specifically tie them into the underlying grassroots of the community.
My version of the EVE Blog community are the 18 blogs I follow in Google Reader and the 40 WordPress Blogs I am subscribed to. I would say 30% are updated regularly, 40% infrequently, and 30% are dormant. I tend to leave those I really like in case they return, but every so often I will add or remove sites from this. I also follow (and occasionally post in) the Blog Banter.
As it is, it can be a struggle to keep up to date on all those blogs – but I feel they keep me informed on what is going on in the EVE sphere; and my EVE experience is more enjoyable and richer for following them.
My own contribution is pretty light on. I link to my favorite blogs, and I make a point of commenting in or referring to them at times. I don’t specifically promote this site as I still – and I expect always will – write it for myself. I’m aware people read the posts, but for the most part it is just me getting my own thoughts in order. I only count myself as being on the outer fringes of the EVE Blogging Community.
On the surface, there is no specific need for the EVE Blog Pack and such any more. As it stands there are so many links between the most popular and well known EVE bloggers that all it takes is a simple Google Search for a new EVE player to be quickly exposed to the community, be it a little haphazardly. (Half of all my traffic comes from search results, the other half from referrals or subscriptions.)
Where the EVE Community can however really benefit from these older structures is in how they promote and encourage participants to both increase the quality and frequency of posts. While they might get unwieldy and politicised as the community grows and get older, they can still play a very valuable part in it.
The issue is – can you find the appropriate people to manage them? Do not underestimate the time, effort and politics which would be involved in running and maintaining a central resource like the Blog Pack. I’ve been involved in various online communities for 20 or more years now, including being a moderator on a forum that had thousands of registered and active users. It can be like a part time job with no pay, little praise, and regular angst, aggravation and dummy spits from the louder members of the community. It can be hard to disassociate yourself from the commentary and not take things personally. I fully appreciate the labors of those who have previously managed these services for the community, and can’t blame them if they decide to abandon them.
Regardless what happens I suspect the community will carry on, probably even after the EVE servers have finally shutdown – at least long enough to dissect, opinionate, and muse over the reasons CCP failed.
** Ardent Defender followed it up with his own detailed thoughts here: