Seri sez: At the risk of being blacklisted…

August 27, 2009

Do you feel lucky, punk?I have been extremely hesitant to pen this post, because I have a feeling that it’s going to get me/us in trouble. You see… World of Snarkcraft has enjoyed a pretty friendly relationship with WoW Insider over the last year. They’ve long been a great source of inspiration and information, not to mention blog promotion–as any blogger who has ever been linked on The Daily Quest can attest. (How many of our readers found us via WoW Insider? I’m willing to bet a lot.)

Their readership is huge; I would venture to say that they are probably the most popular WoW news blog in the US (can’t speak for global readership, as I haven’t ever gone looking for blogs in other geos), syndicated and translated by dozens of other sites around the world. Therefore, it is with no small amount of wariness that this David looks up at this Goliath, shaking a tiny fist at the sky.

Rabble rabble.

Ok, here’s the thing: WoW Insider’s BlizzCon coverage gave me a migraine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They were there… feet on the ground, asses in chairs… they saw it, they reported it, we read it. Good for them. The problem? Constant regurgitation. All. Weekend. Long.

Also, they repeated themselves.

(See what I did there?)

There was a live blog post for the important WoW-related panels, wherein they harvested, time stamped and bullet pointed every factoid spoken by the developers… and then they proceeded to make a billion individual posts repeating this information. The same information, I remind you, but with more words around it. Well-meaning words, but useless words. It’s not entirely their fault.. I mean, there was only so much information to report. But did it really have to be reported multiple times, toted as if it were breaking news? Seriously?

I complained about this to Mr. Seri on Saturday and he looked at me funny. Less than 24 hours later, he told me I’d ruined WoW Insider for him because he hadn’t really stopped to think about it until I pointed it out. Hopefully the same is not true for you, dear readers, because if so I’m pretty sure I’ll be off the WoW Insider winter holiday mailing list. (Which would be a pity, because they have awesome fruitcake.)



  1. Actually, they do sometimes do things that annoy me but this one didn’t.

    I can see that not everyone wants to read through the second by second liveblog and just wants the brief bulletpoint summary. So they probably don’t expect everyone to read everything.

    I have to admit, I quite liked their coverage. From someone on the other side of the world who was too cheap to spring for the live feed (also didn’t much fancy sitting in front of a terminal for that long) it was almost like being there.

  2. Oh, I don’t think you’re out of line at all. It’s an honest critique, and if they care at all they’ll take it as such and work to improve.

    Well, unless there’s a quota system at work here.

  3. shhhhhhhhhh… >.> they’ll come get you and turn you into a gnome, Seri, a GNOME!

  4. As tiny as I am compared to Snarkcraft… and even smaller to WoWInsider, I would have to agree Seri. And it’s not just on WoWInsider, but on multiple blogs that I’ve seen and read following the release of Xpac updates. People who were there or watching the live feed posting what was said. Then the next day posting the same thing, but with more elaborate words. Then the following day after that posting more words stating the same thing but with more words added to restate the original post made the day of. It’s a vicious circle.

    I think it’s safe to say that unless you were living under a rock in the middle of the ocean with Gilligan and no coconut milk powered technology, everyone knows what is to be known about Cataclysm, and that until more is released later on down the road that holds a real significance… can we please move on?

  5. WoW insider has always been way too verbose for me, I just skim most of their stuff. Breakfast topic and well fed buff peeve me the most.

  6. The minute by minute notetaking style was great, the reiteration of the information was not. Spot on.

  7. I just read the nice compact MMO Champion summaries of the panels and basically read nothing that WoW Insider posted about it. Not a huge deal.

  8. I thought it was a bit much too. Sometimes I wondered to myself if I was just reading the same post over and over again.

  9. What is WoW Insider?

  10. I’m a journalist in RL (not in an English-speaking country though) and I too think that WoWinsider have a tendency to repeat themselves. A lot.

    Also, sometimes they waste amazing stories by hiding them inside those columns with semi-incoherent headlines.

    Remember that story about the French guy that served as a spy on his guild’s enemy guild, played with them for a couple of weeks then failed their immoprtal Naxx achievement on purpose, while exposing himself for the first time? All he got was 3 lines in Guildwatch.

    I do have quite a few good words to spare for them. The coverage of the [Martin Fury] scandal was really impressive.

    P.S. I enjoy reading WoWinsider on a daily basis, but a lot of serious players, the ones who dedicate loads of time and effort to WoW, prefer the straight forward approach of mmo-champion to news consumption – just the news, without the interpretation and the magazine-stuff. Perhaps on events like Blizzcon, such approach is more effective.

  11. Is everyone forgetting the click-through? Hello. They want more people to open stories to see more ads and to click on those ads.

    Money people, come on!

    It’s why links were created. Every time a person follows a link, that’s another opportunity to serve up new ads.

    I’m kind of surprised that geeky bloggers such as yourselves didn’t see this to start with?

    And I wouldn’t be surprised that you’ve noticed it more after they were moved to wow.com… I can see AOL saying to them, “We will let you use WoW.com, but you better show us some ad revenue for it.” Or something similar.

    That’s what I figure it is. And it’s not just wow insider, it’s every blog, news, or major website that is content driven does now. The trick is finding that happy medium were you’re getting more clicks, but not annoying people with too many hoops to get at content.


  12. Honestly, I’ve felt this way about WoW Insider all along. I still read them, but 90% of their posts are needless filler fluff. Two bosses enter, one boss leaves? Pitting together two bosses, neither of which I can remember by name, for no real reason! And so on.

    It’s the 10% that makes it worth sifting through. đŸ˜›

  13. I could not agree more. It was more of the same and more of that. In fact everyday for weeks there was posts on blizzcon coming, what to see, what has been “leaked”, and even how and what to pack.


    Thanks for pointing it out. đŸ™‚


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