24 Aug 2011

Fear of the Fansites

Back in May 2010 the Warcraft blogging community were asked if they’d consider writing for the World of Warcraft Official Magazine. I have to be honest with you: I considered it, asked a few questions but ultimately didn’t go through with it. I was a new blogger on the scene (still am by most accounts), still finding my voice and didn’t think I’d have anything the editors would be interested in.

While my opinion of my own writing hasn’t changed much (Gaz in print? Ludicrous idea!) it’s something I’d like other bloggers to achieve if it’s the career they want to go for. Which made me all the more surprised when I read this blogpost from the first Editor In Chief of the aforementioned magazine.

The first question that came to mind was that two well known and respected contributors to the community had their names stripped from the first issue on Blizzard’s request. I’m not sure why they’d ask for such a thing and I don’t really want to second guess their motives, but it does raise some troubling questions.

Are bloggers and fansite contributors writing themselves out of a job? By having a go at trying to develop their skills and demonstrate success are they eliminating themselves from a career path they’d actually quite like to take? What does this mean for fansite writers hoping for an eventual gig writing professionally?

I don’t know the answers to this. What I am worried about is the idea that it may put off bloggers from expressing themselves for fear of jeopardising that dream job they’ve always wanted. I don’t even know what the endgame is. The magazine today now includes bylines for all contributing authors. That’s not to say that your work will ever get used – it could be dropped for any number of reasons as part of the editing process.

It makes me more grateful than ever of the culture that we have in the blogsphere – the love of writing. Some people are happy with writing purely for fun and more power to them. Others hope to supplement their income from it or become a writer full time, and I’m fine with that too. I just hope they don’t stop writing because of what it may do to their future.

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7 Responses to Fear of the Fansites

  1. Oestrus says:

    The only thing that really concerned me about this issue is that the two writers who were left out of the mix or who did not receive credit are writers who have pretty pristine reputations in the community. You don’t seem the causing too big of a ruckus or ending up on too many people’s shit lists. You can’t help but wonder what these people could have done to be left out like this. And if people as well liked as those two can be left out, what hope do the rest of us have?
    Oestrus recently posted..FunMy Profile

  2. Eccentrica says:

    Unfortunately that’s the way it goes. If you want to work for or be a representative of Company XYZ you need to toe the party line. Blizzard is entirely free to accept or decline the articles it wants in its magazine. Thank heavens we have this medium in which to write or be damned. All the same, whether a piece is commissioned or written voluntarily for no compensation it needs to be credited. That was rather slimy on Blizzard’s part.

    • Gazimoff says:

      I’m not sure if it was slimy, or if the editor in chief was so desperate to use their work anyway that a compromise deal was struck. Either way, it’d seem that Blizzard do keep a list of people they don’t want to be directly associated with.

  3. Scary Worlds says:

    I would be a bit annoyed if I poured everything in to an article for magazine, but I know even payroll writers don’t get everything they write published. Now if these 2 writers are banned from contributing they must of said something negative for Blizzard to not want th ever.

    I’m not sure how blogging hinders an aspiring writer tho unless they just rant all the time. Blogging is more of a threat to paid media because more and more people are flocking to free websites.

  4. Jamin says:

    I must be honest. If I was blogging at the time that Blizzard asked this, I too would have seriously considered it. Mean, writing for Blizzard! That’s the pinnacle right (You would think) ?!

    Though I suppose being a “Blizzard” magazine, it must support their views/and opinions (Unless you agree with them/compliment them in any way). By having another “voice of power” in the scene, it could be seen as undermining Blizzard.

    If you wanted to write professionally, I do believe it would still benefit you to write for them. Although you wouldn’t get immediately recognised, it would certainly be an addition to your CV right. Though I can see a very hard felt of being unappreciated for your written-work, that Blizzard would pretty much get credit for.

    - Jamin
    Jamin recently posted..What you Mogging’ at, Deathwing!?My Profile

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