Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Life after Death

So not all of Massively/Joystiq/WoW Insider died. Specifically the WoW Insider portion is being kept alive. Or even more specifically, transplanted, or even more technically correct (which is the best kind of correct), removed from its host and growing in a petri dish.

The staff from WoW Insider have decided to stick together and form a new site called Blizzard Watch. I really wanted a weather pun about it as my title. I’m from Canada, I love the weather, but nothing came up that didn't make it sound like I was also a part of it. Look out, we’re on a Blizzard Watch! See, had to use the word we’re, and neither I, nor 99% of you who read this, are on it.

To fund themselves, they've turned to crowd funding on Patreon. The site is kind of like Kickstarter for ongoing projects. While Kickstarter says ‘Give me $1000’ to make one thing, Patreon says ‘Give me $10 per month to make a thing every month’.  Like the donate banners from webcomics in the internet of old before ad revenue. I've personally pledged $10 a month, it’s not much. But with everyone else who also pledged, Blizzard Watch is now looking at a monthly budget of over $9000 not even 12 hours after its founding. Well over their old $8000 budget they were given by AOL for WoW Insider.

I’m personally excited about this. This is not a site that will be click baiting for Add Revenue, I mean, there will be ads, but their money comes from the very people who want their articles. It’s not a parent company who looks down and says ‘Kids like x, write about x, here’s a budget that it better make back’ It’s 300 kids running up to the author and saying ‘here is money, please write about x for us, do what you can with what we can provide’. Perhaps the metaphors don’t hold up, this could be incredibly flawed. Perhaps I’m losing sight of reality in the novelty of the moment. Perhaps $7000 of funding is cancelled before Blizzard Watch even gets any money because $7000 worth of donators thought they would be sneaky and cheat the system to trick them into hitting and promising milestones without actually paying. 

We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out, but I think the community is actually coming together on this one. Like City of Heroes, the internet just refuses to truly let some things die.

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