Saturday, November 24, 2012

I'll do anything for you (but I won't do that)

I have received a few direct requests recently to back, promote, review, or otherwise put some energy into other people's projects. It was kind of weird to me, and I sort of want to make it clear why I'm not planning to do this sort of thing, except in very rare instances.

The first is Time: I don't have time both to write about what I want to write about and to write about what others want me to write about. Your project may be completely fabulous, but I'm not interested in writing about your stuff unless it's also my stuff. As in, this is something I'm encountering in my games, in my own reading, etc. This blog is about me and my obsessions, and I don't want to do promotion or reviews for other people. I'm not a professional blogger and have no intentions of becoming one. That's too much like work, and, again, is time I don't get to spend on my own obsessions.

The second has to do with relationships. In each of these cases, I didn't know the person who was asking, and was unfamiliar with the project. I chose to promote something a while back, and that thing went all pear-shaped from what I've heard. I regret associating myself with another person's failed efforts. That was my bad decision, and reflects what I most want to avoid: Becoming a pimp for events I didn't organize, products I don't use, stories I'm not reading, games I'm not playing, or whatever. There's another aspect of this, of course. I've gotten to know a lot of people on the web, mostly through Google+. Some I've interacted with in comments threads and some I've played with; some I've even just hung out with in video chat, shooting the shit and talking about topics of mutual interest. The point here is that I'd be a lot more likely to want to write about someone else's project if I have an established relationship with that person. Hell, in many cases that person wouldn't even have to ask, because I'm interested in the first place. If I don't know you, though, I'm probably not going to respond to "I don't know you, but will you do something you would not otherwise be doing, but for me and not for you?"

For me, this is about my interests and about my relationships with people who share those interests. If something has nothing to do with either of those things, then probably I'm not going to blog about them or promote them. Please don't take it personally. It's not about you, it's about me.


  1. Very honest and appropriate post to let your readers know how you feel. I appreciate the OSR helping hand mentality for project assistance. I extend an offer via post and usually have several willing to edit or playtest. Over the years I've developed some great online friendships this way.

  2. Yeah, this is a great community and very supportive of others' endeavors. And I really don't want to be a dick about it, either. I'm just ADD enough that I can get pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly. I'm also terrible at saying no to people, so I tend to be very cautious about that sort of thing. On the other hand, if someone writes up their own stuff and it seems pretty interesting to me or to maybe even to people I know, I will repost it on G+, respond to in an a post, or whatever. It's mostly a matter of being careful about managing the relevance/responsibility thing, at least for me.

  3. I'm always leery about someone who I don't know or at least have some sort of relationship through the blogs or Google + that asks me to back their product. While I will help out when I can and I try to as much as I can, I like to know the person. If they seem cool and put out a product and I can help in some way, absolutely.

    I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. Its your blog and keep on doing what you what you do. You've got a great point of view. Great things to say. And my god, you won the prestigious Newbie Blogger Award so you must be doing something right.