Yesterday I put together a little article about another site. It's all in good fun and obviously people can take criticism. Even my colleagues felt I was a bit rough, but it was amusing at best, cruel at worst. (Thanks Faid) I want to build it back up though and let you know what the community was always about, at least from my perspective and from many solid thinking individuals out there currently grinding out the wins.
Stok was really cool. He was a musician by trade and someone you wouldn't expect to be a genius at business principles. This is a guy who put a ton of work into writing lots of good quality content, and the thing that stood out about his blog over all the other train wrecks out there was his thought process and being completely original.
It was a rare, rare thing to see a "meh" post there. Everytime he would publish something it would be useful information. He collected gold for the sake of collecting gold, and then blew it for the sake of blowing it. Sort of like a lottery winner going on a spending spree, except this lottery winner was able to make all of it back very quickly after pissing it all away. Now that, ladies and gents, is a champion.
There are few gold makers and authors in WoW that are memorable who can do something nobody else does. I've met some of the best and most have been around for a very long time. We have Sterling, Elen, Z-Man, Stede, Sinshroud, and others. Then we also have the purveyors of TSM, TUJ, and Wowuction. I personally wouldn't put myself in that group, I'm just good at creating systems.
I'm still a fan of Gevlon, the original junk yard dog blogger, who's demeanor is very much like my own:
Gevlon though, was often found to make mistakes, and brag about things to the point he would often get called out for overstating the truth... on his own blog. Screenshots were memorable to say the least. But let's get back to good gold blogging.
Stok was a master of time management, master of AH etiquette, and took no prisoners. There wasn't any question when he set his sights on a market that he was going to dominate it. He took the time to clarify his ideas and revisit them. He would even help yours truly understand better what his idea was getting at.
Truth be told, I spent years working the Auction House prior to meeting his blog. I had the core characteristics when I found it, and I walked away enhancing my own thought process. He invented his own way, developed and discovered markets, experimented, and did what it took to be successful, and gave you the keys to compete with him directly. Everything he did came from the fruits of his own research. Simply an amazing individual.
Most important - he asked nothing more than for you to read and enjoy. No ads. No "buy my book". No pyramid referral schemes. No illegit tactics or underhanded techniques. No hands out.
From 2009 to present day, blogs regarding gold have cropped up all over the place. The vast majority are recycling content from others and proclaiming and presenting it as their own. This is unfair to the people who spent the time developing these techniques and were good enough to share it for free. Like they probably taught you in writing class - FOOTNOTE your sources. Give credit to the people who developed the idea. At least MENTION where you got the idea. Taking another human being's work and presenting it as your own, whether in a game, at work, or to friends defeats the human spirit. Doing it to profit, well, there's a reason professors are drummed out of universities when they do this same thing.
This is the standard by which your blog should aspire. Do it because you love to do it, and not because you see some pocket change to be made off a readership. Take a few minutes, and go learn how it's done.