Monday, May 02, 2011

The High Cost of Gabbing

I don’t want to seem to be beating up on –C, because that’s not my intent at all. There’s some neat stuff on that blog, and I hope it garners the author what’s desired. And mulling over responses to my last post, I realized something that should have been obvious to me from the get-go about this.

Folk wisdom to the contrary, talk isn't always cheap. The truth is, -C, by charging in commentary for his work, was asking too much. If your readership is a bunch of college students with lots of time on their hands but always strapped for cash, yes, exchanging words for words is a more than fair trade.

But the bulk of the OSR is clearly old farts with jobs. And families, and interests outside of gaming. Thoughtful, insightful, and useful commentary, forget full-blown critique, is hard. Sometimes I can whip up one of these blog posts in a quarter-hour, 20 minutes. And I'm a professional. I imagine most folks can take the better part of an hour easily to write, massage, and post 300 to 400 words.

That’s time that could have been spent ensuring the next promotion, landing a new client, or in any number of ways that actually put jingle in your pocket. It can actually be cheaper, as well as easier, for you to pay $10, $20, or even $40 for gaming materials then to spend (there’s a reason that’s the word to use there) a half-hour commenting on them.

Time is money, and the older we get the more expensive time tends to be. This is why building a community is harder than acquiring customers. Folk wisdom also tells us that the customer who complains is worth their weight in gold, because most will simply stop buying from you and never tell you why. Feedback is awesome, but incredibly hard to get, even under the best of circumstances.

3 comments:

Herb said...

While I understand your point I'll admit just one or two comments go a long way when I post.

I know people are reading what I blog (although I get jealous every month when the follower rankings come out) but even the occasional, "hey, that's cool" is very satisfying.

-C said...

Yes, this was *exactly* the conclusion I came to, and one of the reasons I made my decision.

I was idealistic, and I sort of view it as a sad state of affairs that this is the case.

Not that people are busy or have jobs, but the relative unimportance of community and the ease at which we spend money to avoid that essential connection with our fellow man.

Like I said, idealistic. :-)

Oddysey said...

Not that people are busy or have jobs, but the relative unimportance of community and the ease at which we spend money to avoid that essential connection with our fellow man.

I suspect it's more that people have better places to get community than roleplaying blogs on the internet.