I’ve had people say for months that there were problems with the Contact Form, and I have no idea why… it seems like 100 people get it to work fine one day, and then the very next morning I see at least three comments from people who say it wouldn’t work for them.

I have no idea how many people might have tried contacting me, had it fail, and just gave up, and I don’t know what’s wrong with the plugin, so I updated the Contact page with an email address. I’ll leave that up until someone that knows what the heck they’re doing can look at the Contact Form code.

I like the Contact Form, because when I get the email, I can see from the formatting it’s from the blog and it makes it past my spam filters 100% of the time.

Anyway, so there is that.

The other thing is, I just wanted to say that when I went to bed last night, I had some serious doubts as to whether or not I was coming back today.

This blogging has always been, to me, about having fun chatting with friends, and sharing things with friends that I think are cool in WoW.

When I started the blog, it grew out of posting long rants and stuff in a small Yahoo group of just my few friends in our WoW guild, and it grew from there into a blog that was still just the same people, and maybe a handful more that BRK sent to me because he mentioned me once a long time ago.

As things have grown and changed, intellectually I’ve known that more people have been reading, but emotionally, I’ve always felt that my audience, the folks that visit here, are just part of my circle of friends.

That’s why I share everything that I do about what’s going on in my life. It’s why I post some of the things that, in hindsight, readers of a ‘feral druid blog’ probably think are just… stupid, and a waste of your time.

I see a funny WoW related vid, and think “Oooh I bet my friends would get a kick out of that.”

I shared my PBeM game that Manny and James and I have been playing in the same spirit of wanting to share something I’m proud of with my friends.

Even writing for WoW Insider… I was incredibly surprised to be asked to do that. And I have written very differently over there, because I do not feel my audience over there is made up solely of friends, I feel it is made up of mostly serious players looking for advice, tips and strategies. So I write serious Druid stuff for the most part, and I take making my articles valuable to the Druid community seriously when I write for them.

But it still felt like, the players that read over there are more the ‘norm’ of strangers looking for tips, and that when I come back here to blog, it’s back to chatting with friends. I think my biggest mistake there was putting a link to my blog in the articles.

The events of the last few days, the teeny bit of stuff in the public comments and the deluge of SHIT on my email, has brought that house of cards crashing down.

I no longer feel like I’m just chatting with friends. After some of the shit I’ve read in my email, I’m sorry, but emotionally… it’s a bunch of faceless strangers staring at me and judging me and my life. 

TJ has chatted with me in the past, and she’s tried to beat into me this thing about how big I am in blogging for WoW, and that I must be doing this for fame or I wouldn’t be doing it in the first place, and I never understood what she was saying. I just didn’t get it. I’m chatting with friends, I was doing it when there were 3 other people reading it, nothing has changed since then except I’ve got more friends now. Who gives a shit about being famous? What am I, Britney Spears? I don’t THINK so, thank you very much.

But… now I see what she meant. If I’m not doing all this for fame, then what reasonable person puts themselves out there like this in front of total strangers that have no problem ripping you apart in a personal manner, in the foulest of language, in personal emails, apparently trying to ‘win’ the internet.

So… I don’t know.

I do know that I went to bed last night pretty much thinking that I was done. This morning, I saw that I had a bunch of smart advice and nice words from folks that I do think of as friends posted about the MgT run, and that plus a couple of emails from other WoW friends just saying ‘hi’ helped remind me that everyone I like is still here… it’s just that there are a bunch of OTHER folks here too. 

I need to remember that I’m not just chatting with friends, put that knowledge in a compartment, and then forget it. My friends are what it’s about, and screw the rest of the people that have nothing better to do with their lives than… screw it. They’re not worth my time.

Please bear with me a bit, because it’s gonna take me a while to regain my sense of humor about this. 

I’m thinking of it like this… where before, I felt like I invited some friends over to my house, and we were all hanging out and chatting in the comfort of the living room… now, I feel like I went out to a bar, and invited a bunch of friends over, and we’re sitting there having a few pints and chatting and having a great time… but the bar is crowded, and there are plenty of people standing around our table, just standing and wathcing, close enough to overhear, and bored. And listening to us is a good way to pass the time as they have a few drinks.

And they’re not really our friends, and they don’t really give a shit… but if they hear something someone says they disagree with, they’ll sure as hell make sure we know it.

It’s not that big a deal… I just gotta remember that I don’t give a shit what the strangers think… it’s all about what my FRIENDS think.

Yeah, if I was as emo now as I was in High school, I’d pull out the Violent Femmes and spin “Good Feeling”. Oh, boo hoo.

As it is… I’ma gonna go play. Damn it, it’s late enough in the morning that I bet the good easy farming of ore is gone! Crap!

My friends, thank you for being you, and I am grateful that you made for me this imaginary little dream world where I thought everyone in the entire world that I knew was cool… whether you ever commented or hung out and had fun, you each know who you are, you are what has made this so much fun for the last year, and each and every one of you rocks. Thank you for being awesome. 

66 Responses to “Contact form page changed, and the status of the blog”
  1. Sppicey says:

    BBB is one of my fav blogs, because I feel part of the community (even if you don’t know me from Adam). Ignore the asshats and carry on — we love you for what you do and how you keep us entertained.

    Semper Paw.

  2. Pike says:

    Bear, if people disagree with you, that means you are doing your job as a blogger =) That is what I think anyway. You are getting people to think, you are getting people to get passionate about things. Some people do it in a friendly and civil way, others do it in a rather less-than-desired way, and that kind of stuff can definitely get you down. But don’t let it get to you in a personal way! Easier said than done I know =P

    Plus, if you have this many people who love your writings and are supporting you, then you must be doing something right! You’re one of those bloggers like BRK who has been around forever and has a million readers, a lot of people look up to you. You will get some scrutiny once in a while, but also a lot of love and gratitude for doing what you do.

    Thanks for being awesome and for being the blogger I think of anytime I switch into bearform on my druid (which has quickly become my second favorite class. It’s no hunter, but nobody’s perfect. ;) )

  3. Ziv says:

    Bear, you’ve influenced more than just your circle of friends with this blog. Any of those that have passed through and took any snippet of knowledge or wisdom from these pages have in some way been influenced. It’s good and heartfelt writing that could evoke such responses. Many of us have identified with you, not only with you as a community voice, but personally as well even if we don’t know you in RL. You’re very well respected in this blogging community and we do support you.

  4. Bellwether says:

    You’re the one and only Bear to me.

    No other feral even comes close.

  5. Stealthfire says:

    Heya Bear,

    I stumbled across your blog back when the WOTLK friends and family alpha first kicked off, and I’ve been checking it daily ever since. I’ve never posted before and I’m not a close friend or anything…but I hope ya don’t mind me hanging around.

    I’d hate if you ever stopped writing. Even if it’s just to comment on a new song or horrible pug, keep it up! Don’t let any of the internet jerks get to you. For every stranger that’ll chew you out or doesn’t give a damn, there’s plenty more like me who just enjoy what you say.

    From one bear to another,
    Stealth

  6. Kyanr says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful things you have written, the druidy-yumminess and otherwise. I love your stories, your life experiences are hilarious, but most of all I love that you blog because you like it, not because you feel obligated…

    Thanks for all the entertainment…

    Kyanr

  7. Game Dame says:

    One last comment. Stealthfire makes a very good point. For every douchebag who comments, you can count on HUNDREDS of more people who think well of you. Maybe thousands? I dunno ya numbaz… but it’s a lot.

  8. Nauloera says:

    In the words of one of my best friends…. *BEARHUGS*

    It makes things better. :)

  9. Greenhunter says:

    /wave

    Am another pervey eavesdropper (cough… I be an Australian librarian …for a bita give-n-take) shamed into commenting ^_^ okay okay I have little shame – but I do feel for you so I am popping in a 2 cents like the others. I have been reading you blog since … hmmm well since you had it on the old platform and the huge bear butt picture in your blog header made me laugh errr my butt off so-to-say. You must write well because I have never levelled a druid past 40 yet I find myself returning to your blog for wow related news and stories (guess it is kinda like a form of creepy stalker solo wow-socialization :p) – oh I believe you have been in about 3 of the podcasts I listen to regularly as well.

    It’s a shame people are making you feel crap – I hear it happens a lot to bloggers who get popular :(

    I like your posts because you do express an opinion on topics which get me thinking hmmm what do I think about that? You have probably inspired a few blog posts over my way.

  10. Saresa says:

    BBB, I know that it can be hard sometimes (OK, a lot of the time!). I figure the asshats are a very small portion of the population, and they really like to make their voices heard. I personally want to invite them to create their own blog – they can share it if they like (which could be REALLY interesting!), and I would be willing to host it. How does Opinionated Asshats sound? Any jerks, lets redirect them over there! :D

  11. Itsnoteasy says:

    Two things I wanted to say:

    My first character was a resto druid. Levelled 1-60 resto. Yes, it took like a year to do. I loved healing as a druid. But when BC came out, I didn’t make the transition to Lifebloom; I had a meltdown.

    When BC first came out, everything was broken (UI-wise.) There I was, in tree form, in 5 mans, trying to use HoTs to keep everyone up, with no UI assistance in working out how long was left on any of my HoTs. Eventually, trying to manually time up to five different HoTs of differing lengths in my head just crushed me. I locked away all my toons. To this day, I’ve never played my poor Druid again.

    But recently, I found myself wanting a lowbie alt that I could just pick up, play for 30 minutes, and put down again. A toon that wasn’t in a guild, that wouldn’t be bugged about stuff. Something nice and relaxing to play. I didn’t want to roll an Alliance toon, since I prefer to keep all my current characters on one realm on the same faction.

    After musing on it for a few hours, I eventually decided to give playing feral a try. In part because I missed playing a druid, but also in part to you. From my point of view, you’re to druids what BRK is to hunters: someone who gets up and writes passionately about them, who clearly loves them to pieces, and whose enthusiasm is infectious.

    But I’d never really played feral much; I’d specced feral for 60-70, but that was a long time ago. Your posts on low level talents, and how to play were really invaluable. In many places, it confirmed what I thought I should do, and in others helped me make a better decision.

    I’m now enjoying my little lowbie feral a lot. And much of that is thanks to you.

    Now, as much as I appreciate all your feral posts, the reason I keep reading and have you on my favourite blogs list is all the non-wow stuff. Look at the EJ forums; they have a lot of really great info. But it’s clinical. The people there are just names and avatars.

    On the other hand, despite having never met you in-game or IRL, I’d consider you a friend. The PBeM posts, the stories, it all makes you more than just a URL and a 125×125 JPEG.

    I don’t want you to keep posting because you feel obligated to. As much as I cherish your stories and advice, I don’t want it to be at the cost of a sad bear. Post because you want to, and don’t let the sanctimonious, self-absorbed raving pillocks spoil that for you. If they do, let me know, and I’ll kite them to and misdirect Doomwalker on to them. That’ll teach ‘em to mess with our bear!

    I have a Delicious Chocolate Cake for you, but the mailman says they don’t deliver from Hyjal to Kael’thas. But I’ll keep it in the fridge if you ever stop by. :)

  12. Practice says:

    Hi,

    I was standing over there near the bar and couldn’t help overhearing what you were saying. :)

    I’ve been lurking here for… ooh, almost a year now, but this is the first time I’ve succumbed to my urge to post. I came to this place while looking for Druid info, but stayed for the chat. I always found your thoughts and opinions interesting, rants and all. Yours is the first blog I read every morning, and I pounce on every new post. If you were to give it up now, I’d be a sad bear.

    I hope you manage to find a balance that keeps you happy, whatever that may be.

    So anyway, let me bring my chair over. I’m not very talkative, but I’m a good listener. Let me get the drinks in, what are you having?

  13. Tyderium says:

    Hey,

    I am pretty much a lurker here as well but I really enjoy all of your posts and you have encouraged me to level my own druid who had been sitting at level 35 for many months and who I have now recently gotten to 70 and am slowly starting to gear out as much as possible.

    I hope you keep writing this blog as I am a very frequent reader although I have never commented on a post until now.

    I am looking forward to reading many more of your blog posts in the future, keep up the excellent, entertaining and informative writing.

  14. Amava says:

    Sorry to hear about the idiots giving you a hard time.

    I fully subscribe to your model of “write as if it were your friends listening”. It is unfortunate when insecure coconuts become abusive in an effort to relieve their endless day-to-day pain of knowing they suck.

    I hope you do know that the vast majority of your readers are from that group of friends you’ve been developing for months and months. I look forward to your posts every day, for a unique combination of entertainment and information, and the best “take no baloney” kind of attitude I’ve ever seen. Maybe I need to virtually hang out (read: lurk) with more Marines :-)

  15. Itok says:

    Unfortunately I hadn’t had the time at work to read your blog the last few weeks. I just stumbled across this entry and since I am going to be the 65th comment I hope you get to see this.

    The reason I come back to your blog is because of your exceptional writing and knowledge of the game that we all play and love so much. I am amazed at the amount of time you spend crafting articles that will help us grow. I am no longer spaming Mangle, I know pounce, mangle, shred maim. Then laugh as the target bleeds to death. I no longer have the armor enchant on my cloak. AP gems are out and AGI are in.

    All of the above is great and if I need game knowledge I can simply glance to the links on the side of your blog. However it is the fact that you appear to be a tangible friend that I come back for more. In all honesty you don’t know what to expect when you log on to your site, will it be another awesome article, a great story, or my favorite a mild mannered man in jogging shorts beating the hell out of some disrespectful kids.

    I believe you have a bond with your readers that many strive for and while it is easy for all of us to criticize anything and everything please don’t let those “Asshats” get you down.

    Itok

  16. Hydra says:

    I would love to go to a bar with this group of friends. =D

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