The genesis of this post comes from Dirk MacGirk and his continued ranting on EVE Radio over the three part CZ Minutes feature that ran on Crossing Zebras 8-10 June. The head editors of Crossing Zebras, The Mittani.com and EVE News 24 came together and produced an 18,000 word epic on the subject of EVE media. I think Dirk, himself a contributor to EVE News 24, is a little taken aback at their assumption of superiority over the bloggers, forum posters, and EVE Radio that was conveyed in the articles. While the term "elite" was never mentioned, Xander Phoena, the man in charge of Crossing Zebras, did use the term "Eve media triumvirate" in part 2 and TMC editor-in-chief Tegiminis referenced "the big three" in the final installment.
Personally, I'm not bothered by such talk coming from any of those sites. Then again, my opinion is possibly influenced by the fact that I was once syndicated on EVE News 24 and wrote 2 articles for TMC. But think about the situation. Why shouldn't those sites have great content? More importantly, why shouldn't the editors-in-chief and those who run the sites not only think they put out superior content, but expect that level of writing from their staffs?
Staffs. That's important. How is any individual blogger going to produce work comparable to what a site with a staff of writers with editor support can produce? A blogger can outperform in a narrow niche, but across the wide range of topics we see on those three sites? If the sites are competently run, not a chance. Aside from people like Ripard Teg and Sugar Kyle, most bloggers will only produce a maximum of one post a day, and only 5 days a week. A features writer on TMC or Crossing Zebras has seven days to work on a piece, which means that much more time to research an article than a blogger typically possesses.
But why would a blogger go up against the strengths of these news sites. Instead, why not go after where sites like these are weak? In my opinion, I see three weaknesses. The first is follow-up. These sites, especially EN24 and TMC, have the resources to regularly get to the story first. But I rarely see any follow-up. A blogger can make a living on that. Some may even say I make a living on that, or could if I monetized the blog (ugh!). Going back and looking at a situation two or three months after the fact is old news for the big sites, but oftentimes holds interesting stories.
The second is the desire for hits. Sites that rely on advertising revenue (which excludes Crossing Zebras) will favor sensational stories (i.e. click bait), some developing stories will fall through the cracks until the stories explode. But if a blogger can identify the story and become an expert, that blogger can write better quality posts than "the big three" when the story finally explodes.
The third is the way that writers are paid. They are paid by the piece. The more articles a writer produces, the more ISK in his or her wallet. Even with editors in place, that leads to holes in stories that bloggers can fill in.
I don't see the emergence of two or three main sites in EVE as a bad thing. Instead, I see the situation as an opportunity. So to anyone thinking of EVE blogging, jump on in, the timing is pretty good.