Why is this the Vintage content that gets a platform?



  • Yes, but I did that for a reason. My point isn't actually about the quality of the article, but rather about the (apparently) accurate perception the site's editors have of Vintage players. I'm much less interested in the article than the factors that the circumstances of its publication. The article is actually very good at being what it is– detailed, clear, creative, transparent, consistent- and it would be a great post if made in this forum or a self-published blog. My issue is not with the author.



  • This gets the most views because its not a website that panders to Vintage players. Its a standard website, which has a much larger player base. The articles that used to be on Starcity, Wizards, and other major avenues would get a lot more readers too.



  • tl;dr:

    A site that is looking to make the maximum amount of money from MtG content is greatly incentivized to focus on Standard.
    ...
    With a large eternal (and especially specifically Vintage) event about to grab a lot of eyes, an MtG site owner wants to put out some eternal content. They have two choices:
    ...
    Get a standard writer to write about vintage or attempt to find a format expert to write just one article.

    1. Most articles on most MTG sites exist to drive eyeballs to a webpage that is also attempting to sell singles. As Standard is constantly changing, it makes sense to focus on Standard.
    2. As the Pro Tour and other high level Magic events are predominantly Standard. The majority of sanctioned constructed events is almost certainly Standard, and I would venture to guess that majority is overwhelming. If one wishes to attempt to make a living (or any smaller but still significant amount of money) playing Magic, one's best chance would be to play in as many big events as possible.
    3. Therefore, the majority of "famous" players ("pros" would be a misnomer for some of them) are standard focused. If a site wants to draw the maximum number of readers for Magic-related content, they will most likely do so by hiring these standard-focused players.

    Your content is necessarily standard focused. Your readers' desires are primarily standard focused. Your writers are standard focused. A site that is looking to make the maximum amount of money from MtG content is greatly incentivized to focus on Standard.

    With a large eternal (and especially specifically Vintage) event about to grab a lot of eyes, an MtG site owner wants to put out some eternal content. They have two choices.

    1. Have one of their existing writers, who is not an expert on the format, write an article.
    2. Acquire writing from a different source.

    Option two has many downsides.

    1. If a writer is producing regular content that is known to be good, they are likely already pledged to the site for which they are already producing content.
    2. If a writer produces does not regularly produce content but is known to produce good content when they do, that writer's quality may have fallen. Or the writer may no longer wish to produce content for one reason or another.
    3. Exhausting the previous options, acquire writing from a source of unknown quality. While I think I could write a hell of a primer to the Vintage format for a newcomer, that's a big risk to take.

    I think the best solution to this problem is to be the change you wish to see in the world. Produce your own content and do so regularly. If you manage to get hired by a major MtG content site, great. If not, when events like Eternal Weekend come around, pimp yourself out to every content site out there. You'll have pages of high quality back content.


  • TMD Supporter

    Like Sam said, their job is to make money. They just want to grab someone's attention and they're not too concerned with anything beyond that.
    I'm sure that nobody who approved the article was concerned about how fans of the format would view it.



  • yeah, I'm not an idiot. I know what the point of their website is. I know who their audience is.

    The question is not "why is a for-profit website using a profit-motivated strategy?" The question is not "how did this article get published?"

    The question is "Why is this the vintage content that gets a platform?"

    If your answer to that question is some version of "well, because ChannelFireball published it, that's why," you can do better.

    Why are you ok with most players perceiving the format in the same way they view EDH?



  • @wappla Most non eternal players do view Vintage the same as EDH. It is non-sanctioned, encourages the use of proxys (which is sacrilege for standard and modern) and has a cost so prohibitive that to your average semi-competitive FNM/PPTQ'er would never even make an effort to try and play the format.

    I dare not try and dig to deep into your mind on this one, because I feel like your question of "why" is nearly rhetorical. But if your gripe is that this article pushing a deck that is unplayed and non-competitive in the American Meta gets published over an in depth statistical and/or philosophical overview of the format as a whole then I would agree with you. Nothing about this article would make me want to play vintage. If it did, and I was inclined to sleeve that list up for a local event, I would be thoroughly dismayed by the likely thumping I would receive. Heck, at least the author (who wrote a fine article, overall) could have looked toward the "supremacy" direction for a gifts list...they seem to have a good deal of success across the pond.



  • @wappla It is because Channelfireball published it though. Having a larger audience is really all that's driving clicks, and comments. It doesn't mean that this guy's article has any real impact on what people are playing in Vintage. If it gets people to play Vintage that would be cool, and it seemed like that was his goal.

    If you want a larger scale example. You see it in the media all the time with what CNN/Fox reporting getting to a larger base, while a news source like The Young Turks gets a much smaller audience. It doesn't matter if a smaller news source is more reliable, more informative, ect. They don't have the same market base established, and the same advertising.



  • There's also the question of what you mean by "getting a platform"... I've been able to publish with Jaco, @Islandswamp is publishing over at Goldfish, I think @wappla has had some good articles at PureMTGO, @vaughnbros has published a few, @GrandpaBelcher has his gig, so the issue isn't really finding a platform.

    The question is what gets promoted on the biggest sites. And there I think the biggest issue is networking



  • @wappla said:

    yeah, I'm not an idiot. I know what the point of their website is. I know who their audience is.

    The question is not "why is a for-profit website using a profit-motivated strategy?" The question is not "how did this article get published?"

    The question is "Why is this the vintage content that gets a platform?"

    If your answer to that question is some version of "well, because ChannelFireball published it, that's why," you can do better.

    Why are you ok with most players perceiving the format in the same way they view EDH?

    I generally perceive the format to be more casual than EDH, almost by total number of worldwide players alone.



  • @mickey.nobilis Number of players is not an indication of competitiveness though. EDH people always got extremely offended when I played a Vintagesque broken combo deck against them. Your standard FNM's are mostly bad players with incomplete decks too, and standard FNM is probably the most popular format out there.


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