Now you’re playing with power!   4 comments

My friend Anthony and I have been talking about doing a cube podcast series for some time. We got around to recording a pilot episode yesterday and it’s now on MTGCast

Feedback’s always appreciated, especially at this stage when we’re getting our bearings in.


Posted January 7, 2011 by Usman in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Now you’re playing with power!

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  1. Hey, Usman, I thought I would comment here so I could leave a comment of more then 140 characters. I just want to say I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, that was not my intention. I love the cube, I love to cube, and I love to read about the cube. I want you to be successful in the community, getting the word out about the cube. And I want you to do it in the best way possible.

    You ask for feedback, so my feedback on that article was that it was a little awkward in some spots. And, as I said, I feel like an editor would help with that. Which the site it self should have, and apparently after reading my comment, some edits were made. So, hopefully it was helpful in some way.I apologize for saying one sentence when i meant “example”. I need an editor it would seem!

    I know it’s hard when people comment on stuff you do. But, you have to have a thick skin. Neither I nor that commenter “Chas” were attacking you OR “crapping on” your work. I understand his thing about the name dropping could rub you the wrong way. But, other than that he is offering you constructive advice. He thinks you should be more focused and talk about the cube more. That seems like a perfectly fair critique, that was not put to you in a hostile way. If you want to see hostile comments read any ChannelFireball draft comments.

    I just really like you in the community and what you do, but lately your comments seem to be a little negative or a little out of proportion. If you want people to offer you advice you can’t go and complain that people are attacking you. You accuse Chas of “whining”, and me of “complaining”, which makes in seem like we are attacking you. But, I’m not, and I feel (name dropping aside) that that guy wasn’t either. You don’t want to attack the people following you and trying to help you out! It makes people want to NOT comment.

    Anyway, keep up your work and your presence in the community, you do a great job. Just try to see the constructive comments for what they are. And obviously treat the trolls for what they are.

    best wishes,
    Justin Treadway

    • Thank you for replying.  🙂  Twitter definitely has its limits (bad pun intended) even though it’s a generally great communication tool.

      Feedback and constructive criticism is always welcomed on my work, otherwise, I wouldn’t ask for it and I’d just put a lockdown on all comments and communications.   The ability to internalize and learn lessons from others, their work and criticism is a useful tool for growth as a writer (and in life in general.)  However, not all aspects of feedback are useful (and thus, internalizing all of it would not be useful) and I hold the right to discern what aspects of feedback constitutes useful constructive criticism and what doesn’t. I’m not asking for an echo chamber of purely positive feedback, since that as well would be pointless and negative feedback comprises a necessary and extremely useful component of feedback.

      For example, I’ve talked to people about the pilot podcast episode and I’ve gotten a range of positive and negative feedback on how to improve it. I had a long chat with Marshall and he gave me some really useful advice, like saying “good times” is a bad thing and that I need to stop doing that ASAP, amongst a virtual treasure trove of other useful advice that I wrote down. Did he have complaints? Yes. Did I claim that he was attacking me because he had complaints? No. Did I internalize his advice because I ultimately found it helpful and that his advice is going to help to improve the show? Yes. It is ultimately my right to discern the quality of given feedback and to internalize/learn lessons as such.

      There were useful pieces of feedback in yours and Chas’ replies; I appreciate the clarification that you provided on your post and have internalized the relevant parts of said feedback. However, claiming that my saying that you were complaining on that post and that Chas was whining is proof of my being unable to take criticism, having thin skin and my being unaware of ChannelFireball and Youtube-esque comment trainwrecks is incorrect.

      The post on ManaNation was changed because I asked Trick to do so, since someone was complaining about something. The point still stands that the part that you quoted was admittedly awkwardly worded and the onus of its wording was on my shoulders, but the post didn’t seem (at the time) to offer much other than “Here’s a grammatical nitpick. Oh and it’s good that you’re writing about something that you like.” From the wording, it didn’t seem too useful and it read like generic internet snark. I now see it otherwise.

      While Chas’ complaints about focusing more on cube are valid and were internalized appropriately, his complaints about my radio voice (offering little as for exactly what was wrong with it, for example) or Anthony mentioning people like Mayer, SamStod and Bertoncini as “namedropping” seemed nitpicky and came across as such. Was whining not the best word to use? Perhaps, but the point still stands. Similarly with his complaints about my QS article about how to evaluate new cards, where he was complaining about the fact that I didn’t talk enough about the newly spoiled Phyrexian/Mirran crusaders, when the whole point of the article was to use those cards as examples so that people could internalize the knowledge and have the tools to evaluate cards for themselves.

      As I said, I very much appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to post on it and helping to resolve the issue, as I feel it is now. I similarly appreciate your view on my work, hard work and place in the community and being good people. 🙂

  2. personally i thought your voice was great. i do hope you go more into cube in the next one, this was pretty light on content. almost a third of it was introduction, not even to cube but just to you guys. which is fine because it’s the first one, of course. but i look forward to hearing you go more in depth. of course i enjoyed the mimic vat praise, i was a big fan of it as soon as i put it into my cube.

  3. Hi Usman

    I’m looking forward to some hot discussions about the Cube on my way to work, so thanks for your effort. While the first episode was light on content, it was perfectly fine to get to know you guys a bit. Personally, I just listen to ‘casts which build some connection to the listeners. Imho Marshall and Ryan on LR are a great example of a interesting 2man-cast. So it’s great to hear that they have your back.

    Until yesterday I was unable to load the cast via iTunes (Switzerland), but it worked flawlessly today (and via of course). So, all is fine.

    Keep up the good work.

    Aside: I remember the “complaint” on QS and I thought that he raised a valid point. Your article wasn’t as clearly structured as it could have been and you jumped around quite a bit. In a discussion or a podcast this would have been absolutely ok, but I prefer some clean, straight structured article.

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