We all know the type. The pretentious and/or arrogant player who acts like they know everything there is to know about the game or army in which they play. Who is, more times than not, very outspoken and forceful in their distribution of information. Most of the time, these players are bloggers in the online wargaming community, but they can also be found at the personal level.
Wait a second. Many of you are probably thinking that I'm describing myself aren't I? Ha! Good. You're following along. While I certainly would disagree with that statement, everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is why we're here today.
Quality of information is very important. In a time of the internet and vast resources for everything and anything you'd ever want, we have to be very careful about what we use. Just because its online, doesn't mean it is right. There are a lot of resources out there and much fewer that contain quality information. Such that if a person follows the advice found on those poor quality resources, they may set themselves down a path of failure. It is difficult to know what is quality or not, so you need to stay focused and not get tunnel vision.
What do I mean by this? While I can claim that what I say is "The Word" and nothing else matters (*sarcasm*), everything is stated based on my perspective on the game. It comes from my experiences, what I've learned from my research and gaming, who I've talked to, and what I've read. It is the same for other players who give advice. But that does not mean that it needs to be your perspective as well.
While I will admit that I consider myself an authority on the Black Templars, however, I won't make any misguided allusions to claim that I am The Authority. I most certainly present my material in a way that makes you believe that what I'm saying is true. But I want everyone that reads Implausible Nature to know what I say is true because they have checked their facts, not because I said it was. Sometimes I'm wrong too! I don't shove my ideas down your throat for this very reason.
And this goes for all of the resources out there in our gaming community. While a hobby-oriented website or blog might take little time to determine its level of quality (due to the prevalence of pictures and/or videos), a tactics driven site is not such an easy task. So what do you do? The best advice that I can give you is to cross-reference your material. Do your own research and find places that talk about the subject you're focused on. Don't focus too much attention on one place just yet, but do put your feelers out. Forums can be one of the biggest traps out there for tactical advice, so be very weary of them until you know there is someone there who knows their stuff. Just because many people say something is right, it doesn't mean they are! You cannot believe everything you read out there.
So now you've got a list of places that you've been following for a little while and you've digested most of what they've said. How do you decipher what is good or bad? The easiest place to start is to throw out all the resources that don't actually explain what they are doing and why they made the choices they have. They might be good for comparison sake, but you might not know the fundamental information yet. Next, take the websites/blogs/forums that give conflicting information and analyze the arguments presented. Are those arguments properly supported? How do those arguments stack up next to other resources? Once you have done all of this, make up your own mind!
What? Make up my own mind? Yep! The goal is to create free-thinking individuals. Decide for yourself what to use from these resources. It is up to each person to find out for themselves what is quality or not. Maybe one place is an amazing source of information and you can rely on it to give solid advice all the time. But that doesn't mean you need to lose your individuality, voice, or mind. You are part of this community as well, so comment, send emails, and engage in conversation. Let yourself be heard and be smart about what advice you choose to listen to!
The only one who can be blamed for the choices you make in this hobby, is you. Arm yourselves well for the journey! ;)