Ah, I remember the days of blogging carnivals from a few years ago, and they were always fun to see a variety of viewpoints from around the World of Goldmaking on a single topic. Selltacular of Copper to Gold has taken over for running Cold's Blogging Carnival - something I've only just now noticed as I am late to this event. To read the other views of fellow gold makers and bloggers, be sure to head over to Copper to Gold on or after the 11th for easy links to all of the other carnival posts.
Now that I've dropped more names than my last job interview, it's time to tackle the questions at hand - foremostly, "What is your definition of a good goldmaker?" I get a lot of opportunity to refine this definition as a Wind Trader at the consortium forums. Any time someone applies to become a WT, the rest of us are able to openly interview the applicant, and ultimately, give a yes or no vote as to whether that person should become a Wind Trader. But, the two are not one in the same - not all good goldmakers are Wind Traders and not all... yeah.
It helps, in doing this kind of show, to be able to use clever dodges like that. But in all seriousness, I suppose a good goldmaker is someone who displays a modicum of ingenuity, an indominable spirit of tenacity, and an analytical mind - all while balancing having fun. I'm not certain I can separate these aspects from one another to tease out their individual facets. Perhaps that's because the synergy of all of them is far more noteworthy.
A goldmaker can try dozens of novel ideas, but if they don't stop hopping around at some point and just stick with one, they're not a good goldmaker - to me, at least. That spirit of tenacity is necessary - because so much of being successful is being able to endure dull patches with profitable patches as well as spells of intense competition. A goldmaker can even find a novel niche, and pursue it as a bulldog for weeks - but if there is not analysis of the risks, opportunity costs, and profitability during that time then, again - they're not a good goldmaker - to me.
And woe to the goldmaker, who can accomplish all three of these but finds themselves not having fun. In fact, I've a higher regard for the goldmaker who only accomplishes two, one, or sometimes even none of these, but still manages to have fun. This is entertainment, at the end of the day. And while I am a self-avowed cerebral, theorycrafting, mad scientist nerd about this stuff - I realize that it's fun for me, and that other people have fun approaching the game in their own way.
Which brings us back around to the second part of this question: "How do you measure gold making success?" Certainly not by traditional means. I tend to evaluate gold makers on the novelty and originality of their thought processes and methods. But that's not exactly the same thing as measuring their success.
Liquid gold would seem to be a fair metric - one we could all use and relate to without any need for subjectivity. But the skill that's required to cap your toon on gold differs from server to server - a subjective lens in itself. I would measure success by the scars of righteous battle waged on the Auction House and the size of the pile of foes laid low or converted to accomplices. I would measure it as the ratio of your true economic influence to the influence your rivals perceive you to have. I would measure it by the sweetness of victories that were preceded by bitter defeats.
It's ironic when I think about it - in my view, you can be a successful goldmaker, without even being a good one. You don't have to have fun to measure up as successful. But more often than anything, I just find folks interesting - regardless of whether they're playing at a pop-warner level or a godmode level, I'm consistently surprised by the folks I can learn something from - or even just enjoy talking to. And I guess that's why the idea that spurred this carnival - an add-on that calculates your total gold earned - doesn't mean too much to me. Numbers may be impressive, but people - they're actually interesting.