I get it. I hear you. The pitchforks and torches aren’t invisible, you know? Quiet Speculation just unveiled the long-coming Insider feature, putting a pay wall between you and some of the content you love.
Burn them all! Demons and witches they be!
Some of you won’t even read this article as you’ve simply taken the “change” in stride (as it wasn’t exactly a secret, and it wasn’t WikiLeaks that let the bird loose) and queued up to continue receiving the powerful information you were already accustomed to; information that leads you to better trading, approaching the game with the trends and prices of card well-known, and generally employing knowledge for personal gain, namely the value of the Magic cards you come into possession of.
You know what isn’t in the list of things that Insider is exclusive for? The stuff I, and the team of Timmy and Spike writers, pound out week after week.
What Else Do You Burn? MORE WITCHES!
Well, that’s not entirely true. From time to time there may be things that we lock behind the gilded doors of Insider but far and away all of the new content that’s been cropping up for the past month will be out in the open, free for the taking.
Let’s start with the easy part of the discussion: you don’t have Insider and for any number of reasons you choose or cannot pay the small subscription fee. How do you know what is and isn’t available for you?
Aside from the normal assumption that Timmy and Spike articles will be and that Finance articles will not, every article has categories associated.
In a new window (say, through this handy link) open QS and jam your mouse over the “Free” visible right below the title image. Click your mouse button.
How easy was that? (Rhetorical question, smarty pants.)
Let me repeat that: if you don’t have Insider you can just hit the Free category to filter to only what you have instant access to, no login required. That’s all there really is to it. Tell your friends, bookmark your search, do whatever you want to spread the word: articles categorized “Free” are just that. Insider isn’t everything (despite its epic level of awesome).
With the easy gimme out of the way let me jump to the other side of the coin: why should a player like you or I get Insider? I’ll assume for the sake of argument that you aren’t into approaching the game with eyes firmly on the financial. Perhaps you just like to trade, or have some competitive buddies you trade on behalf of. Maybe you like to pimp our certain decks, or acquire staple cards when their prices sag or dip. There’s even a chance you’re a true casual veteran and you’ve simply stumbled across this article searching for things I’ve written (Sorry, I just had to slip one ridiculous statement in there).
You’re barely interested in applying just the rudiments of financial analysis and don’t plan to treat Magic as a business to turn a profit. If you think Insider isn’t for you, you’re wrong.
Insider is something you can use even if you aren’t the player-dealer extraordinaire. I know this because I use the information personally.
I admire Chris McNutt’s spreadsheets of buy lists. There is significant work that goes into creating these documents and, unless some breakthrough is out there that I’m unaware of, grabbing that data is a nightmare. Fiendish and ornery, massaging data is not something to be undertaken lightly. The sources are disparate, the pitfalls many, and the reward is simply a comparative breakdown that could have been performed manually by individuals on a card-by-card basis.
But it’s there and it’s awesome. Yet as much as I am pleased to see such work displayed I feel obligated to point out something: I, personally, don’t use those spreadsheets. I don’t dabble much in selling to dealers as I approach trading as a revolving door: acquire what I want and let the rest and extra go for more things I want. I do like foils for my cube and Commander, after all!
And that’s the thing: everything that Insider offers isn’t for everyone. You’ll certainly find useful things but, like virtually every other set of content behind a pay wall, not every item will be equally useful for you personally.
That’s just how it works.
It’s impossible for every piece of content on any given site to be 100% awesome, useful, and highly pertinent to everything about every individual. If there was such a system, that would be something to actually go sell to companies creating communities. Since this isn’t Magic Christmas Land and any given article is something someone somewhere doesn’t like we’ll stick to the truth: Insider is only what you make of it.
Help Me Help You
What am I getting at? Insider is something to consider and follow through with joining if you want financial information of any sort. I don’t run my trade binder and decks like a business and if you’re like me you might wonder if the subscription is worth it.
Here’s why I feel it is:
- I want to know what’s trading hot and why, with comparative and speculative values.
- I want to know how those with more time to dedicate to trading and speculating are viewing newly previewed cards.
- I want a sweet discount to Kelly Ried’s online card shop.
- I travel to events and have time to trade, making the latest information prior to events immediately relevant.
- Those who travel to events frequent my local game store, consistently hitting me up for whatever wares I have.
You don’t have to be running a business to know that information is valuable in of itself. What’s important is that if you have the opportunity to use information in a meaningful way it behooves you to do so. Insider is a powerful, dense source of information that you will probably want to use for one overriding reason: protection.
I’ve avoided weighing in on the ethics of trading, buying and selling from stores, and leveraging real-time Magic information for short or long term financial gain. I’m just not a savvy type with an overwhelming interest in all of it. But I can share that, like many of you at one point or another, have felt the burning sting of lacking information in the aftermath of more than one trading session.
Many of us casual players simply don’t put stock in knowing prices because we’re too busy focused on other, more pressing matters (like “Will Johnny finally assemble the doom machine or is Timmy over there going to drop the Overwhelming Stampede bomb on us?). Trading is an afterthought or something we engage in when we’re looking for something specific. It isn’t the requirement but a necessary means to the end: acquiring cards we want.
It’s hard enough to keep track of several singleton decks of 100 cards as well as what we want for said decks. It’s nearly impossible to always have four copies of any card we want to use to try out in our latest casual creation. We have to buy or trade for cards we really want because we’re certainly not the ones going infinite through drafting.
Trading heavily doesn’t carry as much stigma as it used to but the general feeling of “You’re in it to take advantage of me.” is something I come away with from more than a handful of traders at events. Even at my local game store there are a few “sharks” that prowl around, scouting for new, fresh blood and pounce at snapping up whatever hot cards of the week happen to be there for the taking.
What feels wrong and what is ethically wrong can be very different things and I’m not about to declare the real, ultimate truth (should said truth be within my knowledge to share). But having the base knowledge and crucial updates provided daily through Insider can be the protective armor you need to deflect those you feel would wrong you.
Knowledge is powerful and you don’t have to be using it offensively to benefit: simply being conscious and aware of the market of things you have and are interested in acquiring can be more than enough. Savvy doesn’t mean offensive, it means wise. Coming equipped for the fights that are brought to you, whether you seek them or not, is simply good measure.
Gumdrops and Rainbows
It’s up to you whether you choose to be an Insider or not. There is going to be plenty of awesome things to read without the additional login required. Ultimately, I my goal here today wasn’t leave you on the fence: if you’ve been here from the start now is the time to stay. Whether it’s for the basic knowledge of “What’s hot. What’s not.” or an in-depth analysis of the entire book of Standard (or Extended, or Legacy) to apply to the everyday of being a player-business, Quiet Speculation’s Insider is something that will provide value to you today.
And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the future coming down the road. Stay tuned and hang tight: next week will be a return to more usual fun stuff set to Free–I promise it only gets better from here!