Oh boy, this is going to be a very touchy subject, and I already see my timeline showing opinions.
Please keep any comments civil.
My short answer to the Blizzard Watch team is yes. I am ok with it, but…
There are a few people I know of that make things that they sell in order to cover the cost. They are supplying a product in exchange for money to go. So yes, I place a value on the quality articles that they supply to us daily, and would expect they will be there covering all press event to write about. I have seen before in all of my years working how simple it can be to say, I need a suit for my business, this is a suit I would never personally buy, but its for the business, and the company is paying. My computer died. I need one to work, oh look at the new $4000 laptop. You get the point. Many people fall easily into the trap of seeing plenty of money to do great things, but the smart ones are the ones that think long term. Not just how long can we ride this gravy train. And I do sense that they have a well thought out business plan and are looking to be here for a long time.
Obviously I would not expect to read about expensive luxury hotels you are staying at, with gourmet meals, and parties. I am confidant there will probably be 2 press passes, perhaps more supplied to you. It will be a very sore point for many that for a lot of reasons just cannot go. I would live to go, but I cannot justify over $1000 for just me to go. 30 years ago when I was single? Maybe. But not at this point in my life. WoW is my hobby. But for them, this is their job. And like it or not, if we want to keep reading things in the quality manner they do, they should have some expenses covered.
It comes down to, would they be going job or not, if they were an independent reporter they would be paid a fee for the story submitted. So perhaps qualifying that this person is covering these 5 panels and will be submitting a report.
I think our brains know you are going there because its your job. But our hearts feel you are going for the big party.
Yeah, I think it is ok for you to use excess funds to supplement the cost to go, but please be smart about it. We are a quick to judge lot, and have long memories. You have earned our faith and trust so far. Don’t abuse it.