Oh yes. Stock aquatic picture has nothing to do with WoW.
I have been thinking the last few days about how I did not do any reflective post about 2011 or anything about moving along in 2012. Better take care of at least one of them! 2011 was probably my biggest year in WoW and one of my biggest years all together (Hint: I got married). Get ready for a wall of text post.
Let me start off with a little back story. Toward the end of 2010 my shift at my job changed to where I work from Noon and get home around 9 PM. This cut out any raiding or scheduled time in game for me. In addition, I had just gotten my then girlfriend into the game over the holidays and much of my time in game was spent with her. I needed a way to continue playing and enjoying the game while fitting it in this new lifestyle.
I had been making gold since BC in some form or another. In BC I would farm herbs and make elixirs (spec'ed of course) for money and the crowning acheivement of this time frame was the 5,000 gold needed for epic flying. In wrath I leveled a jewelcrafter among other things and stayed in that market ever sense. When Cata came out I had 20,000 gold and quickly jumped into leveling professions and putting that gold to use. Given my history with casual gold making and the fact I had about 50,000 gold at the time I decided at the beginning of 2011 to look into that as a way to play the game in quick bursts when needed but still have something to do when I had time on my hands. At this point the mainstream Markco vs. Gevlon feud was all I knew of gold tip sites so I checked out JMTC for some more tips on how to expand what I was already doing. It wasn't too long before the decent posts turned into useless dribble from guests about where the "leetest" place to farm Linen Cloth was. This set me out on a search for knowledge that broadened my thoughts on gold making and eventually led me to the most important place of all.
One day in iTunes I figured there had to be some decent gold making podcasts. I mean I had been a listener of podcasts like The Instance for a long time. My short search had me finding Power Word: Gold I believe when it was on about its 7th or 8th episode. Had it not been for the top comment at the time mentioning to give it a try past the first two episodes I probably would have dumped it mid way through the second. Nevertheless, I started working through the First Jokine episodes and LOVED IT. By Episode 7 or so they were asking for user submissions and I noticed they didn't get one in the next episode. I had a brief history interacting with podcasts from Weapon of Choice which at the time was actually a Guild Wars podcast so I figured I would "help" and submit. (djWHEAT had went on to resurrect WoC with a Starcraft focus) My official WoW Gold Blogging premiere was on PW:G Episode 11 in June (link) and people have asked me about my random ending of gangsta and Dirty South and honestly I'm just a weird spur of the moment guy and it came to mind at the time. I installed an addon to count sales (actually, just the TSM module) and decided I should be counting my money up as well.
I was discovered by a PW:G fan on my server (Jimmy - who appeared in Episode 16 I believe it was) and around the same time I started following some gold making people on my then unused Twitter account and saw the potential of a community like this. I had a full length spot on Episode 18 (link) but I don't consider it very good because I didn't have a lot to say on the subjects at the time (and I was preparing for a party and going through the "first time on a podcast for realz" situation). It was only at this point I really started reading more and more gold blogs and interacting a little bit.
Even though I had tried various things I learned from podcasts and blogs and expanded myself the last month of the year probably saw the most change in how I play. In November I had purchased the Remote AH subscription and instantly fell in love with it. For 4.3 I rocked out (See previous post), but for the holidays I had literally near zero time to actually be logged into the game. At the same time Twitter was blasting with Transmog talk and the successes of Keelhaul so I tried my legs in it and started, despite advice to do otherwise, with weapons. I stumbled in the beginning with pricing as I have a relatively cheap-o minded server but decided this would be my primary income during the period that I couldn't play much. I dumped into armors and weapons of all kinds and learned trail-by-fire style what was going on my server and what wasn't.
And thus ended 2011. Stay tuned for the follow up.
I would appreciate any feedback from those that reach the page. You can reach me here in the comments, on Twitter @formerruling, and on my YouTube channel FormerRuling