09.08.07

Great Injustices Of Our Time : The Closed Shop That Is The Bro’s Of Blogdome

Posted in Blogged Down, Internal Affairs at 3:12 pm by

While not pretending I can keep up with every Spurts Blog on Earth, I do fancy myself as being halfway conversant with whatever the heck is going on. So imagine my shame in learning that I’d previously not read The Nosebleeds NFL Blog, a site that’s been running for a whole two years, and seems to be in the outside-looking-in of what editor The Natural Mevs calls “the blogger circle jerk”. To wit, TNM is bummed at Deadspin’s decision to appoint the schmoes from Kissing Suzy Kolber the former’s editors for the weekend.

Deadspin is the site that got me into blogs when it first started in 2005. I think it is neat that different bloggers from around the net get to be the weekend editor, it’s a really cool feature. Obviously Leitch needs time off too, although I think he still has his hand in things quite a bit even when he is ‘off’. I just think it’s tough that KSK writers get to run the show over there all weekend so anyone who they’ve decided they don’t like can forget about getting a link over there. It’s not just all about links either. It’s a weird thing, it’s like a whole ‘blogger’ popularity contest. I could care less about the links, the hits, the comments. That matters none to me, I do it because I best express myself by getting my thoughts down and I like having record of each thing as it happens in say; baseball, or football. But since I’ve been doing this for two years, there is a condescending attitude towards you if you’re not one of the ‘untouchables’. These people are people like Dan Shanoff, Nation of Islam Sports Blog, Deadspin, KSK (like I’ve mentioned), Mr. Irrelevant, Free Darko, AOL Fanhouse, With Leather, The Dugout, basically the pundits that Kissing Suzy Kolber links.

For instance you ask a guy like Dan Shanoff to link your blog to get some exposure? Forget it buddy. You won’t even get a response. Not if you’re not one of the ‘elite’ few. I even wrote him an email to tell him that I like his style on his blog, because he seems to always touch on the 8-10 interesting points of sports each day and it really is good as refresher each morning to read before I write. You think he’d even responded? Nope.

Brutal stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. Clearly, Shanoff, the KSK Krew, Screechy, etc. never got the memo about how they’re obliged to offer encouragement, links, backrubs, etc. to every sports blogger on Planet Earth, regardless of whether or not they actually dig the blog in question.

I’ve thought long and hard about Mev’s above points, and I think he’s onto something. To further illustrate how I’m totally against the elitist behavior described above, the owners of Cumbucket Media and I have a new scheme for the start of CSTB’s 5th year. Starting later this month, aspiring bloggers can enter their own links to CSTB’s blogroll, irrespective of whether or not they can write their way out of a paper bag. Likewise, WEEKDAY editor duties will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis, to anyone who signs up. Who the fuck am I to play the snob card?

Some longtime readers (ie. my parents) might argue this new approach will rob CSTB of whatever voice, personality, point o’ view, etc. it might’ve once possessed, but what’s more important? Doing what you want with your own time and money, or providing unfettered access to every self-obsessed, delusional fantasist who thinks he has something to say?

I think you’ll all be pleasantly surprised when “The Critic”, late of the MIA Critical Sports Blog makes his long-awaited CSTB debut. Likewise, I’m sure my new Nosebleeding pal will also kick serious ass, given the opportunity. It’s the new, all-democratic, all-the-time CSTB. And while I won’t be reading it myself, I bet the traffic goes thru the roof. Once the url switches over to dryhumpingjackarute.com, anyway.

10 Responses to “Great Injustices Of Our Time : The Closed Shop That Is The Bro’s Of Blogdome”

  1. I can’t understand why you’re bagging on this guy, GC. You fucking hate all those blogs he listed, especially the Li’l Leitches suckup patrol at KSK. He’s right about their insufferable popular-kid circle jerk routine and you know it. Why bash?

  2. Pulp says:

    Now, I’m just a simple country lawyer, no mind reader, so I wouldn’t try to tell you Gerald’s thoughts. But I will say that Mev’s silly post seemed more like a desperate attempt to get invited to the party as opposed to a legitimate criticism of what sometimes is indeed a popularity contest/circle jerk. Plus, anyone who says “The fact that they continually go over the top doesn’t bother a guy who lived 3 years in a frat house like me, in fact I like it.” is very bash worthy.

  3. GC says:

    who’s bagging, Bjorn? I’m offering this chap the exact sort of vehicle he so desperately covets. I feel his pain!

    Hate is such a strong word to use in this instance. And no, I don’t hate all the blogs he listed — you’ll note there’s a few of ‘em that have long been linked to at CSTB.

    is there some kinda clique action going down between Leitch and various pals, sycophants, peers etc. ? I dunno. Probably. Maybe. But no matter how much I may or may not dislike a particular blogger, it’s beyond wack for me to suggest they owe anyone a link.

    The handful of characters who’ve turned up here begging for links usually get a kick in the teeth for their trouble. I’m not sure which I found more laughable about the Nosebleed post, the notion that “(Deadspin and Leitch) do their best to NOT play into this crap,,they do a great job at spreading the love around to different sites” or that anyone in their right mind would take umbrage at being excluded.

    Where’s the real outrage? That’s there’s a circle jerk taking place or that this guy isn’t a part of it?

    Really, if you think they suck, fair ’nuff. Do your own thing, carve out your own audience and fucking get on with it. If I’ve had a problem with any of the above characters, it’s down to their actual content. Not cuz I’m not their pal.

    And really, I don’t know Dan Shanoff nearly well enough to guess if he is or isn’t being a jerk because he’s not writing back to everyone.

  4. GC: You hate Mr. Irrelevant? We like you, what gives? Can we hug this out?

  5. PS. Please don’t suggest that we make a conscious decision to only link to “popular” blogs. That’s just plain bullshit. There is no blog-click, at least not that I’m aware of. We link to what we find interesting, regardless of what site it comes from. Period.

  6. GC says:

    Dear Chris,

    The hateful bit was attributed by a third party. You can rest assured that if I harbored hatred (or even mild dislike) in my heart for you or your brother, a) you’d know about it already and b) I’d not be linking to your blog.

    I’ve made no allusion whatsoever to your linking policies. You can maintain whatever criteria you wish — thats your own biz. Any accusation of a bias towards the more popular sites is being made by someone else.

    But as far as the “clique” thing goes — and this certainly isn’t directly specificly at you or Jamie, I think it’s a tad disingenuous to claim such a phenomena doesn’t exist. But I don’t think that’s illegit, either. Whether Will chooses editors based on merit (highly subjective, no matter how you look at it) who he’s pals with, whatever, is entirely his call. That’s kind of how it works in the real world. People get asked to do things for all sorts of reasons.

    But if there wasn’t even the slightest clique aspect to this stuff, Ballhype’s traffic would be in the toilet.

    The irony of course, is that the top of Mr. Nosebleed’s blogroll is dominated by such struggling hopefuls as Deadspin, Shanoff, The Big Lead, We Are The Postmen, etc. I can think of at least a dozen, interesting, original, non-household name sports blogs that would probably appreciate a smidgeon of recognition, even from a site as unheralded as the one in question.

    This isn’t one of ‘em, of course, but that’s not really the point.

  7. I get what you’re saying, but I think maybe this whole blogging thing is being taken a bit too seriously. Who the fuck cares who links to who?

    And those blogs that are more visited that others reached that point through years of writing, dedication, and hard work. They don’t deserve to be criticized for their status.

    As for the “clique phenomena,” I’ll disagree with you, and anyone else, to the end on that. Yes, we are more prone to linking to certain blogs. You know why? Because they’re fucking good at what they do, not because we have some sort of special relationship with them.

  8. GC says:

    “Who the fuck cares who links to who?”

    Well, clearly the editor of The Nosebleeds NFL Blog cares. Very, very much! If this topic was of interest to no one, I would sincerely hope to never again be asked to link to a site that I don’t actually read.

    “those blogs that are more visited that others reached that point through years of writing, dedication, and hard work. They don’t deserve to be criticized for their status.”

    Well, yes and no. Longevity and quality don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Nor do popularity and quality. From this perspective, every blog oughta be prepared to deal with some level of criticism. I don’t think a blog’s relative popularity is in and of itself, a particularly compelling thing to complain about.

    Again, on the clique thing, I should stress that I am not referring to Mr. Irrelevent — generally or specifically. But everyone has their own opinion of who might be “fucking good at what they do”. Would dwil or Seething Wells make a better or worse weekend editor of Deadspin than say, Unsilent Majority? I dunno. It’s not my blog and I have no interest in suggesting they do anything other than what they want (hence my not entirely serious promise that I’d soon be turning CSTB over to whoever the heck felt like doing it).

    But I think you’re in just an itty-bitty bit of denial if you wanna claim there’s no clique-ish aspects to how some of these things go down. If not in your house, then certainly in someone else’s. When Will Leitch is cited as an authorative source in a NY Times piece written by a blogger / author who’s received plugs and links from Deadspin — without full disclosure from the print journalist — that’s just one example (one the Times chose to ignore, curiously). When Leitch’s editor at Harper-Collins also happens to be a Deadspin contributor, that’s another example.

    I mean, I’m sure all of these people love each other to bits FOR REAL and would do what they could for each other even if there wasn’t some professional reciprocation. But that’s not the point. Maybe you and Jamie aren’t making decisions based on “special relationships”, but that doesn’t mean such relationships don’t exist — if not in your experience, then in someone else’s.

    And each clique is in the eye of the beholder. As stated previously, it isn’t as though the Nosebleeds NFL Blog is breaking ground in bringing new bloggers to the public’s attention. It also isn’t as though a healthy percentage of CSTB links aren’t handed out to persons I personally like. That’s a clique, too!

  9. I respect your opinions, but I do think you’re offbase. However, I don’t care to argue about this in a comments section anymore. If you want to discuss further, email me at cmottram04@gmail.com. If not, that’s fine too. We’ll go on being part of the awesome clique either way.

  10. GC says:

    Chris,

    I really don’t mean to give you a hard time, but you took this up in a comments section. And while I hope you’re able to differentiate between the portions quoted above and my own opinion on this, I’m don’t think I’m making a crazy suggestion. Cliques / cabals / gangs o’ pals exist in many walks of life. I’ve not accused you or your brother of any abusing your position or misleading anyone, but what’s so hard to swallow about the sports media biz, publishing industry, blogosphere, tech community — you name it —- having some version or another of an old dude network?

    Is the whole blogging thing being taken a bit too seriously? Perhaps. But I think there’s more to this discussion than one dude’s blog and his pain at not being invited to the circle jerk. He’s essentially asking that Deadspin demonstrate some version of paternal blogger integrity — one that might have zilch to do with the site’s mission. It might also be a standard of conduct he’s slow to measure up to, himself.

    I do regret that you seem to think I’ve targeted you and Jamie in this exchange — the passage, “I’ve thought long and hard about Merv’s above points, and I think he’s onto something,” was meant (clearly, I thought) in jest. The purpose of the post was to shine a very bright light on what I thought to be a rather dopey protest. As opposed to, y’know, actually supporting TNNB’s stance.

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