John Doran and the art of staying losing
My rapheads should probably hit the “x” in the top right-hand corner of their screen right now, or else go and check out Complex’s “TOP 50 SNEAKER MOMENTS IN THE VATICAN ENCLAVE OF 2005” instead as we’re going to spend the next 400 words chatting about indiefag matters.
For the rest of you, however….
There’s a not-very-popular band out there called Salem. They have a lead singer who looks a bit like something from a MAD TV sketch spoofing Dog the Bounty Hunter who sings like Al Jolson on occasion. They’re fuck awful. However, music hacks over the age of 30 love them as they remind them of the halcyon days of when the decisions on which bands were “important enough to write about” were based upon “how many times the band’s members have spooged on Courtney Love”. It was a simpler time, it was a better time.
A week or so back, some enterprising scamps from New York sent out a fake Salem MP3 to a bunch of blogs, possibly Making A Salient Point About Churnalism And Content Farming and possibly Just To Take The Piss. One of the gullible parties who fell for it was The Quietus, a long-time favourite of us here at ILB. The Quietus of course are edited by a 41-year-old man who still lists his university lecturer down as a reference on his CV because he’s not done any significant work since graduation, so it takes quite a bit to embarrass them, but apparently this did.
I dunno about you but when I get punk’d I just throw my arms in the air and go” Ahhhhh! You got me!” What I probably wouldn’t do is spend a week getting infuriatingly more vexed at everyone and anything that mocks me for my idiocy before constructing elaborate conspiracy theories about how the moneyed classes of America are seeking to destroy you via ersatz rapegaze zipfiles. Or cut a promo on another blog about how hard your life is. John Doran, however, is undoubtedly the kind of person who reacted to Jeremy Beadle removing his policeman’s disguise by punching a car window in. Let’s check out what my man had to say:
It was a bit of a shit prank as pranks go. It only worked because the student bought the email address that made it look like it had come from a bona fide PR group in the States. Salem have changed PR firms a lot recently and I’d normally deal with the UK PR firm. I get between 400 and 700 emails a day from literally hundreds of PR firms – plenty who I’m not really familiar with and I don’t really have long to check the provenance of each one. I’m not really bothered how it makes us look so much as I hate bands who use cheap publicity gimmicks to get their band noticed and I’m not a big fan of having my time wasted. I work between 70 and 80 hours a week on a website which is pretty much a labour of love and the freelance work I need to do, in order to keep myself in baubles and biscuits. I really fucking hate having my time wasted by anyone as I’m pretty much constantly tired and angry.
Also, bear in mind that this is by no means original. Check the number of spoofs that spring up on p2p file sharing sites knocked together by people wanting to take advantage of hype. If the student had done this and got away with it they’d have my respect but no one with any time to inculcate the new track would have fallen for it.
Brb, just going to 4Chan to request a “u mad gif dump”.
It didn’t demonstrate anything about the music. Or not on the Quietus anyway. It failed totally as it only made the news section where there was no critical judgement.
“Churnalism is evil” is kind of the solitary argument made by those of us who are fucking stupid enough to still care about the quality of writing in these days of CTR and SEO, but let’s break this down here. A prank was played wherein the intent was “people will drop all critical analyses when blogging these days in a desperation to be ‘FIRST!’” Doran’s argument in response to this is “this prank didn’t work because all I did was post a news item without any critical analysis in a desperate attempt to be first”. It’s like claiming that writing on a drunk person’s face in marker pen didn’t work because you got the swastika the wrong way round.
The Quietus is 100% independent and run by three people with no investment or backing.
The Quietus was originally formed as a subsidiary of News International and is “run by three people with no investment or backing” because for once Jimmy Murdoch realised what a crock of shit one of his investments was really early on.
I don’t see how me wanting my website to be considered alongside things run by AOL, NME, Yahoo, MSN etc is such a bad goal for me to have. We’re quite clearly running the superior website to most of the massive corporate sites out there
Except none of them fell for a really dumb prank that could have been exposed with a simple three minutes’ googling. We’re not asking you to cosplay Woodward and Bernstein here we’re asking you to do THE BASIC FUCKING RULE OF JOURNALISM which is “don’t just write something because one person told you to”. Jeez Doran, why don’t you ask that guy on your CV to give you a refresher NCTJ exam?
You have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to raise enough advertising revenue to keep a site like this running when you don’t do advertorial, when you don’t do shitty site take overs, when you refuse to take money from credit companies, the oil industry, the motor industry etc in advertising, when you don’t sell feature coverage to major label new signings and – most importantly – when you refuse to cover big names who don’t have artistic merit, even though it would earn you a lot of cash
On the front page of the Quietus right now, word for word: “NEW LADY GAGA VIDEO HERE!”
The student has proved themselves to have an absolutely brilliant brain for marketing/advertising. I hope when they graduate from the arts course they’re on now they get the job they deserve – working at boardroom level in communications and marketing for Burger King or British Petroleum.
John Doran has a pretty strong leg to stand on here, remembering, as we said earlier on, that The Quietus started off as a subsidiary of News International. Some may say that this makes Doran the worst kind of hypocrite, but I disagree, I think he just enjoys masturbating to photos of Liverpool fans being crushed to death.
The ultimate result of this now, is that as an editor, I’ll have to spend even more time checking the source of each of the aproximately 700 emails I receive a day just incase some over privileged wanker has decided to commit fraud as part of their course work – given that now I can’t even trust emails from PR companies any more.
What is the world coming from when you can’t trust an unsolicited email from a PR company any more?
Maybe I’ll start working 14 hour fucking shifts instead of 13 hour shifts.
Maybe you should get a proper job? This is the fucking problem here, the world doesn’t owe you a fucking living, and really there’s no actual “need” in society for someone writing about Katy B at all, let alone 3,000 word treaties of how she stands in a lineage of some fucking old rave dude nobody cares about.
We need to have really good google presence for me to earn the paltry amount of £100 a week
Now this… this made me really curious. Lemme show you summat.
801 page views = £26.49 in advertising revenues. Now because it’s a new blog the CTR’s a little screwy so let’s say that normally 800 page views will give you £20. £1 for every 40 hits. So if Doran’s making £100 a week off a site he works 70 hours a week on…. I have no idea if the Quietus even pays its contributors. Let’s say it does at £50 a pop and they published two longforms a week. £200. Throw on all the mundane parts of web editing and say that if he’s earning £100 a week they’re bringing in £300 a week. That works out at 12,000 hits a week for a website he claims he spends 10 hours a day on. I spend maybe an hour a week on ILB. We get 5000 hits a week. Either a: John Doran is bullshitting very very heavily or b) The Quietus is an utter failure on every identifiable level. I’m not sure which’d be more embarrassing.
But what really got me was Doran’s repeated complaints that he had been punked by “evil trustafarians who have the time and money it takes to make a fake MP3 and send it out”. As opposed to the people who work 70 hours a week for £5,200 a year. But if Doran’s so angered by people who can afford to engage in needless past-times because of their moneyed upbringing… lemme play Harley Race for a bit.
6% of the UK population attended private school. If John Doran can go a month with only an average of 6% of his writers being privately educated, I will pull this face “:-0”. On the other hand, if he was just blaming absolutely anyone he could because it’d just been revealed that he’s incompetent as a journalist, then I’ll pull this face “:-D”.