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Stop the online film blogging community, I want to get off!

Stop the online film blogging community, I want to get off!
The image of online film critics has taken a real hit this week. First a prominent writer for WhatCulture! (their exclamation mark, not mine – I'd replace it with a question mark) was revealed as a serial plagiarist and then a writer for JoBlo posted a feature comparing the breasts of two underage actresses. Join me as I despairingly ask: isn't anyone taking this seriously? Where are all the grown ups?

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Posted by ladygrey at 19:33 on 02/12/13
This is a really well-expressed article. It makes me very curious about your "shabby" dealings with the WhatCulture editors, however, as I have my own tales to tell on that front... (apologies for the imminent plug): http://inkysquiggles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-road-goes-ever-on-whatculture-and.html
I hope you don't mind me quoting you - this article was one the sources that made me more aware of the troubling editorial practices that seem so normative for that terrifying website.
Posted by neophyte at 23:25 on 25/09/13
Usually posting not so serious comments so not sure how this one would sound, but I just felt a need to say that I didn't get offended (although possibly I could constitute this not-so-worthy userbase). Personally, I think every bigger community includes mostly morons since after all it is a micro version of the whole population which, hardly arguable, is made of poor quality people.

So, going back to the minorities - the contributors of this site never read like people who write because they have to. More like they just love doing it. And do it pretty well.
Add to it the proper amount of black humour and you get a site you visit every day in a search for a new article.
Last but not least, the technical(?) aspect. The website has intuitive layout, is neat, clear, has everything that is needed while it doesn't use all those things we hate when it comes to browsing. It feels a bit 'retro' (in a positive way) when compared to those flashy lens-flarish sites where a reader gets a visual clusterfuck. I would say it so user-friendly because creators use it themselves all the time. And not for work but rather for entertainment because their work here looks like great fun while working. That makes this site special.

Edited at 23:26 on 25/09/13
Posted by Ali at 22:20 on 24/09/13
I'm not talking down to anybody. I'm not punching anyone in the face.

I was referring to the dream of having a thriving, interesting commenter community, which even the biggest fan of the site would have to admit we do not have. What we have are a few occasional commenters, like yourself, who are perfectly pleasant and rational and intelligent, and I'm glad you're here. We also have a couple of dicks. But that doesn't amount to what I was referring to.

Please don't read too much into what I said. I'm not hating on existing commenters, just lamenting that we never really made good on our promise to have a full-on community (lots of functionality, like groups, likes and so on, have been stripped back). That's more a fault of mine for not making content which invites debate. As two of you have said, you rarely feel the need to comment, which is quite telling.
Posted by Jeffrey at 22:03 on 24/09/13
"I've all but given up hope of finding an engaging userbase in the film community- and I include my own commenters in this statement."

I've been reading this blog for quite a while now, and it's undoubtedly one of my favorite sites. I rarely comment, because I, like zigs, rarely have something to say. But I do feel a need to say something about your statement on the commenters- that's kind of a punch in the face to this site's most prominent readers, and frankly, a bit discouraging. Seeing that you usually don't have many comments, it seems like you're referring to everybody. Not everybody is the brightest, and there are a couple dimwits who've commented here in the past, but I'm still not a big fan of talking down to readers like that. I'll shut up now.
Posted by Nick at 21:06 on 24/09/13
I was thinking only a few days ago about whether a mini-forum (purely for films of course) would help this place. There's no real place on here for off-topic discussion, which is kind of a shame when you've got a reasonably educated community. You've obviously got experience in creating PM.
Posted by Luke at 19:58 on 24/09/13
I'd love the site to have more commenters tbh, because it would be the perfect excuse to expand our social tools and add a load more bits without actually producing more content. Plenty of ways of dealing with trolls and idiots too.
Posted by Nick at 19:27 on 24/09/13
I like talking about films, so comments are essential in my view. For example, they allow me to say that I love Zigs avatar, Network is fucking awesome and you should all watch it.
Posted by Ali at 23:40 on 22/09/13
Appreciated all the same.

Basically, if you read the site I love you. Thank you.

I was referring to a 'user base', meaning groups of commenters interacting with one another, as opposed to the few good natured stragglers we have at the moment. But I think this is a problem most websites have. Sometimes a site doesn't need comments at all.

If I started over maybe I wouldn't have included them.

Still got mad love for youse, yo. X
Posted by zigs at 16:46 on 22/09/13
I'm a pretty active reader of The Shiznit, and, like Nick, it made me a little sad to read "I've all but given up hope of finding an engaging userbase in the film community – and I include my own commenters in this statement." But then I realised that actually, I think I've only ever posted two or three comments on the site, and so I thought I should add another one to that meagre tally just to say that I definitely appreciate and admire how you guys run the site. It always seems so effortless how well you juggle ethics, humour and honest opinions in your reviews/articles, and it's why yours is one of the only film websites I ever read anymore. I feel like that's a really crap description of why I love reading The Shiznit, but hey - there's good reason why I'm not a writer. I guess a more succinct way of saying it is that I really enjoy reading all of your reviews and content, and really admire and enjoy the way in which you run the site, and this post kinda highlights exactly why I'd rather read your articles than any other blogs. (Still a crap description, but uh... I no word good.)

One of the inherent problems with comments, imho, is that it doesn't really reflect the readership, but more highlights the complainers and the idiots. For me personally, I rarely post comments because I have nothing to say. Like I said, I love reading the site, but I just never feel the urge to write any comments. *Shrug*

I guess what I'm saying is to not judge your readership based solely on those who comment, and that there are plenty of us who silently enjoy your articles and site a hell of a lot. I feel like it's probably one of those obvious things that you, as writers, are no doubt fully aware of, but it felt worth taking the time to actually say.
Posted by Ali at 20:33 on 21/09/13
I am well aware of this. But there should be a compromise: Split a top ten into two pages, or even five pages. But eleven pages? That's just greedy. And I wouldn't classify much, if any, of WhatCulture's content as 'quality'. Generally you find that the people that need to split content over multiple pages are not the ones with the best stuff.

I don't mind ads, rollovers, pre-rolls on videos etc as revenue generators. But if you're running a website your first thought should be on the user, not the bottom line. Otherwise you have your priorities wrong.
Posted by maskedfox at 18:47 on 21/09/13
While I agree with almost everything said in here, I would never lump people who split features into multiple pages with plagiarists and those exploiting underage women.

I've never understood the commotion around having multiple pages for an article. The more pages a site has, the more ad revue they get. Unfortunately, quality writers simply aren't going to be able to devote the time needed to craft quality stuff if they aren't getting paid to do it. They can't get paid unless the site is bringing in revenue. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is.

I'll happily click through as many pages as possible on the sites I enjoy, because I know that if they can get more money in, they can keep giving me the quality content I like to read. If the money stops, the content likely will too.
Posted by Nick at 18:46 on 18/09/13
"I've all but given up hope of finding an engaging userbase in the film community – and I include my own commenters in this statement"

What makes you say that? It's a bit quiet and you've obviously got some idiots but, by and large, I think you've actually got a good group of readers here.

Anyway yes, I agree otherwise. The standard of blogging pretty much everywhere else is an abomination and you'll see that the readers reflect that. Terrible writers attract people who are too dumb to recognise it or care. That again brings me back to my earlier point, the quality writing here brings in a better class of reader.
Posted by Ali at 09:43 on 18/09/13
Thank you, old.school, for proving my point.
Posted by old.school at 23:28 on 17/09/13
Blogs and all are about entertainment that's all.

I'd watch any movie to see Selma Hayek topless but not Jennifer Aniston.

Watched that absolute turd of a movie The Canyons. That film was so fucking terrible that seeing Lohan's tits saved the film.

Edited at 23:30 on 17/09/13
Honest Dave
Posted by Honest Dave at 20:26 on 17/09/13
I was only vaguely aware of the terribleness of some of these other blogs, but I do know 95% of all web comments seem to be from disgusting man children that have never interacted with a woman normally. So the Riddick comment is absolutely no surprise.

And as attractive as many actresses are I'm not going to watch a film purely to see them topless. I found that comment even more ridiculous as that Riddick scene in particular came across to me as 'Riddick is funny because he's sneaky, also a woman is needlessly topless' than 'PHWOAR TITS.'
Posted by chrisjw33 at 19:21 on 17/09/13
When somebody threatens to damage something that you feel passionate about a strong reaction can often be misinterpreted as an overreaction. On this occasion though Ali I completely agree with you. I am currently stuck in an unchallenging job and so a month or so ago decided to begin a casual film blog to exercise my brain (and of course I'm going to insert a shameless plug opinionandpopcorn.wordpress.com) and I regularly read other sites for research and quite frankly to learn from people better than me as to how to approach analytical writing. A good 80% of what I read is not only ill informed but badly written and quite obviously gleaned from the larger more mainstream sites; and while I'm sure many will take issue with the fact that you have been quite personal and insulting in your article, I agree that it is only by exposing these writers to the truth that they are despised by an entire online community that any change will be brought about. Take em all down.

Edited at 19:23 on 17/09/13
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