Someone linked to this David Roth interview on the politics thread, but I thought this was an important point about Spanfeller's intentions:
I don’t even think he’s a Republican. I think he’s like an As the father of daughters… type Dem. Initially when we were trying to see if we could still figure this shit out… We thought that they were mad about the Trump stories like getting booed at the World Series. Dan McQuade did a blog that night with the video and a few paragraphs and it did like 750,00 uniques. It was fine, it was perfectly amusing, it didn’t have any editorializing in it. Then I wrote the next day, it had a lot of editorializing, but I made sure to get World Series in the headline. They were like both of those are fine, it’s not a Trump thing. He doesn’t like Trump. The stuff that made him mad were silly posts. I think the idea was if you want us to sell this to advertisers they want to know they can go look at the front page of the site and they’d understand it and get why it’s sports.
Even Barry Petschesky's NYT op-ed took this righteous, high-minded "Sports is about more than just the game" angle, and I'm not sure that Spanfeller and Maidment actually objected to that? They just didn't get the idea that the site had a ~personality~ that was a huge basis for the audience it attracted.
― jaymc, Friday, 15 November 2019 16:03 (three weeks ago) link
I think some of it too was the types of sites that he wants, and the extent I’m able to figure out any business justification for what he did is this: It’s that he is not a reader. He doesn’t have a very advanced idea of why people would read websites. What he’s trying to do is get these mushy, normal, middle websites. And you’re allowed to write them as well as you want. He’s not mad if you do a good job on a blog post. But he doesn’t care if you do a good one either. You just have to stick within that. He’s trying to sell this stuff to advertisers that he imagines that are even more conservative than him. So with politics I guess a Splinter headline that’s really sharp-edged or any of the stuff that he would actually see, because I really don’t think he read any stories on any sites -- if he saw that he was like you’re fucking it up because the people I’m trying to sell ads to are like banks or insurance companies. If you have a post that’s like health insurance is a fucking racket and it should be Medicare for All immediately, then in his mind, and this is the closest I can come to figuring it out, he’s like well how am I going to sell that to Etna?
― jaymc, Friday, 15 November 2019 16:09 (three weeks ago) link
i think that any venture capital owner who doesn't get the spirit or purpose of a thing they own (which is to say all of them) is perfectly capable of literally meaning they want the writers to stick to sports, literally.
― Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:11 (three weeks ago) link
I guess that's true, but I feel like the perspective it's coming from is this dumb, weak "Let's just make this easier for all of us."
― jaymc, Friday, 15 November 2019 16:15 (three weeks ago) link
i get what yr getting at but he has a bunch of ideas in there re: management that make me think he's working thru it still/is still too close to it.
there's the "make life easier by not doing dorky posts about cats,"
there's the literal "stick to sports you chuds,"
there's "stick to sports so we can monetize you for the algorithm better you chuds"
there's the "BECAUSE I SAID SO" angle that Greenwell showed in her exit piece & everyone else kinds of hints at
there's the fact that they are big stupid venture capital shitlords who never deserve the benefit of the doubt
If I wan't invested in GMG or the people who write for it I would always assume some combination of the last three, probably in reverse order, before i assumed there was any grey area in "stick to sports"
― Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:30 (three weeks ago) link
the intersection of sports and culture at large was 100% their brand. Deadspin didn't really care much about the actual analysis of sports, like why is this particular offensive formation suddenly very popular or how does this college prospect's game translate to the pro level. The Ringer and ESPN among others are much better at that. but every day basically there's some sports story that crosses over into larger issues of race, gender, class, etc. and that was Deadspin's bread and butter. I would've loved to see what they had to say about the response to the Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph brawl last night, for instance.
― Evans on Hammond (evol j), Friday, 15 November 2019 16:48 (three weeks ago) link