Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: This whole, glorious trainwreck

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  • Sam F,

    Charlie Brookers piece in the Grauniad this morning is about how by writing an article that poked the nest of the mad-as-fuck (in this case 911-denial-denial), he substantially boosted the paper's traffic and search engine placings.

    Was I the only one who instinctively jumped to close that window when the spam-laden title came up?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Perhaps this is the route for content - for Russell to make money fast he needs more mentions of Britney Spears nude videos, stores with New Zealand iPhones still available and the reason Antoine Dixon is being retried.

    The example I have often used is this:

    As you might expect, PA traffic rose considerably during the 2005 election campaign, and although it subsided a bit eventually, there was a sustained increase thereafter.

    But ... the spike didn't start with any political story. It was the "celebrity drug scandal" that kicked it off. I led with it one the first morning, and traffic went nuts.

    "Cool," I thought, and led with it again. It worked again -- an the next day.

    This is one of the dirty little secrets of web traffic. The News Ltd papers in Australia are huge on getting journalists to blog, because it drives comments traffic.

    But ... when I had it explained to me, one blogger (from nearly 100) was responsible for 40% of the comments traffic. Was he the most thoughtful or intelligent? No, he was the most provocative, angry and bigoted. Both sides of the argument flocked there to either praise or damn him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Rob? Hello? Hello? Are you there?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 493 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The PA System version of this post has been viewed 1894 times as compared to the "Classic" version without the thread with 524 views ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Funny that was my first thought too, John. I can respect provocative and even bigoted but downright stupid loses its appeal after a while. If you can't read properly, argue logically or tell a meaningful story then what would attract you to keep coming back for more? Sigh.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    I have to admit to contributing to WhaleOil's traffic, just because it's good for a laugh..for somebody who rates themselves so highly as a blogger, his invective-laden, poorly punctuated/spelt ramblings would look childish in a Standard 1 creative writing lesson...plus his site looks like my Grandmother designed it.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    <quote>plus his site looks like my Grandmother designed it.<quote/>

    That's very funny. But sad. When I want to make my children laugh I tell them I'm going to take a course on 'the actor within' , or web design. I'm not even a grandmother and I know more about sub-atomic particles than I do about web design...

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    And I couldn't even get the quote thing right.

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I have to admit to contributing to WhaleOil's traffic, just because it's good for a laugh

    OK then, you pricked my curiosity.

    Site seems to be down though? Perhaps The Hairy Armpit get to it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • M Mathew,

    Far out. The whole thing is hideous. It smacks of a personal vendetta from a total nut job certifiable. A mate of mine is her cousin. I dont know her but nobody deserves that treatment. For some reason these idiots are utterly fascinated by the poor girl. WO even going as far as to suggest it was a political conspiracy against his website?? I am glad somebody else is thinking WTF??

    Thank goodness no self respecting NZ web host would allow such rubbish! It would seem Saunders & Slater need to grow up. Shame on a woman that age encouraging such rubbish. Shame on anyone launching an attack on another human so sick and twisted.

    I wonder what we will all say when a young woman with her entire life ahead of her turns up dead. Will the faceless cowards behind such a site stand up & take the credit? If they are so confident of what they are saying why hide their identities? It begs the question of these nutters motive. All because she refused to be bullied by Slippery Saunders & Sick Slater?

    Since they seem so intent on protecting the world from the 'mass threat' of a young 23yr old. I would suggest any one with any human decency band together to expose who they are so apparent is the need to expose them & protect us all from their neurotic, idiocised ramblings.

    Good on Russell for exposing the heart of the matter 'a bitter old woman who was told to piss off. when a young girl wouldn't discuss her personal life'. I hope the family take the advice of many and proceed straight to the police. Hopefully those responsible will be exposed for the nut jobs they are in full public view. It will be interesting to see how they handle their names getting dragged through the mud & sullied. It is from personal experience that I say they will not take kindly to it. Normally those such as these people so ready to persecute another only do so to detract from the bullshit in their own back yards!

    More power to Russell and the rest of the people on here with funtioning brain cells who are asking WTF?

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Far out. The whole thing is hideous. It smacks of a personal vendetta from a total nut job certifiable. A mate of mine is her cousin. I dont know her but nobody deserves that treatment. For some reason these idiots are utterly fascinated by the poor girl. WO even going as far as to suggest it was a political conspiracy against his website?? I am glad somebody else is thinking WTF??

    That was kinda my thinking. She might have bullshitted, she might not have. The nation's future doesn't turn on it, and it certainly doesn't warrant the kind of weirdness in which these people are indulging. WTF is Saunders saying or doing about this? And her editor?

    My only guess is that this is rooted in some sort of easter suburbs tory clan feuding. But ...

    I wonder what we will all say when a young woman with her entire life ahead of her turns up dead.

    Now you need to calm down. The best response to these people is to make fun of them. The possibilities are, after, all particularly rich.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • M Mathew,

    I think weirdness is an insult to the moderately insane. This behaviour is off the chart nutter stuff. I am of the opinion that most of the posts on that site are fictional.

    This smacks of career killer for Saunders I would say she is the one who started the whole thing now it is going to take her down in flames. Possibly we should all start emailing the editor of the sunday star times asking??

    The whole thing looks fabricated to wash over some other agenda. Can you imagine blogging daily about such rubbish? The person behind it has to be a few bolts short of an engine. Either that or is obsessed with the girl. Have you read the posts it is almost as though the nutter is trying to communicate with her in some way?

    As for turning up dead. We have to ask these questions especially when you turn on current affairs & see stories about txt bullying causing suicide. An entire site dedicated to you is on another planet nowhere near the same league. I would be interested to know how she is dealing with it. It seems alot for one young girl to take. Maybe you are correct we need to make fun of it to show her that she should in turn make fun of it.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • M Mathew,

    I am for one feeling violated at having to see Saunders in my paper now her column has gone national. Has anyone else read her about me blurb??

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As for turning up dead. We have to ask these questions especially when you turn on current affairs & see stories about txt bullying causing suicide.

    Well, Matthew, I don't regard gossip columnists or the people who read them as people whose character judgements are worth the proverbial rat's rectum. Am I the only person who finds it hard to have any sympathy for the "would-be fashionista socialite" who is finding that when you lie down with (paste) diamond dogs, you get up with crabs?

    Makes one pine for the old days when this kind of crap was conducted out of the public eye, with ostentatious snubs until the offensive little climber could be 'disappeared' from the fashionable guest lists.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think weirdness is an insult to the moderately insane. This behaviour is off the chart nutter stuff. I am of the opinion that most of the posts on that site are fictional.

    That possibility occurred to me too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "easter suburbs tory clan feuding."

    The easter suburbs..where's it's always easter. I grew up in the easter suburbs, it's not all feuding..you get wednesdays off. What about the other suburbs?


    In Birmingham they love the governor
    Now we all did what we could do
    Now Watergate does not bother me
    Does your conscience bother you?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The easter suburbs..where's it's always easter.

    the shops are never open, and there's nothing to eat but chocolate and stale buns. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, what fresh hell is this? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    A crucifixion every weekend though. Actually i haven't lived there since the eighties so it's a new crowd now but like every suburb there were sizeable pockets of resistance (sane people).

    I'm still looking for the elusive christmas suburb but having lived a life all over Auckland I'm thinking it's more than probably here out in the west.Jim Morrison was right.

    ...and the electorate wasn't always staunchly tory....it voted the tories out for a while.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    I was getting a weird deja vu feeling about this situation and I just remembered who I was reminded of: L** S*.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this. Crash and burn, indeed.

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The easter suburbs..where's it's always easter. I grew up in the easter suburbs, it's not all feuding..you get wednesdays off. What about the other suburbs?

    In the easter suburb I roamed around as a child.We always thought of it as "gone for the weekend " so set out to achieve this :) As for other suburbs, here I am in a kinda Christmass one with church bells and churchies and suits and bibles all in the one day every week.3 Kings/Mt Roskill. Plus our street is lined with Pohutukawa (Christmas tree)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Archer,

    the shops are never open, and there's nothing to eat but chocolate and stale buns.

    Shame on you Craig - update thy knowledge of my beloved Easter suburb! Or at least visit Madam Jo Jo's Foodstore on Remuera Road, open seven days a week, very good coffee, home-made soup, salads, meals, and fresh baking every single day.
    Which keeps at least some of us happy, feud-free, and not-at-all-sure-who-to-vote-for...!

    Auckland • Since Oct 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There are Easter suburbs everywhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    M. Matthew - I get 'The Press" too but - there is a curiously satisfying
    ritual about cutting out *without reading* offending columnist's works
    and slowly burning them (Karl Du Fresne, curl & blacken bastard!)
    You can then cherish your Joe Bennetts & cuddle 'em down in a warm wee dog-basket-type file...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    From Whaleoil

    Of course all the luminaries and erudite readers of his “blog” have weighed in but they all neglect to observe the salient point that Russell Brown reads my blog.

    You like me! You really like me!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I don't really understand what this odious person is on about - perhaps I don't know the right people? - and can only conclude that it is a good thing that people are coming to understand, after almost a full twenty years or so that the Internet has been a mode of communication between different peoples of this universe, that what you write online does not disappear into the ether. That the people you malign, whether you can see them or not, do exist. And that none of us post in a vacuum.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

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