By on January 8, 2010

(courtesy:some website that desperately wants more traffic)

Blogging, like most human pursuits, is perennially torn between two competing impulses: getting paid and keeping it real. On the internet, where the basest pandering tends to yield the most bounteous rewards in traffic (if not discourse), the temptation to lose focus in search of new traffic is ever present. In a striking piece entitled “The Awesomeness Manifesto,” Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Ray Wert admits that over the past year (or so) he and his website have strayed too far from the path of realness. The impetus for the decline in standards: pressure from Gawker bosses, and what he paints as a year of post-carpocalyptic malaise.

A year ago this month, I caved. I did what I was told, dampening our smart and snarky voice. I moved Murilee from daily to weekend duty and let go of many new names. Instead of looking forward while remembering the past, I forced my overworked and undersupported team to stumble blindly across the post-Carpocalypse automotive desert. We chased the same carrot as Autoblog, Motor Trend, and the rest, pursuing what we were told was the “growth segment” of the automotive universe — general consumers and non-enthusiasts…. we were hungry for cheap traffic, and we gorged, competing over meaningless press releases and page-view-whoring galleries because there was nothing else on the table. And dammit, we were good at it.

The good news is that Wert says he’s sorry. Jalopnik, he says, will once again focus on “a new breed of enthusiast… waiting to be freed from the shackles of a crossover culture.” The not-so-good news?

First of all, there’s the problem of Wert’s excuse. The pressure from “Gawker overlords” is a legitimate cop-out, but the suggestion that 2009 was somehow not a good year for car news is flat-out wrong. Sure, it was turbulent and confusing, but there’s never been a better time to be talking cars than the last 12 months. Unless, like Wert, you spent your “Carpocalypse” hocking “Save GM” T-Shirts and penning paeans like “The Case For Rick Wagoner.” Which may explain why he suggests several times in the “Manifesto” that a key element missing in Jalopnik’s yearlong traffic bender was a “just-shy-of-libertarian voice.” Needless to say, we’ll be curious to see how that manifests itself.

The first clue isn’t promising. Wert rails against “nanny-state-bloated hybrids, crossovers, and shitboxes,”  passionately disclaiming that “these vanilla appliances were built for the Big Gulp-fattened, cow-like masses, not enthusiasts like us.” Which keeps things fantastically real, but falls short of explaining the link between gas-electric hybrids and state paternalism. The real result appears to be a strange form of enthusiast fundamentalism.

We’re also giving up on breathlessly and enthusiastically reporting about boring cars. So what if there’s a new Dodge Journey or Toyota Sienna? Those are the vehicles that the car companies want us to report on, and that we’ve mistakenly covered out of a desire to please some SEO god rather than the enthusiasts. Dull, slow hybrids? Fuck ‘em. If you want to do something green, ride a bus or the subway when you commute and drive a Se7en on the weekends. We’ll also no longer allow ourselves to be trapped in the middle, championing just-greater-than-meh by saying “it’s better than the rest of the segment” when the entire segment’s worthless. That’s like saying one piece of shit smells better than than the rest of the pile, and you deserve better.

Death to the infidel, er, Avalons! Because there’s hope for a whole generation… who have never owned a car.

Some old-school car writers think this is the end for the car-loving individual. I think they’re wrong. I believe the post-Carpocalyptic automotive world is actually fertile ground for a new breed of enthusiast. This new generation is waiting to be freed from the shackles of a crossover culture. Who are they? They’re the gadget guys and gamers who have grown up driving cars on a computer but never tried them in real life. I truly believe that once they feel what it’s like to drive an awesome and exciting real car, they’ll never turn back.

Maybe. The problem, as Wert points out, is that “23% of people believe their car is “something special — more than just a way to get around.” That figure is half of what it was in 1991. If that trend continues, by 2021, less than 5% of American drivers will give an emotional rat’s ass about the car they drive.” It’s laudable that Wert wants to fight that, but it’s not clear if the games and gadgets crowd he’s trying to appeal to are even on the side of the automobile at all.

In any case, having watched Jalopnik’s quality slide (over more than just the last year, to be perfectly honest), Wert’s piece is definitely heartening. We should be so lucky as to see a mea culpa of this candor and specificity out of the former leaders of GM and Chrysler. Betting the house on an enthusiast audience may not be what Gawker wants to see, but this thing we call blog runs on passion, not traffic numbers. All any of us can do is keep following the most exciting, engaging stories and hoping you, the readers, keep coming back.

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56 Comments on “Jalopnik’s Mea Culpa...”


  • avatar
    RGS920

    I’ll point out one thing that I think Jalopnik is getting wrong:  “We’re also giving up on breathlessly and enthusiastically reporting about boring cars.”

    I thoroughly enjoy when TTAC posts a review about a ”boring cars” for a number of reasons.  Like it or not, when ever a non-enthusiast asks advice about what car to buy they are usually considering the so called “boring cars.”  It’s nice when I get to point them to TTAC and have them read a review.  The reviews are insightful, well written and critical of things that deserve to be pointed out.  It gets my non-enthusiast friends thinking about things they normally wouldn’t, i.e. the quality of the interior, handling, driving feel etc.  Not to mention that TTAC takes these car companies to task for being lazy or doing a sloppy job.  The reviews here are well written and insightful when covering even the most mondane examples of automotive transportation.  As an enthusiast I enjoy the reviews about boring cars probably as much as reviews about sports cars and their ilk. 

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      RGS920, You beat me to it. “Boring” is a dangerous word to use in the way Jalopnik is. A budding enthusiast may be driving his mom’s hand-me-down whatever, but it may not be boring to him. I grew up driving what many would consider boring cars, but that did nothing to blunt my love for cars and even the cars I drove.
      In fact Jalopnik has it largely all wrong: perpetuating the myth that in the golden age of car enthusiasts, everyone was driving hemi ‘Cudas, 427 Novas, and Cobra Jet Mustangs. It couldn’t be more from the reality: almost half of new Mustangs in the sixties had little 100 hp sixes. But the enthusiasm was there regardless, as many of our readers will attest to, when they tell of what they drove in their youth.
      Ultimately, it’s not about the cars themselves, but the enthusiasm about them, regardless whether that’s buying a used Taurus for peanuts, a hybrid, or a G37.
      I don’t think Ray gets it yet.

    • 0 avatar
      voodoojoo

      Yeah, don’t forget wat happened to Autofiends.com, the whole thing had a real “no boring cars” atmpsphere, even had good writing, Leaverman did a stint there, and the whole thing seems to have gone nowhere.

    • 0 avatar
      no_slushbox


      The Honda Fit is a sh*tbox?  The first generation Insight is a boring hybrid?  This is a pretty tough manifesto from a shill that for most of his time writing at Jalopnik drove, speaking of crossovers, an automatic transmission Jeep Liberty (this is true).  Wert probably leases an automatic transmission BMW now to aid in his desperate quest to pose in pictures with fake plastic girls.

      Well written accounts of beating the sh*t out of common man’s cars beats “Lamborghinis are teh hot” seven days a week.  You lose Jalopnik.

       

    • 0 avatar
      no_slushbox

      Just to clarify the above, Jalopnik still has a lot of interesting posts by a lot of interesting people, but Wert is doing the site no favors.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Bullshit ,It runs on money and as soon as you forget that you are dead.

  • avatar

    I’ll agree with RSG- having the boring cars reviewed with an enthusiast perspective is fine with me.
    I actually hate the standard, and relatively unsophisticated, political rants on car sites more than anything else. As if the world was that simple.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    The trouble, Ed, is that this is like an apology from former Archbishop of Boston Bernard Law (though without the child abuse).
    Ray Wert put forward a nicely written post about getting back to basics, without ever taking any real responsibility for killing Jalopnik.com’s core content. He blames the corporate overlords, and puts himself on the cross for his heroic efforts to keep the site devoted to its previous tone and content.
    But the reality is very different. Ray has a business to run, and you don’t get huge Digg results by writing about old Polish cars that I, or you, or a few thousand other Americans find interesting. Gawker demands growth in audience and profit (which is why they dumped Wonkette and Consumerist). To Wert’s credit, he’s brought in millions of readers per month.
    To that end,  Jalopnik turning into a press release machine scared off a lot of their traditional readers, who went so far as to form Hooniverse.com to re-focus on the old cars they find interesting. Former Jalopnik writer Mike Bumbeck founded Clunkbucket with a similar intention.
    Besides all that, Ray is a notoriously difficult person to work with, and in fairness he has his own personal career to advance: that means appearing on cable news programs as a talking head and giving the occasional comment to The New York Times.
    Ray being called upon as a GM bankruptcy analyst says more about the talking head industry than it does about Jalopnik, but posting about old rusty lovable cars is not going to build his credibility. Nor does he have time for the excruciating research people like [penname] Murilee Martin conduct for their posts.
    There’s no going back to the “good old days.” The kind of website it once was, which has been absurdly overblown as biblical in Jalopnik’s comments, is not compatible with the kind of website it has become and will remain.
    And this brings me back to where I began. Today’s posts on Jalopnik, besides Ray Wert’s Manifesto, are regurgitated press releases about aftermarket sports cars and a trailer for the remake of the A-Team.

    • 0 avatar
      no_slushbox

      Thanks for the links.  Jalopnik stopped being worth reading right when Wert replaced Spinelli.  The worst thing Gawker has done to the quality of Jalopnik is keep Wert as editor.

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    Pot and kettle situation going on here.  TTAC without Farago is not so hot. Niedermeyer (who doesn’t like Animal House, anyway?) and Lang are the only reasons why I stop here for any length of time anymore.

    • 0 avatar

      Fair enough… Robert Farago is not someone you can just up and replace.

    • 0 avatar
      michal1980

      I agree, while I always thought there was too much domestic bashig here. I know mkiss it, fewer deathwatchs, more mindless pictures with ‘hot’ chicks on them (something fargo hated)… to the point where sometimes i think its nsfw. etc etc I woint pile on

    • 0 avatar

      Since we’ll never be able to calibrate our “domestic bashing” levels to everyone’s individual preference, I’ll just correct your one factual error here. And here. Aaand here.
      If you have constructive criticism or suggestions for how we can improve the site, we want to hear them. The contact form is always open.

    • 0 avatar
      max425

      That’s not a fair comment. I see some changes under Niedermeyer but one can argue these are better. The female models with the cars, so far I didn’t see anything NSFW and oftentimes these are just the ads of the companies. Ya, gratuitous Megan Fox picture wall in Jalopnik went too far. Here it is OK. Finally, please do review all cars including those that 95%  of the people buy.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    michal1980: more mindless pictures with ‘hot’ chicks on them (something fargo hated)
    Let’s give credit where credit is due: Farago started that with a major cheerleader assault, that lasted for weeks, until feedback got him to cut it way back. And he brought it back from time to time. He gets 100% credit for that. He sure didn’t hate it!
    Edit: Looks like I’m late to the cheesecake defense party
    We indulge in it occasionally to spice up some numbers-oriented sales posts. Too much still? Let’s hear it.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    TTAC is doing fine by me.  Clearly the editors are recalibrating, post Farago, post Deathwatches.

    I agree with RGS920 and others.  Boring cars make the world go round, and we need good information on them.  I have subscriptions to many of the mainstream mags — CD, MT, etc — all of whom claim to stand for fun cars and driving excitement.  It’s a crock of shit.  The average car reviewed in those magazines probably runs $55k, and that’s excluding the super cars.  That isn’t “enthusiast” territory, that’s wealthy territory.  Most people can’t relate (hence the dwindling circulation).

    I guess I love “boring.”

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Yeah, I’ll jump on the RSG bandwagon and give him a “+1″, too. Seems to me that ’true’ auto enthusiasts don’t limit their interest to just the high-zoot performance cars. That’s why I (and others) enjoy Curbside Classics so much. That’s the reality aspect of cars and what used to separate Car and Driver from other magazines. A great example was that old, early seventies econobox comparison with the Vega, Gremlin, Simca, Beetle, Corolla, and Pinto, let alone the cover of the controversial 1968 edition that had a picture an Opel Kadette in front of a junkyard. GM was so incensed that they pulled their advertising for a while. You sure as hell never saw anything like that happen in Road & Track.

      The point is, a true enthusiast is interested in all cars (indeed, all modes of transportation). Frankly, I find articles on the cheapest, four figure bottom-feeders substantially more interesting than those on top-of-the-line exotics way into six figures for the simple reason that it wouldn’t seem nearly as difficult to come up with an über-performance car with unlimited resources than a competent, basic transportation car on a shoe-string budget.

      Boring is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

  • avatar
    dancote

    Not sad to see Farago go. Deathwatch was boring , repetitive  and way overdone and when I posted this opinion I was threatened with being banned.

    • 0 avatar
      john.fritz

      I’ll say one thing about the present day TTAC, they absolutely do not over-censor this site. I’ve posted a few (a few, Jeff?) stupid comments that I thought for sure were going to get me a scolding. Especially one particular rant aimed at people who support a substantial increase in the gasoline tax. And nary a peep. I respect being afforded that freedom to speak what’s on my mind.

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    I like TTAC better without Farago.  I mean, I didn’t dislike him and I enjoyed his posts, but now that he’s gone this site seems to me to be more oriented toward, well, you know, cars. The stupid political stuff seems have decreased after left.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    I have a lot of respect for all the contributors at TTAC, especially the occasional, non-professional writers. It takes big stones to throw your thoughts out there and watch as anonymous commentators dissect them mercilessly.

    That being said, I enjoy reading the comments on TTAC as much as I enjoy the articles themselves. Especially when boring cars are being reviewed.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I am sick and tired of public mea culpas. GM has done it repeatedly and politicians of all types resort to it regularly. If Ray Wert plans to improve Jalopnik, then he should simply do it. Not talk about it, not whine about the bosses, not insult everyone who might disagree with him … just do it already.
    Another pet peeve: I’m sick and tired of auto writers and editors pontificating about how they are going to take us back to that magical time when Car & Driver was really something. Misty eyed nostalgic dreams always gloss over the negative in favor of an imagined better past. I remember the 60s and 70s too, and they were not exactly heaven on earth.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      remember the 60s and 70s too, and they were not exactly heaven on earth.
       
      Sure, they were.  Just ask Peter De Lorenzo.

    • 0 avatar
      criminalenterprise

      Publicly “taking responsibility” is usually anything but and is too often self-serving.  Taking responsibility means correcting as best is possible the damage you’ve done and preventing it from happening again (even if that means your own resignation).  Publicly talking about how you goofed is just accepting the blame, which isn’t so hard to do because it’s already obvious.
       
      Great insight.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Right you are, psarhjinian. Thanks for the laugh!
     

    psarhjinian
    January 8th, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    remember the 60s and 70s too, and they were not exactly heaven on earth.

    Sure, they were.  Just ask Peter De Lorenz

  • avatar
    James2

    “No boring cars.” Isn’t that Automobile magazine’s motto? Which they promptly forgot about as they chased subscribers like any other rag –even if a Sienna never makes their cover. I don’t click on Jalopnik, but I suspect they will show up at any and every Toyota shindig regardless of the appliance.

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    I’m a big Jalop fan, and I was excited to read that Wert recognized the site had lost its voice and entered its own Malaise Era. The question is, what brings this change in attitude on? Why have they abandoned the “maximize pageviews” route to the “take it back to the old school” route? While I think the decision to write the manifesto and the focus more on car enthusiasts is to be applauded, this was still a business decision made possible by changes in the way Gawker pays their employees: (I can’t insert the link, but search “gawker-gives-up-pageview-addiction-quickly-picks-up-a-monthly-uniques-habit” if you want to read it.
    Basically, Gawker sites, which Jalop is one of, are now paid/rewarded for the number of unique U.S. visitors per month rather than the total number of pageviews. Does this explain the change in focus? Not completely, but it does explain the freedom for change and to reject the past. And hopefully, it will reduce the number of articles that require you to click through them ten times to read them.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Why does Jalopnik – and other enthusiast websites for that matter – assume that reviewing a “boring” car reduces them to corporate sellouts or Consumer Reports drones?
     
    The reality is that many car guys drive boring cars, and manage to derive almost as much pleasure out of them as they do lusting after something more exotic.    Sure, we like to drool over the newest BMW, and reminisce about that ’68 Oldsmobile.    But a true car guy also enjoys flogging a 90-horsepower manual shitbox around the potholes, or venturing down a bumpy forest trail in a CUV appliance with the kids.    Give us both, please.   Without the elitist pretensions.

  • avatar
    carguy

    TTAC could learn from Ray Wert’s candid admission as it too has somewhat lost its way. While I really enjoy Paul Niedermeyer reflections on classic cars, Sajeev Mehta’s enthusiasm and some of the car reviews, there is a negativity that has crept into TTAC that is getting gold quickly. It started with RF happily dismissing cars that he had not driven and were not on sale yet (see Taurus death watch) and is continuing with Niedermeyer junior’s relentless search for negative post about domestic automakers – ever when there is no real story anywhere in sight.
     
    We get it: The bailouts were a bad idea, Chrysler is dead, GM is a slow learner and Ford has debt issues. Can now please move on?
     
    These topics are simply not enough to hold my interest. I like cars and and am enthusiastic about them – old and new. TTAC is supposed to be a community of car enthusiasts and not the grumpy automotive branch of the tea party movement.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      there is a negativity that has crept into TTAC that is getting old quickly. It started with RF happily dismissing cars that he had not driven…and is continuing with Niedermeyer junior’s relentless search for negative post about domestic automakers – ever when there is no real story anywhere in sight.
       
      I will agree with you that TTAC give the impression of negativity, but I think saying TTAC is negative is like saying Obama is a socialist: it comes not so much from actual policy, but from the relative centre being defined pretty far from the objective.
       
      TTAC is negative in context, but that context is made from a hell of a lot of press-release rehashers and cheerleaders who don’t date write anything negative because their livelihoods depend on the contrary.  If you read, eg, Autoblog (which I still do) you’d never know that GM (or heck, the whole industry) is in real trouble from the relentless Shiny-Happy-Peopleness.
       
      I’m not going to come out and say TTAC is realist, but I wouldn’t say it’s industry coverage isn’t so much negative as it’s cynical—and cynicism is a valid philosophical take.
       
      I would like to point out that TTAC doesn’t pick on the domestics alone; they’re pretty even-handed with the aforementioned cynicism.  The sore point, especially for fans of the domestics (and notably GM and Chrysler) is that because these two are just such easy targets based on their actions.  Calling a spade a spade is fair.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      carguy +1

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    “Focus more on car enthusiasts” ?????

    Which ones: the 0-60 enthusiast, the old car enthusiast, the Curbside Classic, enthusiast, automotive business enthusiast, the boring car enthusiast,the 60s & 70s compact car enthusiast? The British or Domestic, German or Japanese car enthusiast? The demolition derby enthusiast ?

    What a load of merde.

    TTAC gets it right.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark out West

      Simple definition:  An enthusiast is born when the warranty dies.

      You keep the car after the factory stops paying for all the downside, you’re an enthusiast.  If not, you’re merely an “owner”.  Or in the case of folks who lease, a “renter”.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    RF is gone? I got pissed at a personal email he sent in re unions, and deleted TTAC in a fit of pique. Frankly, a little push-back keeps my old lame self going, and I had finally decided to return with hat in hand. What happened?  And, Neidermeyer, where do you see these cars in Eugene? I go through about once a month from my place in Newport, and never see anything but vanilla and so-called “art cars”.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Nothing beats a “get off my lawn” rant from a 30-something fat pasty douche bag trying to disassociate himself from being a fat pasty douche bag by whining about the “Big Gulp-fattened, cow-like masses.”

    And everyone loves it when a self-serving tool who fell into his auto writing job after a failed attempt at political career, and spent most of his life driving a Jeep Liberty, talks about “enthusiasts like us.” 

    A Mea Culpa isn’t going to cut it, the only thing that Wert could write that would make Jalopnik good again is a letter of resignation.  And nobody is going to write “The Case For Ray Wert.”

    Every penny that goes into paying Wert to be useless, write crappy articles, and post himself posing with skanks is a penny that could have gone to paying Murilee to write brilliant articles.

    And Lieberman didn’t leave Jalopnik, Jalopnik left Lieberman when it made a hallow idiot with 1/10th his skill the editor.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Good, spot-on comments. In this era of the “social web” it’s all about providing the right content and enabling an ongoing, interactive dialogue with your readers – your customers.

    Jalopnik’s  arrogant, out-of-touch editorial attitude is exemplified by its policy of making readers “audition” for the privilege of having comments posted. WTF is that all about? Dis your readers and your readers will dis you. Which is exactly what’s happened to Jalopnik.

    • 0 avatar
      UnclePete

      I can relate. I had two enthusiast web sites I read all the time – TTAC and Jalopnik. When Jalopnik removed all the old logins and went to the Gawker “audition” thing, I tried it. Nothing I wrote ever got posted so I said f— em. I doubt that I’d ever go back to reading them as much I used to ever again.

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    Jalopnik lost me as a regular reader when they demoted Murilee Martin to the weekends only.  It was smart for TTAC to totally rip off his “Down on the Street” series.

    • 0 avatar
      tulsa_97sr5

      I make it a point to check jalopnik every weekend, and avoid it the rest of the time.  It’s actually kind of nice of them to condense all their original and worthwhile content like that for me.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming


    Last year I found myself drifting away from TTAC and toward Jalopnik as Farago got more shrill – and testy with those who disagreed with him. Jalop’s best feature is its sense of humor, followed by the genial quality of its comment threads. Reading Jalopnik is like lingering at a pleasant coffee house on a Saturday morning. A sexist one, but nonetheless….

    What I dislike about Jalopnik is that it has largely functioned as a p.r. tool for the automakers rather than an independent source of news analysis and opinion (in contrast to TTAC). So if Ray throws away the press releases that would be a good thing. (Note to self: Let’s see how far he gets.)

    Alas, Ray also seemed to signal in his manifesto that Jalopnik would become more anti-Prius and “libertarian.” Sigh. Much like Farago, he doesn’t seem to get that at least some of us gearheads aren’t knee-jerk opponents of environmental protection. Auto blogs may largely function as a form of escapism, but why must they assume that their readership is a bunch of ignorant juveniles who will uncritically accept even the most ridiculous anti-environmental propaganda?

  • avatar
    fincar1

    On the other hand, why should they assume that their readership is a bunch of ignorant juveniles who will uncritically accept even the most ridiculous pro-environmental propaganda?

  • avatar
    Hank

    I don’t know.  The whole thing reads like an overly desperate “We can fix this, please don’t go!” plea while they grab onto your ankles as you walk out the Pomodoro Rosso.
    Meh.

  • avatar

    @Justin Berkowitz, @no_slushbox: Agreed. I’ve Never been a fan of Wert. He has always come across as a vodka-chubby, empty suit more concerned with polishing his L.L. Bean Belt-of-the-Month-Club Card than anything else.
     
    Any Mea Culpa on his part seems immediately suspect as crocodilian, and as @Berkowitz implies, probably just a convenient opportunity to attempt to reset himself on “our” side through [temporary] self-martyrizing.
     
    I call shenanigans. Nick Denton wants 100% Touchdowns, not field goals and will never let Ray get away with this prospect without shuttering the site or firing him.
     
    -Which we can guess might not be allowed to happen without a fight. So he’ll change back, blame it on Nick, who doesn’t care; completing his revolving-door triple-axel as False Prophet.
     
    As stated, only guys like Martin or Lieberman can run that place with the appropriate balance it needs. Ray Wert is to car sites as Gil Amelio and John Sculley were to Apple, what Terry Semel was to an internet company, or what Michael Eisner was to Disney.
     
    +and btw, my own personal Enthusiast career started with lots of study and some mildly-ill-advised mods to a ~crappy car.
    -But the Community sites that supported much of my effort and the start of involved, progressive, hands-on fun;
    are what provided that drug-pusher-like presence; something to keep going back to get hooked all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      Spencer Williams

      As I see it, Ray is not taking any risk here, he is just spinning a change in business model as a rebellious rejection of the old site that just pumped out press releases with a dash of snark. They now get paid by unique visitors, not pageviews, so he can bash the pageview mentality that everyone hates without any risk. And he can embrace strange content, as they want their content to be linked to/featured on every other site that is doing the whole “post a bunch of press releases” thing.  Ray is not taking any risk here or going out on any limb, he’s just positioning himself as the agent of change when he’s really just maximizing a change in their business plan.
      I can’t link, but search “gawker-gives-up-pageview-addiction-quickly-picks-up-a-monthly-uniques-habit” for another Gawker site Editor In Chief’s more honest perspective on the systemwide changes.

  • avatar
    dzwax

    Let’s see here.
     
    They’re going to focus on the marginal audience that really doesn’t give a shit about cars and push their core audience to a secondary role?
    Sounds like good long term thinking to me.

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    Despite my somewhat crabtastic statement above, I am still super excited about the pending changes at Jalopnik. What can I say, I’m Captain DoomnGloom.
    And I agree that TTAC can be a bit negative at times, but I really enjoy this site and wouldn’t change much. I really wasn’t a RF fan though, and found the site’s perspective overly one-sided with him posting.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    Really excellent article and comments, just wanted to say thanks for all of them.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    This site is not negative. As a matter of fact, it was real hard core when Farago was around. RF torch was more powerful than any flamer/troll/fanboy/hater around. Straight into your mailbox.

    I miss that.

    However, it should be noted, the Ns are doing a good job.

    About Jalopnik, meh.

  • avatar

    Great article. I have my own website at http://www.chrisoncars.com and I was researching a piece about Jalopnik when I found this post. I always thought the site was boring, confusing, and pandered to the teen age crowd. They seem to try a little too hard to be cool, and less hard to be intelligent.

    I know my site wont be getting the traffic Jalopnik does, but I dont care. I write for myself, and if people read it, or enjoy it…even better. When a big company buys a website, this type of thing always happens. Websites who care about traffic more than cars are easy to identify, the formats are all the same, and the articles are identical.

    I love the sites that are unique, quirky, and fun.


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Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India