When I announced the return of Doug DeMuro and the addition of Blake Z. Rong, I mentioned that there was more news to come. And now that everything is in place, I’m happy to announce the return of another TTAC veteran.
Winners of the contest to win one of three copies of Weird Cars by Michael Banovsky have been announced.
Are you involved in the car industry and want to help make TTAC a better publication? Then we’re calling on you for your assistance.
I have been toying with the idea of sending users who fail to read the article (and leave a snarky comment) with a one week, all expenses paid vacation away from the site. I am open to criticism, corrections, feedback and the like. I can’t stand pedantry, like the example shown above. Rather than unilaterally implement this rule, and repeat the mistakes of the “Top Troll” post, I am politely asking you to read the article in full, and then leave a comment.
Before we delve into our daily news bulletin, TTAC is proud to announce two additional contributors. Former Autoweek Associate Editor Blake Z. Rong will be contributing to the site starting later this quarter. In addition, Doug DeMuro will be returning to TTAC as a contributor, starting later this month. We are thrilled to be publishing the work of two of the best young writers in the business.
Now that you’ve all sufficiently recovered from your New Year’s festivities, I’d like to welcome you all to the 2015 edition of TTAC. It’s been roughly 18 months since the, *ahem* mid-cycle refresh, and just four months since Jack departed the EIC post (but not the site), to spend more time with his guitar collection.
One of the most amazing elements of TTAC is the utter consistency in the popularity of certain car reviews. While many other enthusiast outlets tout the latest and greatest hypercars and plutocrat barges, the B&B are consistent in their love of transportation for the common man and woman. This year was no different.
Just a quick note. Yes, comments are still broken. Yes, I am aware. No, sending angry comments and emails isn’t going to speed up the pace of the improvements. No, you have not been banned (except for Z71_Silvy, who made multiple user accounts, in violation of our rules, and was summarily sent packing.)
One thing that will make it faster is to refrain from posting the same comment multiple times if yours doesn’t show up. Right now, I am reduced to manually rescuing your comments from the spam filter. Please do not clog up the queue even further by posting the same thing multiple times. In unrelated news, there sure is a lot of cheap Viagra for sale.
EDIT: For testing purposes, I am going to leave the filter/queue alone until the end of the day. This is to see what is still being captured and what is being approved. Again, nobody is being banned or censored, do not re-post your comment multiple times if it does not show up.
Just a quick note: there is a major problem with the comments, specifically the spam filter. Many legitimate comments are being caught and blocked. Please bear with us as we try to fix the issue.
None of you could ever accuse me of having a particularly thick skin, but there is one accusation that does get to me. Cries of “clickbait” are often doled out in these pages. They seem to occur when somebody disagrees with the conclusions reached in the article, or when too much negative light is shed on the reader’s pet brand. Cognitive lapses aside, these accusations get under my skin for a couple of reasons
- TTAC has never been under a mandate to increase our click count, and as long as I am at the helm, it will not be. Unlike other competitors, who tie everything from their editorial schedule to the compensation of their writers to “clicks”, we are allowed to sacrifice quantity in favor of quality and editorial independence. This means that in exchange for our freedom, we don’t get certain things, like unfettered press car access, or the budget to hire a copy editor. But our owners at VerticalScope have consistently understood and respected our need to liberate this site from the shackles of tyranny: in this case, click-based reporting, compensation structures etc. It comes at a significant cost, in terms of budget and salaries, but the end result is a website that can bring you The Truth About Cars, rather than baseless rumors, photos of celebrity genitalia and other unseemly editorial topics designed to juice our stats.
- In terms of ROI, a 1000 word essay on the topic of automobiles is hardly the stuff that clickbait is made of. Slide shows, listicles and the like are far better instruments to cheaply generate clicks, and they’ve never appeared on this site. Not agreeing with a point of view does not equal clickbait.
That’s not to say that all clickbait appears in the form of a Buzzfeed-esque “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THESE 25 ADORABLE BABY DIESEL WAGONS DID NEXT” piece of “content”. Sometimes, you get it in the blind repetition of totally baseless rumors that are, at best, wish-fulfillment for poorly trained, poorly paid bloggers and at worst, inaccurate information posted out of a reckless disregard for the realities of what it takes to bring a new vehicle to market.