WWTDD… WTF?

wwtddI’ve been a fan of What Would Tyler Durden Do for a few years now, and I have actually convinced a few of my girl friends that if they’re going to waste their time reading stupid celebrity gossip, they might as well do it through that site.  The author (I think his name is Brendon) occasionally writes inspired rants that crack me up, such as:

“Ashlee Simpson is so profoundly dumb that, if for some unfortunate reason you ever find yourself in a hotel room with her, and you’re on the 40th floor, and she grabbed a handful of quarters and said she was going to the vending machine, you should fully expect her to come back 2 minutes later soaking wet and covered in graffiti, naked except for the lower half of a horse costume. She may or may not have her hair standing on end with smoke coming from it and black powder all over her face. I’m guessing that, yes, she will.”

His sense of humor is also highly irreverent, which I love.  For instance, a woman committed suicide and he made fun of the situation.  Naturally, readers called him cold and heartless, and he responded by saying:

“Like 8000 angry emails came in yesterday saying I was insensitive to Goodspeed taking her own life but you have to keep in mind that I don’t care. At all. So when you look at it like that, I think you’ll agree your anger was misplaced. In a sense, I’m the real victim in all this.”

I preface my criticism of WWTDD with those passages because I actually appreciate this author’s writing.  He writes about idiot celebrities that he hates almost 10 times a day, 5 days a week… and he’s been doing it for years!  I don’t care who you are — that’s got to get old.

Anyways, he let his page turn into an ad the other day.  Luckily, the insanely large banner ad at the top has been removed.  But a few days ago, it was one of the worst commercial transformations I had ever seen, and it was completely incongruous with what the site is about: hating on Hollywood’s B.S.  Even the copy was an ad, which was the most disappointing part.  The author hates Dane Cook, so it’s extremely transparent that the author was being paid to not make fun of him.  All of his readers were very aware that he’d sold out.

Don’t let this happen to your site. After years of building up his reputation, Brendon let himself slip when he was offered a substantial paycheck.  He allowed the entire site to be turned into an advertisement.  He could have accepted less money and made the ads much more discrete, which would have been less offensive for his readers.  Unfortunately, he decided not to do that.

Do you want to make cash or do you want to have credibility?  One is a short-term decision, the other pays off for years to come.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been reading his blog for a little over 2 1/2 years now and was quite taken aback at his decision to place the ad.

    Not only is it incongruent with his writing style, but that film (used loosely) is so far removed from the WWTDD readership would ever see. Although smart money decisions and Hollywood marketing do not go hand in hand these days.

    The worst part about the entire situation is that Brandon has chosen not to address the situation or comments. Amazing how one post can destroy his entire credibility.

  2. PLe1 says

    I was actually searching the net to see if anyone in the blogosphere was as pissed as I was. What a whore. But you get the sense that he realizes he’s a whore and after spending so much time admonishing that kind a douchery actually seems contrite. He went from erasing all the posts calling him out to just letting it all fly. I guess he’ll act like it never happened, cash a fat check, and move on, but I think we’ll all consider this the day that WWTDD jumped the shark. RIP.

  3. says

    To be fair, the writer doesn’t own the site. He doesn’t have any control over the ads. In fact, I think the whole site may have even been sold by its original (the guy from Gorilla Mask) to someone else.

    Anyways, Brandon is a good guy. He has a South Park spec that I read last year that was very, very funny. WWTDD is a day job.

  4. says

    I have zero doubt that he’s a good guy and I know he’s hilarious. Like I said, I really like his writing and have turned a few of my friends onto his site over the years.

    Even if he doesn’t have control over the ads, he does have control over the copy. And that was an ad, too. That’s what really bummed me out.

  5. says

    I been visiting WWTDD for a very long time. Mostly because Brendon’s writing was hilarious and always made me laugh.

    After this ad, I noticed the writing has gone downhill. The jokes now are unfunny and long. I still visit the site, but it is not as enjoyable as before.

  6. Linds says

    I found this article via Google, because I was trying to see what the hell happened to WWTDD. It used to be my favorite site, but then it seemed like someone else took over. If you noticed none of the titles are capitalized and the writing style is different. I went to check out the site today and was absolutely bombarded by ad’s from this horrible new movie coming out. My new favorite site is DListed. Michael K all the way! :)

  7. Josh says

    That’s fucking dumb. There’s nothing wrong with getting paid to do what you want. In fact, he SHOULD be paid, value for value. I’m so sick of this bullshit altruism that says if you get paid for something then you aren’t doing it for the right reasons. Somehow in your little world, not making money is noble……ridiculous

    • says

      No, you misunderstood. I’m not against being paid, nor am I against ads. I’m against sacrificing authenticity and contradicting your core message for the sake of making money. And in this particular case, this ad was a huge eyesore.

      Having said that, I’ve become a lot more forgiving of these kinds of ads in the last year and a half. It’s kind of a no-brainer to have a homepage takeover ad for 24 hours when it’s just a mild irritation for your readers, and you’re being paid $15K+.

  8. alabama says

    bottom line, he sold out. and we’re left with lame piss-me-off-copy-cat-bullshit that patronizes us all with copy that is written in the supposed spirit of wwtdd but is clearly some lame ass writer that is paid to sound like tyler durden’s original writer but is severely boring in his attempt to sound like wwtdd. i’ve been checking back for a year in hopes that it will return but to no avail. People, please do not sell out.

  9. jb says

    Brendon’s AWOL now

    http://www.wwtdd.com/2012/03/the-keys-to-the-kingdom/

    The guy who is writing now is horrible, he tries too hard. He takes twice as long to be not funny at all. Milquetoast…not mean in a good way, mean in an unfunny way.

    The site is completely watered down BS now, total corporate.

    Writer also keeps mentioning his name in his posts so people are clear he’s gone, it’s weird, he must have quit/got fired. To distracted banging that hot ass girlfriend of his maybe and just got tired of it and the corporate shackles. I know I would.

    The original post really foreshadows the slow decline.

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