I’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.