DCIST SUCKS

I think every -ist site, including DCist, sucks. The site represents how unemployable writers will whore out a lame trend (blogs) to make a buck. Since I’m so in the loop with the geopolitical social nightlife scene in DC, I was able to come across a confidential fax.

            DC            -ist Formula For Success (Imagine the ‘DC’ is handwritten.)
DO NOT RELEASE

1. Be generic. Make sure you fit the exact style and mold of your -ist brothers and sisters. Do not dare to be original with writing or content. If your creative bone starts acting up, turn off your computer immediately.

2. Feature other people’s photography by stealing “showcasing” pictures from Flickr. People who live in   (insert city name here)   can’t get enough of monuments they’ve seen a million times.

3. Regurgitate news found on media outlets (for starters check newspapers that end their name with Post or Times). Summarize the article and then make a dull comment so it doesn’t look like you’re just copying and pasting stuff.

4. Do not potentially offend a reader by taking extreme positions. Actually, do not take any positions. Remember, to maximum ad dollars we need a lot of viewers. While you write, make-believe you are not an individual, but a generic person who can seamlessly blend in with the general population.

5. Feature local bands… any local band. We need to show that we are hip with the underground scene, even though it is dark and frightening.

6. Post the weather everyday because it’s hard for internet savvy readers to get that information elsewhere. If you’re feeling frisky, throw in a traffic photo of an intersection so the two people who actually encounter it can look at it when they get to work.

-end transmission-

Two individuals, Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin, created the original -ist site in New York and then decided they can quit their barista jobs by carbon-copying it to other cities. Under the guise of caring for community causes and local residents, they continue to open -ist sites for one reason only: money. Targetted advertising brings top dollar in the blogging world, and there will always be fledgling writers who will do anything to get read by someone other than their old English professor. The -ist sites try to unite bloggers in each individual city while representing everything opposite of what blogging is supposed to mean: orginal, witty content free of marketing influence.

I was curious on what type of person would write for an -ist site and get paid almost nothing for it. (Chicagoist: “…everyone at Chicagoist contributes for the love of it, not for money”. Yeah, the love of making money for other people.) To find out I crafted an e-mail which would give six random DCist staff members a lot of room to come back with some personality.

My-email:

I am a daily DCist reader from Maryland and have a question for you. How did you get the writing gig at DCist? I’ve never seen a “now hiring” link on the site to apply.

Also, by using your full name, aren’t you scared to get Google’d by someone you may randomly meet, and them reading your writing? Years ago I was a big part of a Dungeons and Dragon internet forum, not knowing that Google would cache the information (which continues to haunt me). Every time a girl suddenly loses interest in me, I wonder if she found me out. Efforts to bring down those pages permanently have failed.

Cheers

One thing common about all the replies (five wrote back) is that they were wordy. All went into their hiring history and most asked questions about my writing, encouraging me to try out for a DCist gig. The replies were so polite that I would feel bad about posting some of the highlights.

That said, here are some highlights:

I’m not all too concerned about someone finding out about what I do or what I have written. I was arrested in college, and that appears on Google, so all things considered, DCist is the least of my worries! And sometimes the stuff that appears on Google can help. Well, depends on the girl, but still…

I’m going to make an anonymous web site and link my name to the phrase “animal in bed.”

I’m proud of my work on DCist so it’s not exactly something I try to hide, although I definitely get your drift. When I go out with girls I have to tell
them I am a blogger and assure them my private life is for the most part private.

Actually girls won’t admit it, but they like it when you write about them as long as you don’t totally trash them. It shows you care, or something.

If a girl finds my stuff on the internet and is somehow turned off, I think its their loss, not mine.

I use that same rationalization when a girl doesn’t call me back after a night of showing her my moves on the dance floor.

actually, in the past few months i’ve considered writing for DCist to be an asset for my career. i was accepted to [a decent school] to study new media journalism [i.e. blogging], and i’m pretty sure writing for DCist played a part in that. […] [DCist] helps make a name for all the authors on the site. it’s not like i’m writing for the washington post or anything, but blogging is very “hot” right now, and i think it’s something that’ll be around for a long time.

(This e-mail reminds me of high school, when all the popular kids would run for class council just to pad their resumes.)

A trend’s downfall begins when it is identified as “hot”, like when the media was all over Krispy Kreme donuts, making losers who waited days in line for store openings appear hip and normal. Those very same people were then featured in hundreds of gastric bypass stories two years later. I can’t wait until blogs die and the sites that actually create content remain. Linking to other sites that linked to sites which created something is just like a frat house circle jerk.

I’m going to be the first and last person to hate on DCist. For hit-thirsty DC bloggers, no site owner would be stupid enough criticize a site that gets 5,000 page views a day of a local audience. But I, ladies and gentlemen, am that stupid. I won’t sell out for hits or money because thankfully I have this thing called a job.

Don’t expect any type of reply from DCist. That would go against the rules sent down from the corporate headmasters in New York. Blogging may be hot, but being cheesy and commercial isn’t.

POSTSCRIPT: A DCist writer who got the D&D e-mail sent a mass e-mail happy hour invitation to my DCB account a day after, probably not knowing I’m the same person.

We’re writing you because we’ve long been fans of your blogs and activity within the D.C. blogosphere, and we’d like to invite you to the next DCist happy hour for drinks and discussion

I wonder if they are still fans. I reply back saying I can’t make it, and hinted that a critical review of DCist was upcoming. (I also let the editor know as well, because as a professional webmaster, one must act in a professional manner.)

that’s okay – we don’t read dcbachelor.com that often.

Note the “we”. :laugh:

39 thoughts on “DCIST SUCKS

  1. Anonymous

    Wow. Barely cutting and utterly pathetic. Still doubt anyone will bother to visit your site.

  2. Brian Drew

    I thought it was a good post, not exactly cutting because upon looking at any -ist site its an obvious cookie cutter with a few changes, but to criticize them for a posting summaries from newspaper articles, and filling in a little bit of commentary without a strong position, then you need to say “[99.9% of blogs] suck”.

    Still I liked it, not sure if I would call it “Stong” but maybe I’m not cool enough to know that word.

  3. feh

    I wouldn’t have heard of your blog if it weren’t for the DCist reference, and I won’t bother visiting it again after this snarky, dull-witted tripe.

    fyi, dc-ist doesn’t steal photos in the slightest from local photogs. If you’d bother to research before you slander, you’d have learned that dcist only uses images by folks who tag their images with “dcist”–i.e. we give permission for and appreciate the plugs.

  4. Raf

    This seems to be another one of those “oh my god, it got popular so it must suck” things. With this small-is-best mentality, you can only really be any good if only a few people know about you — any more than that, you must have sold out. This seems to ignore a simple fact — there are times that increased readership equates with increased quality of product. Just because you have a small readership doesn’t make you hip — it might just mean you suck and are uninteresting.

    And where in its content has DCist shown any deference whatsoever to the wants of those advertisers on their site?

    This isn’t hatin’, this is plain jealousy!

  5. inSOMnia

    You know what to all of you who have posted. Only two of these posts are legit. Dcist you can suck it. Obviously you guys posted all the replies in retaliation. Its so apparent it sickens me. You guys have no originality and hate facing the truth so you set up posts with names that no one has seen on this site (we know its you). Do you think anyone is honestly that stupid????? Apparently so. Next time you guys crash one of our events, I will be sure to bring you some tissues to cry on. Seriously, if you didn?t have any doubts DCist (that you truly suck) you wouldn?t have posted all these fake comments. DCB?s post is not in anyway jealousy, slander or pathetic. IT?S THE TRUTH!!! If you dont want the truth dont visit this site or leave fake posts with fake names. If you want to hear bull about DC events and life then go to DCist. It?s that easy>

  6. V

    DC Bach, nice work. A lot of D-bags posting on this–correlation Dcist? I think so.
    I guess DCist is what it is, which is mostly shit. I think your rant totally appropriate, and it’s nice to see you get back to hatin again.

  7. James

    This was more investigative work than the networks did for the Iraq War :laugh:

    Good post. Yanno, it’d be hilarious (or predictable) if they all started posting a link to this in their blogs to hate on you, thus sending a huge volume of traffic your way. Maybe it’s not too late to get a porn ad up :banana:

  8. Anonymous

    I agree DCist is generally pretty weak, but it’s hard to say it flat out sucks until you’ve read the Going Out Gurus. It makes DCist look like…uh…some blog that doesn’t suck..

  9. DCeiver

    “But I, ladies and gentlemen, am that stupid.”

    Well, you got that part right.

  10. Liz

    I’m not too big a fan of blogs, but I enjoy reading this one from time to time (okay, it’s more frequent than time to time) because it entertains me. I don’t always agree with everything that’s posted, but whatever. To each his own.

    I must concur. Every -ist blog that I have attempted to read blows. They just bore me. That’s all, kthx.

  11. Liz

    One reasons I do not like the -ist blogs is that a lot of the time it seems like they just regurgitate some headline from the news. If I want to read a newspaper (and I do, everyday) that’s what I will do. kthx again.

  12. mass

    Blogging as a trend…
    in the way roller blading was a trend?
    OR
    in the way rock and roll was a trend?

    The attack on DCist not much of a hammer; more like a pillow fight. But what was your screen name in the D & D internet forum — maybe I know you. Mine was Thoramir.

  13. Brian

    First and last visit to your lame ass yuppified club-going boring poseur website, with someone who obviously has nothing to say really, other than bashing on people cause you aint got no talent, shit to do, places to go, people to see, that are genuine. People like you who thrive on hating are all about “the other guy,” and never about anything in your own lives that are remotely interesting or “real.” Keeping it real? You guys look like a bunch of College Park poseurs who found the club-scene at 21 and dig making references to Ibiza. Keep it real and get a life.

  14. Anonymous

    You are an odd, dumb kid, DC Bachelor, and your readers and supporters are even stupider. DCist was hardly “owned”, d00d. You posted a pathetic, nonsensical rant.

    I hope the -ist empire continues to grow. There are more than enough individual bloggers out there – so if the -ist model violates your imaginary rule that all bloggers have to be narcissistic, self-absorbed, dim-witted jackoffs like yourself, then I think that’s a good thing. There?s no merit whatsoever in your criticism.

    Oh, and an emoticon? Seriously? Just go back to writing about bitchez in da club or whatever illiterate garbage you normally spew. You?re out of your league here. My first and last visit, done and over with. Did you get what you wanted out of all this?

  15. DCB

    I guess I hit a couple nerves

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    “Did you get what you wanted out of all this?”

    Yes, humorless people like yourself will stop reading my page and stick to your daily weather and news summaries.

  16. Ned

    First off, I have not read DCist and have no opinion on the matter. But, if you’re attacking someone’s viewpoints it works better if you attack their view instead of calling them names. And also if you’re attacking someone, posting “Anonymous” hurts your credibility. Just some helpful tips!

  17. Heh

    “Yes, humorless people like yourself will stop reading my page…”

    =

    “Wah! These kids are mean; I’m going to take all my toys and sit here in the corner by myself! I don’t even like you guys, anyway! And that game of kickball? Yeah…I LET you win!”

  18. Tara

    With each new post, the DCB makes me want to do him more and more. He absolutely rocks. Getting 20+ comments also rocks. Way to go, chief.

  19. Liz

    “Just go back to writing about bitchez in da club or whatever illiterate garbage you normally spew.”

    Bitchez in da club? Seems to me that you are the illiterate one.

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  21. Anonymous

    The irony is that DCB and DCist are both Yuppie blogs. The difference is one is in denial and one isn’t.

  22. Karen

    I have to admit, I have a love-to-hate but-still-read relationship with dcist. Do you have any suggestions for better blogs?

  23. Striped Shirt Guy

    I love reading about bitchez in da club–except my illiterate ass can’t read so I get an audio transcript of DCB on a fortnightly basis.

  24. Pingback: Big Head Rob » Blog Archive » DCist Blogger Calls DC Bachelor Out

  25. Anon

    DCist is a blog like many others – the writers, like most local artists, paid in peanuts probably do it more for first gigs, portfolio, and street cred. The owners found a web-savvy way to make a buck, like you said, better than being a barista. I see your point that there is an irony in DCist presenting itself as community-hip when it’s actually a fairly unoriginal business like any other, but you have ads on your blog non? Bloggers love to hate on each other, it’s part of a prima donna personality. No need to be so harsh, DCist is one of many cogs in the system – and there is no line I know of distinguishing culture cog from system cog. Culture is a tool. haha. anyway, mho

  26. Eli

    I got to join after I answered a post requesting a hockey writer with a three page essay on the moves the Caps made last summer.

    In the year since, I’ve written some serious analyses, done some original reporting and taken some strong positions. My editors have encouraged me to write what I believe, whether it was about the Capitals’ motives for losing or a local politician’s self-aggrandizement over a toothless bill he introduced without proofreading.

    While I agree with your stance that it would be great to get paid, I’m having fun, meeting people and learning more about a craft I enjoy. I’m also telling stories that need to be told and reaching a broader audience than I could reach on my own, without having to deal with layout, publicity or web-hosting issues.

    While I have utmost respect for people who build their own vehicles from scratch, I am first and foremost a writer, and joining DCist was as easy as walking into the bike shop and saying, “I’ll take the blue one.” Now I’ve got a strong team behind me to handle issues I’m not familiar with, and I get to focus on writing and reporting.

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