Since the readership of the Offbeat Empire is hugely varied and diverse, AND we do a lot of writing about corners of culture that folks may never have heard of, my editors try to do this thing that I call "cultural context linking." In other words, the first time we mention any sort of cultural concept that we think some of our readers might be unfamiliar with, we link it to a website that can give the unfamiliar a context of just what we're talking about.
We stopped doing giveaways on all the Empire blogs a couple years back because they were a huge pain in the ass to administer, they made my websites somehow liable for other people's products, they gummed up our commenting systems, and weren't really of any lasting value in terms of traffic or promotions. But I just learned there's another reason why I'm glad we don't do them…
Content is highly contagious. In my online communities, I've learned this over and over and over again — both for good and bad. We all know that content's contagiousness is what drives funny things going viral on the web. It drives the memes that I eat for breakfast each morning. Contagious content makes corners of the internet feel like one big hilarious inside joke. We're all infected with the awesome!
The challenges with contagious content is when the infection doesn't line up with the brand or editorial goals of a given website. LOLcats being contagious is AWESOME for the Cheezeburger folks — less awesome for someone trying to run a community dedicated to, say, ailurophobics.
Here are a few examples of contagious content challenges we deal with on the Empire, and how we deal with 'em:
On certain kinds of posts, my editors can get a serious work out keeping up with shitty comments. After doing this for so many years, I'm pretty good at knowing when a post is going to be controversial, and we make a point to schedule those posts for days when that site's editor can be watching comments like a hawk.
Even so, when the amount of editor time expended removing crappy comments exceeds the number of constructive, respectful comments coming in, that's when posts get down.
Ooh, it's that time of year again! The end of the year when people start getting cuddly, nights get a little longer, and we ask our readers invasive questions and for their hopefully-not-too brutal feedback so that we can scheme our schemes to make this site better for you!
Ready to have your say? PLEASE OH PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY! The survey will close December 10, 2011, so get your feedback in now.
Wanna see some of my favorite things purchased by Offbeat Bride readers?
As you might imagine, we get a lot of submissions for Offbeat Bride. The site's editors, Megan and Catherine (aka Superman), deal with a steady flow of beauty into their inboxes, via all the submission channels described on this page: email submission forms, our Flickr pool, Two Bright Lights, posts tagged on the Tribe, etc….
So, I already wrote about the behind-the-scenes perspective of what it was like coordinating the Pushba photo shoot in New York a few weeks ago.
Given that the concept of the shoot was sort of vintage and noir and mostly about SERIOUS FACE, we actually spent of lot of time cracking up and giggling. I thought y'all might get a laugh out of some of the outtakes that Nelson Lauren got from the shoot…