Ladies and Gentlemen, I now write for RWW… (and my infamous “reply girls” series in one location!)Posted: July 20, 2012
If you didn’t notice from when I changed my Twitter bio, I’ve been writing (freelance) at RWW for a couple weeks now. I got my first paycheck a couple of days ago, so that mean it’s official at RWW, right!? Right.
I am still adjusting to the new place and their new way of doing things, and I realize it will take time given RWW is also going through a transition/SAY Media acquisition, so again, I am not worried. xoJane is also catching my eye, if you catch my drift.
While I make this new job transition, I thought it would be helpful to look back at my time at the Daily Dot, the first start-up I’ve worked for (if you don’t count True/Slant and various Patch sites).
Many folks will claim to have “discovered me,” this I know, but I can credit the Daily Dot with landing me my first radio appearance, on NPR’s On The Media.
OTM contacted me over my reply girl series, a series of YouTube community articles about women who were using their cleavage to exploit the site’s algorithm, and the backlash against them revealed a level of sexism and misogyny I wasn’t expecting. After I broke the story, Gawker’s Max Read brought my series national attention, and Fox News even decided to do their own bastardized version of my stories. It was very clear they didn’t understand the subject matter.
The Daily Dot doesn’t have a way to group the stories together, but for those of you that are interested, here you go:
- The first article, published on a Friday, was titled “YouTube of Boob Tube: Reply Girl Scandal Rocks Video World.” I call the controversy “tittiepocalypse” and write with my tongue in my cheek. A famous Minecraft duo led the charge against the boobs, believe it or not.
- Second article published that Monday mentions a petition and a site plug-in created by the community, titled “Tittiepocalypse Escalates“
- Third, published the next day: “Tittiepocalypse causes collateral damage.” In short: a guy has a big YouTube network censor him (on a threat of suing him) because of one of the reply girls, we’ll call her Evil Boobs, sics them onto this unknowing dude. Another dude, outraged at the network’s behavior, quits the network in protest.
- In the fourth article, “The end is nigh for YouTube’s reply girls,” we see YouTube responding to user complaints and tinkering with their algorithm. You can see they’ve started rewriting the code.
- Five article titled “YouTube seeks to shut down reply girls,” published two weeks later. Recap: the newly rewritten algorithm goes up, in an uncharacteristically fast response time for the Google-owned company. The girls vow to keep doing their breasty videos, the community and Google be damned!
- Meanwhile, I uncover a plot by Evil Boobs to censor one of her critics. Evil Boobs and her posse recruit some shady characters from YouTube’s black market industry, and their scheming is successful; Evil Boobs gets one of the original men who spoke out against the reply girls, and her, banned from YouTube for life.
- Two weeks after the new algorithm goes into effects, it is revealed some YouTube partners are losing thousands of dollars. Apparently the code meant to combat cleavage spam wasn’t perfect? Article seven: “YouTube’s traffic still affected by the Reply Girls.“
- Weeks later, the girls are back… they found a new way to scam the related videos section, and surprise! Men still can’t resist a girl only wearing a bra, apparently. One of girls ‘is back” is Evil Boobs.
- An interview with the first reply girl, “thereplygirl,” who came up with the whole replying-to-viral-videos channel after being inspired by others, including Evil Boobs. Know Your Meme incorrectly states Evil Boobs as the creator of the winning reply girl formula, but no, it was thereplygirl, who combined a bunch of techniques.
Besides YouTube-related articles, which included viral videos and some of the video game commentating scene on the video-sharing site, I also covered Anonymous, the occasional PR or advertising fiasco, and Twitter and Reddit controversies for Daily Dot, the “hometown newspaper of the world wide web.”
At ReadWriteWeb I seem to be doing more business-y stuff, – I am their Internet Culture writer too – and I haven’t quite found my footing there, but I can already tell it’s not for me as far as posts about video games go. (hint hint to all you video-game web publications looking to hire someone out there!!!!)
PS: I really wrote this post because the AV Club’s newest section, the Gameological Society, just published an interview about me for their “What are you playing this weekend?” series!!!!