A final word on you-know-who

03Aug07

If you missed it, Greg Wyshynski of the AOL Fanhouse and The Fourth Period took an in-depth look at the infamous Blogger Who Must Not Be Named (actually, after reading that interview, perhaps it should be Entertainer Who Must Not Be Named). If you regularly read hockey blogs, you’ve probably read a bunch of different takes on it, and while I’ve been known to be an outspoken critic of the fellow, I’ve refrained from actually mentioning him for a long time. I’ve pretty much used the philosophy that any publicity is good publicity and I don’t want to drive publicity his way.

Now the truth, at least in some form, is out, and is the whole thing still a big deal? Am I just a crotchety old hockey blogger who’s bitter about his success?

I would say yes to the former, no the latter.

Look, I’ve got no problem with anyone getting successful or famous (at least in the limited context of the hockey blog world). Paul Kukla gets a gig for NHL.com? Congrats, Paul! Jes Golbez and James Mirtle write for AOL? More power to them! I support everyone who produces quality work with honest passion, and that’s the problem here. Said blogger may have honest passion, but his work isn’t quality. Why do I say that?

1) His grammar is awful. If bloggers across any subject are going to be taken seriously as commentators and/or reporters, certain standards must be met. Failing to do so only creates the image of bloggers as hacks, especially when it’s hosted on a traffic-heavy commercial site. I mean, at least hire an editor or ghostwriter or something to create some sort of professional image.
2) He makes stuff up. This bugs me the more than anything. I know people will say Bruce Garrioch and Larry Brooks and others make stuff up, but this guy doesn’t offer any transparency (see below). Greg’s article basically sums up how he goes about things, and it’s just as I thought: he takes common-sense conjecture, combines it with message board scouring, and produces the bulk of his rumors that way. He grabs a few things from his reliable sources but the rest of it’s just garbage spewed together. Some people dig that just to get a thrill. I don’t, and in fact, Jes Golbez’s comparison to the National Enquirer seems pretty accurate to me. Sensationalism sells, but who’s buying?
3) He refuses to offer transperency. Confidential sources are one thing, but anonymous reporters? With anonymity, there’s no way to confront the person about their level of bullshit, and to me, that’s just cowardly. It’s sensational, it creates emotions, and it hooks readers the same way a train wreck gets gawkers, but not being willing to tell everyone, “I’m putting this out here for you and you can call me on it” is the coward’s way out.

Case in point: his website claimed from an “inside source” that the Florida Panthers were going to be put for sale. Florida owner Alan Cohen contacted a legitimate outlet to flat out squash the rumor. I just don’t see the value in putting something like that out there.

But this is all leading to my main beef with the guy and it’s not really his fault. For whatever reason — call it circumstance, luck, or whatever — many people associate him with the term “hockey blogger” and that really, really irritates me. It’s not his popularity, it’s that he’s so willing to take whatever connections and audience he has to produce drivel. In essence, he’s reducing an opportunity to be a high-quality form of media into tabloid garbage. I’m not saying he has any responsibility to actually do so, but I can’t respect anyone who gets the chance to do something respectful and legitimate and chooses to propogate it with the lowest common denominator.

I’ve already seen Greg’s article spread virally through message boards and it’s opening a lot of eyes while confirming a lot of hunches. I don’t think it’ll make a significant dent in his traffic, but so it goes. People may ask if I’m jealous or angry and I’m not. I just don’t respect the guy at all, and perhaps that’s my own fault for having too high of standards for participation in a public forum.

And as Max Power once said…that’s the end of that chapter.

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2 Responses to “A final word on you-know-who”

  1. 1 hardyvan

    Being a recent newcomer to the blogging world, I have enjoyed reading both this and other articles on “you know who”. At the end of the day I think he epitomizes all that is both good and bad with blogging. I’m looking to hockey blogs to find other points of view, something different from “vanilla’ hockey writing, which is very common in Vancouver, Tony Gallagher from the province, excluded. In the realm of blogging their is a wide variety of different types, good and bad in my view, but it is all out there for the reader to decide.

    For better or worse some bloggers like mainstream media will choose to be more entertainment oriented and be more popular, while others will be more content driven and less popular, just like in everday life with politcs, movies and music. It’s up to the public to decide what they like to read and for bloggers to put out there points of view giving their opinions on sports and contriversial bloggers as well, long live the net, cheers Hardy

  2. 2 pool cues

    I am a newcomer,the article give me many ideas ,thank you!


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