Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Our thoughts about the famous Cracked.com.

Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby Tesseracts » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:14 pm

I'm locking this thread until everyone grows up. Please do it quickly so I can unlock it.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby archaeologydalek » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:28 pm

REDACTED
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby SandTea » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:42 am

Isn't that O'brien escaping out the back? #Chilis

:cry:

Bummer (giggle) it wasn't allowed to be shared but such is life.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby LegionofShrooms » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:11 pm

That's one hell of a send off for a large chunk of what essentially made Cracked, well, Cracked.

May they all move on to bigger and better things. I know the talent is there. They've shown me that year in and year out. I have high hopes for all of them.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby blehblah » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:22 pm

Seems like it's a parallel-ish to the old sports question; do you cheer for the jersey, or the player?

Not much of a question in this case.

Cracked did a lot of good things. Despite how it ended for these folks. It nurtured a ton of talent, and I'm guessing not one of these writers regrets hooking-up with Cracked. Erm... one of those great but ultimately doomed by fire and fury relationships which upon later reflection was actually a positive growth experience parallels?

Whatever. I'm perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe, and the meter needs to be fed.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby JamishT » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 am

I read this article the other night and while it only mentions Cracked, I think it's pretty relevant to what happened to Cracked.

I think he lays too much blame at Facebook's feet, but I think he makes plenty of very valid points. Facebook wants to be the page people browse on, I'm not someone who does that, but I'm sure there are many who do. That's a problem for sites like Cracked because to get their articles in people's Facebook feeds, they are "definitely not" forced to pay Facebook to push their posts on to those feeds.

I don't know, I just think it was an interesting, enlightening interview.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby IamNotCreepy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:34 pm

JamishT wrote:I read this article the other night and while it only mentions Cracked, I think it's pretty relevant to what happened to Cracked.

I think he lays too much blame at Facebook's feet, but I think he makes plenty of very valid points. Facebook wants to be the page people browse on, I'm not someone who does that, but I'm sure there are many who do. That's a problem for sites like Cracked because to get their articles in people's Facebook feeds, they are "definitely not" forced to pay Facebook to push their posts on to those feeds.

I don't know, I just think it was an interesting, enlightening interview.


I also agree with a lot of what the article says, about how Facebook has become this monolithic gatekeeper of all the content on the internet. That being said, I don't think you can really blame Facebook for what happened to Cracked.

They systematically alienated their base by mocking their most enthusiastic fans and publishing increasingly extreme and click-baity articles. Sure, that was probably to utilize Facebook's algorithms, but I bet that a good portion of their readership was internet-savvy and would navigate directly to the site rather than relying on Facebook links.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby blehblah » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:31 pm

More on the Facebook aspect, in this case, from The Chive.

http://thechive.com/2017/10/25/how-face ... 10-photos/

I'll echo JamishT's thoughts - I don't think Facebook is the entire problem, but it's certainly not helping. I'll also expand the general sentiment; this isn't a problem that is specific to comedy sites. News outfits have been getting stomped for quite some time, and not just because people don't buy physical newspapers anymore. Original content - what we think of as real news; the investigative stuff or a person watching bombs drop in the Middle East while actually being in the Middle East - costs a shit-ton of money to produce. Hell, think about musicians and porn stars. Monetizing original content on the Internet is incredibly difficult.

I don't have answers, and the whole thing saddens me. I like shiny, new, stuff to read. Whether it makes me laugh, or informs me, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Instead, I'm fed a steady diet of bloviation, opinion, and "according to reports" reports about reporting on reports.

Then again, I am that Internet hipster who doesn't have a Facebook account, runs Ad Block and Ghostery, and dials-up the same web pages over and over again. Unfortunately, while one could say I'm loyal to certain sites, I am absolutely worthless as a source of revenue. I spend money on Netflix, Crave TV (it's a Canadian thing), and Amazon Prime, yet I won't open my wallet wide enough to spend a dime on cable.

Hell, while I'm owning-up to my level of Internet-citizen indecency, I regularly use Incognito windows to read news content which I should be paying for.

So, what do I want? I want original content. Comedy, news, you name it. I want informed content. I want to be told things I don't know, and I want to know them before everyone else - whether it's about politicians, world events, or the latest joke about politicians ham-fisting their way through world events - because I'm special and unique, BUT, I don't want to pay for it.

Ugh... I disgust me, with my freeloading ways and whatnot, yet I have to live with me, so, here I be.

The Internet has a problem. The problem isn't entirely Facebook, or Google, or Microsoft (they still matter, a lot). The problem is us. The Internet flings ones and zeros about with no recognition of the significance, because it was designed that way (Net Neutrality Alert!). Sharing, re-sharing, algorithmic anticipation of preferred silos, and above all, ad revenue, are symptoms. The ultimate problem is that I am not willing to pay the creator of something for a something which I can get free elsewhere.

It hurts to say it, but like some of the best medicine, the hurt means it's true. I probably killed a few canaries with one metaphorical chunk of coal, but the gist stands.

So, folks - let's stop pretending Cracked committed suicide. If you are reading this thread, there's a rather high probability that you read shit on Cracked. We all knew the people behind it needed to earn a paycheque. Who, I ask you, did you think was going to provide said paycheque? Random masses of Interneters who click on adds for shits and giggles? Boatloads of rabid commenters who were willing to pay to click on a thumb? An audience to which we are somehow exceptional?

I am purposely being aggravating, but there is a nugget in this. Toward the end, Cracked basically said, "Audience, we need to pay the people who create our content," and it was slammed. I ask myself, were there a button to choose to pay $5 to watch the latest episode of After Hours or watch it for free, which would I have clicked? Were it a live, in-person show, I believe most people here on TCS would gladly pay for a ticket to watch the cast banter about pop culture, but online, we didn't, and we won't.

Cracked is going through changes because the financials didn't add-up. They are not the only site getting hammered (and not in the happy, alcohol-induced way). We can agree or disagree with the editorial direction, but the reality of accounting stands - they weren't making money. They tried to tweak things, because doing the same thing while losing money is a great way to keep losing money. They dropped a large investment on a hail-mary video content play (which I thought created very high-quality content). All the while, they were also putting a bunch of money into the real-life stuff. Money after money.

Alienating an audience who isn't providing revenue is a whole lot of "meh", folks. Face it. Own it. Many of us were that audience.

Safe harbour statement - I am not, nor have I ever been, affiliated with Cracked or any entity related to Cracked. I'm just some jackass on TCS. I know nothing, and am not Jon Snow.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby archaeologydalek » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:19 pm

REDACTED
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby NathanLoiselle » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:19 pm

I'd like to say that Cracked is dead but frankly I don't know. I don't go there and read the stuff, sorry Dalek, it just doesn't twist my boat anymore. Or stopped twisting my nipples when I stopped reading it.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:25 am

Dalek, here's your citation for why people think Cracked is dying: [1]

In actuality, we're pretty attuned to what people want to read. That's why you never saw any more articles from that shady 'buy my knives' infomercial guy, the equally-awful guy who wrote troll articles (whose name I've completely forgotten), and Sarge. They pulled terrible traffic and complaints, and because we're a business who likes...being in business, we noticed the trends and stopped publishing their terrible, terrible screeds.


If Cracked know what their audience wanted, they would have never published such contemptible content as that kitchen supplies article you referenced. I'm glad Cracked listens to feedback, eventually, but you shouldn't need other people to tell you that we don't want content that makes us feel like cattle. It should be obvious your audience does not want to read this, and many writers wouldn't want to be associated with a brand that pushes content like this either. Rather recently, Cracked was selling a guide to being a Bitcoin billionaire. This makes me sick and you shouldn't need me around to tell you how nauseating this is. Part of the job of a content creator is to know their audience and have some idea of what they value.

Cracked doesn't respect their readers, and they go out of their way to treat their writers, potential writers, and fans like complete shit. Creators are going to Patreon because they can get money directly from their fans without going through the process of being bullied on an internet forum just to get published. Nowhere on your list of reasons for Cracked's struggles do you mention how they actually treat people.

For a long time I defended Cracked from accusations of being too political. As you said it's always had political content and I don't think there's anything wrong with writers expressing their opinions. However the stuff about "straight white males" got so frequent it got overwhelming and I couldn't defend it any more. Some of my favorite comedy is political, and I follow some very leftist sources such as Reductress. I don't think a left leaning website is a bad thing. It's just that Cracked does things in an exceptionally offensive way. Instead of "here's information about feminism that will make you think" it was more like "here's why men are rapists." I lost patience with the Cracked experience when I realized the lesson I was taking away from it is basically "you're an idiot." That's got nothing to do with politics, it has to do with the way things are written. So not everyone who doesn't like the way politics are done on Cracked hates political humor.

[1] Source: Cracked fired everyone.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby NathanLoiselle » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:22 am

http://www.cbc.ca/22minutes/

Here's some political humor done proper. Humor that makes a production successful.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby Grimstone » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:57 am

archaeologydalek wrote:We also have a blacklist of subjects that are instant traffic death -- including animals and (weirdly) robots -- so any pitch along those lines is rejected unless the take is, like, amazing. I'm never allowed to write these articles. I don't know what that says about my work.


1) I find it hard to believe that people aren't interested in animals or robots. 2) A quick google search shows plenty of Cracked articles about animals and robots with over half a million views each.
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby archaeologydalek » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:33 pm

REDACTED
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Re: Cracked fires its full time contributors?

Postby Jeckel » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:15 pm

archaeologydalek wrote:In actuality, we're pretty attuned to what people want to read. That's why you never saw any more articles from that shady 'buy my knives' infomercial guy, the equally-awful guy who wrote troll articles (whose name I've completely forgotten), and Sarge. They pulled terrible traffic and complaints, and because we're a business who likes...being in business, we noticed the trends and stopped publishing their terrible, terrible screeds.


I would like some clarification on the above, specifically the "and Sarge" part.

Am I correct that you are referring to the firing of JF Sargent? If that assumption is correct, are you saying that JF Sargent was fired because, next to maybe Wong or Cheese, he was the most hated writer on the site and not merely as part of the great video department purge?

Also, on a related note, if you guys love feedback so much and have so much great content backlogged (don't remember exactly, but I believe you said something to the effect of having years worth of backlog), then what is up with the lazy 200 word rehashing of items from previous articles? With a huge back log, why pay people to rewrite stuff that was already done better than pretty much any of the modern crop could hope to produce?


As to adblock and the adpocolypse in general, I don't whitelist anything and sleep like a swaddled baby. The internet existed just fine before people and companies tried to turned it into a cash machine and the internet will do just fine after all of them skulk back away to scam greener pastures. The internet was created for the free (as in beer and as in freedom) exchange of information, anything else is a perversion that will eventually work itself out of the machine.

Of course people want to make money and I have no problem with donations, tips, patreon, ect. Had Cracked actually listened to me and others that suggested a donation button back during commentpocolypse, then they would probably be doing just fine right now. But they didn't listen. Instead, they alienated their core audience by leaning so far left that they fell all over themselves, they let the quality of their content fall to pathetic levels (seriously, do you guys even have any editors still on staff that actually proofread articles before they are published?), and they bought into the flood of lazy low hanging Trump picking. Now, according to publicly available numbers, Cracked's monthly visits are roughly half what they were a year or so ago, basically on par with what they were around 2012, except visitors are mostly drive bys and social media carpetbaggers and pretty much all the loyal regulars that keep businesses alive are gone.

Sure, the general changes to the environment matter, but placing the majority of the blame anywhere other than squarely on the executive and editorial decisions of management is laughable at best.
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