Traffic

Interest in the unreleased teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises is at a fevered pitch. Yesterday, /Film took the unorthodox step of posting a description of the trailer. Sure, people might think such a posting goes too far in the world of fandom, but the interest has gotten so insane that every time we post ANYTHING related to The Dark Knight Rises, our servers stutter as thousands of film fans simultaneously click through the front page to see us eat of the scraps from Christopher Nolan's table.

You could cluck your tongue and furrow your brow at this behavior. But above all others, Dustin Rowles from Pajiba totally gets it:

A movie like The Dark Knight Rises generates a ton of web traffic. For instance, that description of The Dark Knight Rises trailer on Slashfilm was retweeted over 100 times and Liked on Facebook nearly 300 times. It probably generated thousands of page views. So, while we were all making fun of Peter over at Slashfilm for posting it, he was probably laughing his ass off as his wallet grew three sizes because that one post generated more traffic than a lot of movie blogs put up in a week, a notion that makes some of the more high-minded assholes weep in their Ramen noodles. The economy is in the tank, but he just paid a writer for a week. He’s got an audience; he caters to it, and honestly — as TK so eloquently put it — the rest of us can go f*ck ourselves. After all, in the 100 or so comments underneath the description, what I didn’t see from his readers was, “You asshole. I can’t believe you posted this.” It’s taken for what it’s worth, and the world moves on. It’s not like we’re dealing with the debt crisis, like Emily Miller — a political reporter for the Washington Times — who actually tweeted in the midst of debt negotiations: “Forget debt ceiling … hello tan Clooney. RT @popsugar: Wow! Newly single #GeorgeClooney is lookin’ good in Cancun!”

3 comments :: Traffic

  1. Hey Dave, I like to think I totally "get it" as well. I will just make this honest-to-god, no malice intended-comment: what MAY bother people are any further comments that Slashfilm MAY make in regards to puff pieces other sites post for the mere purpose of attracting traffic. Sort of a pot-calling-kettle-black scenario. Not that you are doing it, I am just predicting responses, is all.

  2. Does this really count as controversial these days? Why is it all someone has to do is yell "Controversy!" on the internet, and that alone makes even the smallest thing controversial? Movie blogs have been posting trailer descriptions for YEARS (AICN most notably) and I don't ever recall an uproar about it. Why then would anyone at /Film feel the need to go on the defensive this time around? Be confident with your own editorial decisions, haters be damned. Don't give them the pleasure of acknowledgement, especially if the decision is being rewarded with lots of traffic.

    Also, the "the guy who made the money off it is laughing last, na-na na-poopoo!" argument is quite tired, and quite unappealing. The only thing worse than petty internet criticism is responding to it by boasting about page views, which affect no one but the people running the site. Would one of the site's writers NOT have been paid if not for this post? Come on now.

    Finally, the implication that 100% of a political reporter's tweets must be deadly serious is just as ludicrous as complaining about criticism of a trailer description. Who is Dustin Rowles to determine that it's inappropriate or beneath that reporter to do an aside every now and then? Gimme a break. That doesn't make her any less credible than movie blogs posting trailer descriptions (which, again, has been going on for YEARS!).

  3. @BWRight (please leave your name from now on):

    I agree that it's not controversial to write a trailer description.

    I don't know that a writer would NOT have been paid had the article not been written. But I can say that it is extraordinarily difficult to pay writers good money in our industry. In any online publishing industry, in fact.

    Ultimately, what I like about Dustin's post is that he understands that we (all of us) primarily traffic in entertainment. And unlike a lot of people who do what we do, Dustin doesn't take his life's work too seriously.

    As for the political reporter, I'm pretty sure he was just joking around.

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