Friday, August 13, 2010

Advertising to Your Target Demographic

There's been some discussion on this site lately, regarding reviewers not being in a blog's demographic. This is not the case today.

I am the same age, gender, race, and sexual orientation as Laurenne. Neither of us are married, nor have babies. We are both from small towns and are college educated. It seems Laurenne's hit the jackpot on the "Ol' Blog Reviewers Roulette Wheel of Death". (of Doom? "The List of Doom" seems to be jinxed. Is it the reference to doom?)

To be honest, I have waited until the last minute to write this review, simply because I know I will be biased. It's easy for me to put myself in her shoes and to be excited there are other women out there who are self-deprecating and neurotic, have a twisted sense of humor, and unashamedly make bad decisions. It's nice to find a blog that's not about husbands/babies, nor about going shopping and drunkenly hooking up with douchebag frat boys. It's nice to find someone who's the shit, but has bad luck with men as well.

She even writes about the death of her father in a candid, poignant, and hilarious way. Some people might think she's being insensitive, but I GET IT. I still tell the story about how I showed up to see my grandmother before she died and witnessed my grandfather and uncle playing poker, taking shots of Black Velvet, and watching "Big Trouble in Little China" on TV. Right fucking next to the bed my grandmother was dying in, completely ignoring her. Sometimes you have to see the humor in things to keep from going crazy.

Oh, and I'm insanely jealous that Laurenne quit her (obviously) high paying advertising job and backpacked (alone) to 12 different countries over the course of 9 months. And her posts while on the road are entertaining and educational, and filled with hilarious and breathtaking images. They may be a bit journally and longwinded, but I can partially forgive that since she's trying to commemorate her journey and I'm sure internet access was hard to come by.

Now, I genuinely like Laurenne and I like her blog. I identify with her. However, I have a few issues . . .

1) I really hate the "You might also like" LinkWithin crap (links to other posts at the end of each post). I understand you're trying to make it easier for people to find similar posts, but it was distracting for me. And I think it's gaudy.

2) The ginormous label cloud on the sidebar HAS GOT TO GO. If someone wants to see other posts with that label, they'll just click the label at the end of your post. And again, gaudy.

3) I know it sucks not having many people read your blog. Believe me, I do. But don't resort to participating in the fake award-giving and being on Twitter only to get readers. I think you're above that. Really.

4) Try to flesh out thoughts like this into more substantial posts. I'm sure you have more to say about your opinions.

5) I want to hear some crazy stories from your life. I know you're trying to live in the moment and not focus on the past or the future, but your past is what's made you who you are today. Let's have it, lady.

My major complaint: This post. You are bitching about not having money, after spending $20,000 on a trip all over the world. This offended me in particular because I happened to be unemployed (not by choice) during the same time period you were traveling. While you were snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef, I was eating ramen noodles while watching whatever TV stations I could get over the antenna. You chose to leave your job and spend that money. I'm jealous that you had the means to do it. But bitching about not having money afterward is offensive. It made me knock a star off.

But I almost added it back on, just because you uploaded this home video of yourself as a kid. And it's on your professional site. Fucking hysterical.


  1. Black Velvet keeps my exwife's great grandfather alive. He turned 100 this year. I need to start drinking Black Velvet.

    I think readers here expect anal scarring every day and it's just not possible. Sooner or later, every reviewer gets stuck reviewing a rearview mirror of themselves and well, it sucks. For the readers.

    Have no fear, readers, for every one of these reflections, there are at least fifteen horrible blogs out there dying to be thrown in the woodchipper and buried under a rock in the desert.

  2. Laurenne is hot.

  3. Funny how I always agree with your bad reviews but virtually never agree with your good or middling reviews. Never mind, keep up the work.

  4. Keywork - It sucks for the reviewer too. It so much easier ripping someone a new asshole.

    Anonymous - Yes. She is hot.

    Mr. London - Yeah, she probably got more stars from me than she might have from someone else, just because I'm in her demographic. That's why I addressed that factor.

  5. Actually quite the contrary; I thought Laurenne was better than Geo whose blog, though still quite good, got a gushing review. But hey ho, it's your blog - obviously if I was reviewing things would be all kinds of different.

  6. I like the Father's Day post about her dead gay dad.

  7. Hey Shagnasty - I thought this might be the blog you were getting to review. Good job!

  8. Shag: I wouldn't know about that, I'm a distinguished gentleman with well kept sideburns.

  9. I think I will favourite this Laurenne and see how the realtionship pans out from there. When I first read a couple of posts I was a bit eeked out. But I will give it a whirl.

  10. Eh, I'm hesitant to give out IFLY's right out the gate. So she initially got 4 stars, but one got knocked off.

    To be honest, I was probably harder on Laurenne than I would have been on someone else, just because it was easy to identify with her. If that makes any sense.

  11. This is the thing, I've never personally seen a blog get an IFLY which I've loved when I read it. But most of the blogs I think are absolutely superb are probably far too secure in their own abilities to put themselves up for review.

  12. "Too secure in their own abilities to put themselves up for review"????

    Give me a fucking break.

    Mr London, every reviewer here has their own opinion. The reviewers are taken on as reviewers because the person organizing this blog, Love Bites before and Shinerpunch now, trust the reviewers' abilities to detect tiny nuggets of gold amidst a giant shit pile while providing entertaining reviews. I rarely agree to the tee with another reviewer, but I have found nearly all of my favorite blogs here, who have gotten anywhere from one star to an IFLY from the reviewers and every one of them in my opinion could be published authors if they set their minds to it. Asking for an unbiased opinion is not a question of insecurity.

    But I do think you've touched on something with your comment - humility, or a lack thereof. Most of the blogs I love are written by people who show traces of the humility inherent in their character through their writing, making them all the more likely to be the type of person to submit for a review. But that's just me and my preference for people who aren't arrogant fucks.

  13. Your foaming at the mouth comments are always unintentionally hilarious MB. Bless.

    Actually I'm not the only person to have expressed this opinion. Rassles said much the same thing about humour bloggers not long ago..

  14. MB - I love you. Thanks for saying it, so I didn't have to.

    London - I think Rassles may have been referring to a now defunct site called

  15. Actually I don't think she was. What she said was this: "I have decided that the truly funny bloggers are confident enough in their hilarity to refrain from submitting."

    I happen to think she's right as a more general point and I don't remember anyone jumping down her throat for expressing an opinion, but ho hum. By all means shoot me down in flames if that's how you get your kicks.

  16. Here's the thing, London: It's not like all the reviewers are sitting in a room somewhere, writing these reviews and bouncing ideas off each other. We're all freelancing it and none of us have even met in real life. Hell, I don't even know the regular blogs of the other reviewers.

    If we're doing such a shitty job of reviewing, why the fuck do you keep coming back? Your comments have gone from normal discussion, to being intentionally contentious. That's kind of the definition of an internet troll.

    Also . . .
    At 5/25/2010 1:59 PM, Blogger Shinerpunch said...

    Mr. London, why ever not? Are you ashamed? Hiding something? DICKLESS?

    I say submit. I don't think it would be too bad. But then you'll just sit around shivering for four months or so, because the list is long and the hours are strenuous.

    At 5/25/2010 2:03 PM, Blogger Mr London Street said...

    No, but just because you and I agree on what makes a bad blog doesn't mean I think you're qualified to say if I'm any cop. With the best will in the world.

    Plus I don't fancy waiting four months.

    Plus I'm dickless.

    But feel free to drop by anytime.

  17. Honestly, listen to yourself.

    I am clearly not a troll. I don't hide behind anonymity, I have a blog of my own and perhaps more to the point I have never said anything spiteful. I've never said anybody has done a shitty job of reviewing anything, just occasionally - ooh, how disgraceful - said that my opinion might differ slightly from the reviewer's. Last time I checked the comments it looked like other people did this too.

    You really need to get over yourself. But since you never will, you keep snarking away and I won't bother coming back to read all the no doubt hilarious comebacks. If you don't want interested committed readers good for you. Something tells me your readership is pretty much the reviewers and probably not much else.

    Still, as long as you're having fun that's the main thing.

  18. Aw, come on you guys, I hate it when you fight!

    Maybe I am reading it wrong but I don't think Mr LS said that the reviewers were shit, just doesn't always agree with the ratings.

    But I must a admit I felt a bit miffed...I think Mr LS likes my blog yet I asked for a review and I am certainly not that secure. I mean, I think I am a good writer, but not necessarily a good blogger.

    Anyway. Each to their own opinion and all that.

  19. See I really enjoy Mr London Street's comments because it reminds me of my old next door neighbour who had no life and would create one for himself by going to the football each week and yelling at the players for the whole game and telling them how useless they were. I never could understand if he dislike them so much why he bothered going, but I now see the funny side of such attention seeking behaviour. Please keep coming back Mr London Street, you amuse me.
    And no I am not a reviewer.

  20. Man, I do love it when everyone gangs up on London because he's got the balls to go against the grain.

    Speaking of grains: come on, people. Be honest. Everyone who submits is looking for answers somehow, seeing if they're up to snuff according to the standards that we've righteously imposed. If they were confident enough in their writing abilities they wouldn't need any sort of validation from strangers.

    I sure know that's why I submitted. It's on thing having friends, those you know in person or on the internet, tell you you're a good writer. It's another thing when a third party does it.

  21. Things are always more fun around here when people are being contrary.

  22. I'm sure Mr LS has very big balls... of steel. I'm not saying he doesn't have a point with many things that he says, and I agree with the whole "those secure enough in their own brilliance don't really need a review". I just think it's amusing how he ALWAYS goes against the grain of the review/comments.

  23. I have to say that I agree with MB to a degree about humility, but on a darker scale. I love the honesty that comes with the blatant insecurity of some bloggers, just as much as I love the honest that comes with the blatant superiority of others.

  24. By the way, Laurenne seems awesome. Dammit. I was sure she was going to suck. All set on hating her. But no.

    Beer time.

  25. That Mr London Street likes getting up people's noses in a measured and well thought out manner, doesn't he?

    Kind of disturbing really. It is all very "poke the hornet's nest" and then stand back and say 'Carry on as you were children.'

    I think I like it in a wankery sort of a way.

  26. I was just letting you see what it's like to have someone be argumentative and contrary towards you. It doesn't appear you liked it very much. Welcome to our world.

    I do, however, find it interesting when someone continually disagrees with reviews, yet they haven't been reviewed themselves. Nor do they have to write reviews and deal with the backlash from it.

    (I think that's where MB's rant was coming from.)

  27. "This is the thing, I've never personally seen a blog get an IFLY which I've loved when I read it. But most of the blogs I think are absolutely superb are probably far too secure in their own abilities to put themselves up for review."

    S Mr. L, just curious, what blogs do you think are superb? And what blogs have we reviewed that would have received an IFLY from you?

  28. The thing is, Mr. London answers that all the time, it's just that his only answer seems to be "I didn't like this blog" or "I liked this blog" (actually he usually frames this by saying "This review is off") without contributing in any meaningful way to a discussion about the blog in question. Contrary opinions are more than welcome around here and in fact, I love ASK when we actually discuss the blogs, I think it's great for the reviewees.

  29. Yes, that's exactly the point. He's not contributing to the discussion. He's just getting people riled up, which is the definition of troll.

    Anonymity has nothing to do with it.

  30. Is he also saying that he is far too secure to put his blog up for review?

  31. I already reviewed his site for him in the comments of someone else's review, when he was just itching for it.

    I forget what exactly I said, but I suspect it was something akin to "Brevity is the soul of wit."

    Of course, he informed me that my review was a bit off.

  32. Whoa baby! I like that I have helped to foster a fight over here. I feel pretty cool right about now.

    Reading these comments has also made me wonder why I even submitted, and I think Rassles is correct: our own insecurities make us need validation from strangers. Hell, I'll take validation from non-strangers, but sometimes that doesn't happen (right, mom?).

    I just have to say that I am not the anonymous that said, 'Laurenne is hot.' Swear. But thanks to whoever did.

    Also, I can't believe that both Shagnasty and Shinerpunch have said good things. Holy mackerel. That stranger validation feels pretty darn amazing, especially since I've read the things you're capable of writing!

    I agree with you, Shagnasty, on the aesthetics. But I don't agree with you on the money thing! I'm just a good saver. I haven't bought new clothes in forever. And I am still drowning in student debt. I chose to save up a chunk and travel than to pay off debts. Whatevs.

    It's nice to know that those who appreciate me are also self-deprecating, neurotic single females with a twisted sense of humor who unashamedly make bad decisions. Yes!

    thank you thank you thank you a million times. I love all your reviews. Sorry Mr. London Street doesn't agree.

    Beer time.


Grow a pair.