Warning: The following is a personal blog of an individual. These are my thoughts written down. If you have no interest in my work this will not interest you. For amazing literary talent; the Library is that way ➔
You may have noticed that the site here at www.spannersready.com has started growing a little. For a quick background: I started the website about a year ago as a place from which to post links to Dad Hub podcast which I regularly failed to do. The site lay in ruins with only laziness and indecision stopping me from deactivating the site. This changed with the birth of Missed Apex Podcast. Suddenly I wanted a platform for 3 shows. Dad Hub already had a platform with a well sized facebook group and eRadio Show had a platform on Downforce Radio. But now I suddenly had three podcasts and it made sense to pay attention to the site and post properly, which I have done. 3 regular podcasts with 10 or so contributors and so far, 4 contributing writers
The thing that led me into the Clutches of Reddit was the addition of the fabulous Carlo Carluccio as a Writer and Editor. Carlo was telling me over a pint that he wanted to start his own website and grow a brand. If you saw Carlo you would not peg him as a likely person to run a website. Carlo is old and stuck in 1984. Also he smells of days old pizza. He has the look of a hobo. If he sits down in public people throw him change. Carlo has a beautiful mind but is unlikely to ever be in GQ. I smelled an opportunity. I offered him space on the site alongside the podcasts. He would post articles and I would offer a website fully set up and ready to go.
So the plan was hatched. The Podcast would promote the site and in turn the articles would promote the podcasts. The two things share a similar ethos so it seems to compliment and attract the same sort of person. I know my shows aren’t for everyone and neither are the articles that have been appearing on the site. There are many great F1 sites that copy and paste press releases. For finding out exactly what the FIA think, those are great. The articles here are blogs with a soul. Much more personal. That can be good or bad. Take them or leave them. We’re not going to win any awards but we would hope to help you pass time on the train.
It’s the same with the podcast. I don’t podcast by numbers. The best coverage of the F1 scene is a combination of the BBC podcast that has all the driver interviews and the excellent F1 blog podcast that covers every single team and driver in the race. If you ever miss a race and want to know what happened listen to F1blog. They are super pro and have great attention to detail. If you listen to Missed Apex you’re listening to the panellists and how the races or news felt for them. This is why I love recording so soon after the race. I don’t want the panel to have read all the facebook comments and listened to every pundit. I want to hear how they saw it rather than a blurred mish mash of internet group think from whichever echo chamber they choose to inhabit online.
I’m not used to sharing articles so I looked around for good ways to share them.
So that leads me eventually to Reddit. This morning I broke the rules on Reddit. Not on purpose. I’m 35 with a 6 and 4 year old. Lots of things have become popular in the last 10 years and I haven’t caught all of them. I only started twittering this year and now I love it. Reddit however, has never appeared on my radar. After people bugging me to post on Reddit I finally decided to dive in. I got an account and over the last three days posted 3 of Carlo’s Articles and 2 of mine. I posted each link once and left it at that. A panellist brought to my attention that Reddit wasn’t happy with me...
Oh dear. Reddit attacked me on 2 fronts. It seems I totally misunderstood the nature of Reddit. I accept that. I thought it was like twitter. Post a thing with a link on a hashtag or in this case a ‘subreddit’? Simple? Nope. It turns out that Reddit is a super special friends club. You have to earn the right to post and you can’t share your own stuff unless you have posted lots of things that are not yours. Who knew? This is apparently policed by the mob not an admin or Mr Reddit. On a facebook group I can post and an admin will approve the post or not. We have that on Dad Hub’s Facebook group. So the angry mob descended on the post as if I’d just killed Jon Snow and stolen a Dragon egg.
I’m not arguing that I broke some code. I’m sure I did but what I found interesting was how I reacted to the comments. I was properly gutted. It’s the internet who cares right? I guess I’ve been in a lovely bubble lately with people enjoying the podcasts and being kind enough to tell me. Also in general in my life I’ve gradually removed myself from these types of environments. I’ve unfriended stressful people on facebook and attempted to calm down on facebook myself. I used to think it was my responsibility to win the internet. I used to argue and debate on Yahoo Answers of all places so I count myself as a veteran of the Flame Wars. But to have my innocently shared post attacked with such gusto was a far cry from the reaction of people on twitter and facebook who after all, choose to follow me. To these people I was an interloper.
I was accused of spamming and of using them. Ok is that technically true? Two posts a day? Ok maybe if you say so. I didn’t know. Sorry.
But being used... Poor little dears. Being used by Spanners who talks to the internet from his shed for no money in his spare time when his wife allows him. Poor little poppets, how will they ever defend themselves from against this vile predator? Well they of course attacked the Article. That’s how. “This is the worst article I’ve ever read”, shared one commenter.
”Thanks for wasting my time with drivel”, said another. Now two things here: Firstly Carlo’s work has been enjoyed by thousands over the years on websites far bigger than mine. I’ve had many comments from around social media that are very happy he is back after recent ill health. Those attacks are not at Carlo. They are an attack on me and my crimes against Reddit rather than the piece.
My favourite was “It’s just an angry man yelling at the clouds”. You say that like it’s a bad thing. Yeah that’s the charm. It’s F1 blogging with some heart. You may as well yell at a Superbike for leaning over. I might snap up ’@angrymanyelingatclouds’ as his twitter handle. Start at part 1 of his Canadian GP history and judge for yourself.
I won’t judge them too harshly. After all I wandered into their playground. I hope that I am more understanding when people enter my areas of strength or knowledge. But I do know that it affected me which is what I’m most disappointed about. It made me angry and sad. That is frustrating because I’m a full adult with kids and a job and everything. Those things are great but difficult enough. I can’t be in a bad mood with my son because I choose to enter an arena I know will be shitty.
I know people all over the internet will be mean if you put yourself out there. I have to be able to handle that. But I don’t need to go to a place where I know it will be particularly rough. I’ve taken some heat recently but only as part of the pie. That kind of heat in proportion is actually pretty cool and makes life interesting but the the whole pie shoved up your arse at once makes you look for a different bakery.
This (the site not pie arse stuffing) is what I do to escape from the grind of paying the bills. I’m nowhere near being able to do anything like this for a living. So at this point it does me no good to deliberately enter an environment that welcomes and breeds stress.
Maybe that means that I will never succeed or grow the site. Perhaps I lack the ruthlessness or thick skin to succeed as a content creator. Perhaps it will always just be a hobby that keeps me happy and entertains a hand full of folk like you. It’s a shame as I’d love to use Reddit as part of the plan to grow an audience. However if my content goes there again it will have to be posted by the other lads or a kind reader or listener. As for me, I’m in this because I enjoy creating podcasts. I’m getting better at that and it makes me happy so I’ll keep doing that. Reddit made me sad so I’m not going to do that anymore. I’d like to tell you that I left with my head held high. But I didn’t. I stomped my feet and rage deleted my account. Never mind.