State of the Blogosphere Pt. 3
Jordan and I have worked together for years. We learned the ropes writing at the company we built during college called DML.fm which led to our careers in the music industry and the creation of ANTISociety.com. When hearing that Jordan was fired from YourEDM.com and had his article taken down I asked if I could share Jordan’s story on our site because it reflects what ANTI as a movement stands for in many ways. He obliged, so you will find the entire text of “State of the Blogosphere Pt. 3” below. We are happy to continue our support Jordan’s fight for journalistic integrity and I hope that he will continue to contribute to the ANTI community moving forward.
– Conor Ambrose
If you are wondering where Parts One and Two are, they are on the now-defunct college blog DML.fm. For those unfamiliar, DML.fm was one of the fastest-growing college music sites in the country at one point, but like all blogs eventually do under poor management, it died out last year. Before you mock me for running a site into the ground, let me tell you those years operating, promoting, and writing for DML were some of my greatest and happiest memories in this snake pit we call a music industry and for the first and only time in my blogging career, I was able to post the music I wanted and it was accepted (for the most part).
Now, for the reason you all are here: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE BLOGOSPHERE? If I woke up from a two year coma and went online I’d have two questions for you: when did Perez Hilton start an EDM blog and when did we start posting this garbage, two points I will address in this piece. Reader’s warning: there will be some examples and name-dropping here, but I’m not trying to shut anybody’s site or career down; I just want everyone with a WordPress account to take a good hard look in the mirror today.
First, we need to examine the 2014 blogger. When I first came on the scene, the majority of music bloggers were either a) college kids trying to share the music they love (i.e. Nick Guarino from the ThisSongisSick.com, b) people on the outskirts/interns of the music industry trying to work their way in, c) legitimate music journalists trying to build an online presence. I look around nowadays and all I see are 20-somethings looking for press passes to shows that they can put up on Instagram or recycle press releases verbatim in their hundred word posts.
The blogosphere as a whole has turned from a close-knit group of people looking out for each other (to a certain extent) to a group of pseudo journalists flinging mud at each other. Take DoAndroidsDance.com’s piece on the alleged payola orchestrated by the EDM Network. Now, I am in no way, shape, or form defending the EDM Network. I was on board there for a month or two and those cats were some of the slimiest, sketchiest people I have ever done business with. Michael (Nappy) Abernathy, the author of the D.A.D. article, was the one who actually brought me on board and later warned me something was up as he left. Unfortunately, I didn’t trust him well enough at the time to heed his advice and stuck on board. After the split of EDM.com and Your EDM, the Network guys completely cold-shouldered me to the point where I was left at Your EDM almost like a prisoner of war. However, Elliot and Brett welcomed me with open arms and here I am.
On the other hand, the integrity in me knows not to completely accept Nappy’s word as gospel until the full truth comes out. Sure Ethan and company run one grimy ship, but it is a successful ship and DAD has a history of snooping and bumping elbows with some big players in the industry. As much as I love my boys over at Androids, I’m staying impartial on this one for now. But big ups to them for reporting on some actual material rather than a fluff piece from a PR company or gossip about a DJ that makes ten times more in one night than your average blogger does in a month.
And that’s another thing that needs to be seriously addressed, what we’re posting and how it makes us look. Of course, D.A.D. has every right to throw shade at EDM.com with just cause, however I am referring to what every site posts on a daily basis. How do you expect to be taken seriously as a professional when all you have under your arsenal are YouTube videos of Hardwell, word-for-word regurgitations from Spinnin’ Records PR blasts, and embedded tweets from Deadmau5. We are all guilty to some extent, including me. If you look through my post history, this is my seventeenth post in the seven months I have been on board here. Obviously, my other endeavors like school and managing my artists takes precedence, but when I do post I often notice people don’t care at all what you write, they come for the visuals and audio. So, I have blocked nearly two hundred submission email accounts and posted what I wanted, like I have always done, and it has fallen on mostly deaf ears because I refuse to dabble in the Beatport toppers or those who paid their way up the DJ Mag rankings. I have done two editorials where you all have called me idiots: mostly for calling Daft Punk’s return one grand marketing scheme and that Disclosure were the true heroes of 2013. Because your Vegas promoters and the six other sites on your blogroll disagree with me, you stop clicking my material and instead watch Deadmau5 drive celebrities around for coffee.
That being said, the blog game has never been more bureaucratic than it is today. I understand as teams grow and expand responsibilities that there needs to be accountability to a certain extent, but it is getting out of control. I had been working on a charity project for two months and maybe only a handful of people on a team of over sixty flexed a muscle to help a brother out. Five days after the project’s release, it was still unpublished on our social media channels and I had been begging for credentials for months. But instead, grainy festival footage and personal takes on a Twitter beef that take all of ten seconds to write were blasted to our 100,000 viewers worldwide.
I know this article will have angered some people. If it remains on the site for more than an hour I’d be amazed. If I keep this job after writing this, it’d be nothing short of a miracle. However, I hope this serves two purposes. To the writers, take back the blogosphere from this cesspool of amateurism and unprofessionalism. Write what you truly feel and care about and ignore the cosigns and favors to your “friends.” To the readers, demand this change. If you want to go online to watch coffee run videos or follow Twitter drama, go directly to the sources, you don’t need us. The purpose of a blog, and the reason I got into this game, is to share new music with people willing to listen and to jumpstart new careers in the industry, not inflate the egos of those already at the top. It’s been an absolute pleasure blogging these past three years and I look forward to the aftermath of this.
Jordan Grammer is an avid music blogger well-known around the industry for his unorthodox, yet honest, pieces. Follow him on Twitter @JordanGrammer.