Sunday, June 30, 2013

The pond apologises from the get go ...

The pond is getting increasingly concerned for News Ltd, nee News Corp, nee Paywall City, nee the constant narrowing and sharing of content for (provincially) branded outlets.

it so happens the pond's eye was caught by a splash in today's digital Sunday Terror featuring an Alan Jones' apology.

But the click led to an apologetic news +√±÷∉∑ "Oops!"

Call it a kink, hey call it a perversion, hey call it a filthy disgusting vice, but the pond loves to read about Alan Jones apologising.

Doesn't matter to whom, about what, just bring it on, and watch him grovel, preferably while at the same time being forced to hand over the readies ...

So the pond just had to know ...


Of course it's click bait, but how tragically inept News Ltd is at the art.

Sure enough The Australian had picked up the story, and published it here under the very same header with the very same opening line.


The lizard Oz has a porous paywall so it can still think of itself as being part of the conversation. Sometimes it doesn't even bother to apply its porous paywall. Fatal mistake, a bit like Michael Douglas forming a fatal attraction for  Glenn Close ...

Even worse the same yarn was published at the Courier-Mail, under the same header, here.


The Courier-Mail doesn't at the moment bother with petty limitations on readership for this sort of southern story, and even provided a handy link to the Jones' letter (and you may click on it to enlarge):

What a funny logo.

Now here's the thing. The pond has already helped the angry Sydney Anglicans fix up their website by returning it to the way it was, and now the pond feels free to offer a few gratuitous, offensive, condescending and provocative words of advice to the hacks in News Ltd, nee News Corp, nee Paywall City.

If you want to construct an effective paywall, think about making delicious click bait content harder to get.

Don't reprint it within the day in another rag looking to pretend that it's done the hard yards.

What cane toad deeply cares about the fate of a southern-based cane toad, even if by some miracle of nature, the cane toad is somehow managing to make a living as a shock jock in Sydney? They don't need this sort of content until it's stale, at least a day old ...

Even more importantly don't allow the reptiles at the lizard Oz to trade off on tabloid content, at least not while they're part of a porous, easily googled bamboo curtain ...

You see, if you really want to drive subscriptions, you really do have to tighten up your game. Sure your advertising and your clicks might fall into a hole, and one of the few tabloid jewels in your tattered crown might collapse, and the entire business might go under, and your shares might fall to junk bond status, but hey that's what risk-taking is all about.

The pond loves risk-taking almost as much as it loves apologies.

Now here's the click bait you must put behind a strictly non-porous paywall.

Apologies from Howard Sattler, Alan Jones, Rupert Murdoch, any of the reptiles at the lizard Oz, not limited to but certainly including Greg Sheridan, Paul Kelly, Dennis Shanahan, Janet Albrechtsen, Chris Mitchell, and Angela Shanahan, apologies from Akker Dakker, the Bolter, Miranda the Devine and Tim Blair, notwithstanding that some might chose never ever to apologise for anything (though as we know specious apologies are good for the soul, as happened in the matter of the News of the World).

Help Kyle Sandilands, and passing stars of reality television, and footballers and cricketers and Shane Warne and comical hoax callers make clowns of themselves in some way, and then put their apologies behind a really strict paywall.

If you can, encourage miscreants in News Ltd to make greater and greater mistakes, so that when they apologise, the apologies can also be put behind the same very severe paywall. A kind of fifty shades of Murdoch paywall grey, if you like ...

You see, humiliation and apologies are intoxicating click bait stuff, what makes tabloid news go around these days, and there's no way social media can produce the same high class level of apology. That's the way most material requiring an apology is generated these days.


And those apologies are click bait gold, a little bit like a teenage boy stumbling on a porn site, and the credit card not locked in a safe ...

Now the pond knows what you're thinking pilgrims, seeing as how John Wayne was a Reaganite and the Duke famously said in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, never apologise (and never explain) - it's a sign of weakness.

So please don't apologise for getting it wrong. Just let the pond offer this advice, free and gratis, and without a subscription paywall. Follow it and all will be well ...

(Below: a few ways to do an apology, as channeled by Steve Bell, including a vintage black and white one from 1995 which doesn't have much to do with apologies but is great fun. More Steve Bell here).

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