Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The dark side of the blog

It’s just a blog.

Just a good old fashioned, fun, lovable, harmless blog. Or so Westy would have you believe.

I, for one, am tired of all the secrecy, and I’m breaking my silence to let you know the truth about this blog. So sit right back and enjoy the ride. This is the post that Westy doesn't want you to read.

(Note: Special thanks to NSX Freddy for hacking Westy’s account so we don’t have to worry about him deleting this post anytime soon.)

Okay, where to start? Well, “It’s Just A Blog” recently had its latest Board of Directors’ meeting. I think it’d be more aptly called “Listen-to-Westy-yell-at-his-subordinates” meeting. Of course, this meeting only consisted of Westy and me, so I guess “subordinates” should be made singular.

This meeting was much like the previous ones. We get all dressed up in business attire and meet in a large, professional boardroom with big comfy chairs and a white board with dry erase markers of all seven colors of the rainbow plus a black one, which happens to be the only one we ever use. Westy then goes on and on about how people won’t take our blog seriously unless we’re “long on words and short on pictures.” He also emphasizes that he’s the one who “put this blog on the map” and how we need to work harder to “make it the capital,” and eventually “wipe our rivals off the map.” In fact, our blog’s motto is, “Taking over the blogosphere, one reader at a time.”

I guess one thing that made this meeting different was that I interrupted his spiel by expressing my dissatisfaction with my current blogger contract. I basically told him that when I signed onto IJAB back in August, I had been naïve about the market. I recently learned that what Westy’s paying me to blog on his site is way below fair market value. To this point, he responded by yelling at me. Honestly, I don’t even remember what he said. I just know that he said it very loudly.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be getting a raise anytime soon either. There are two reasons for this:

#1) The contract I signed gives Westy exclusive rights to any blogging that I do for the next 7 years (Westy has the option on years 6 and 7).

#2) IJAB’s readership has remained stagnant the past two months, meaning that this blog is still in the red and will stay there for the foreseeable future.

The second point is the only one that concerns Westy, so that’s what we spent most of our meeting discussing. He’s been very aggressive in this department for quite some time, and he believes that he’s “very close” to “something big.” As somebody who’s in the know, I can fill you in on the latest details (even though revealing these secrets violates my contract and will result in a fine -- and probably a suspension too):

For starters, Westy and Oneway have been in serious negotiations for a major blog merger. At present, the money is right for Oneway, but he’s holding out for more creative control and also hopes that the merged blog will be called “It’s Just A High Fidelity Blog.” However, he’ll likely drop these demands and it’s expected that the merger will be completed by March 2006. In a cost-cutting move, The_Dude will be released. (Sorry, The_Dude, I know this must come as a shock to you, but it’s true. Oneway will soon be counting his 30 pieces of silver while you sit out on the curb, holding a cardboard sign that reads, “Will Blog For Food.”)

Westy wanted to bring Teeftastic on board this fall, but all of his overtures were rather rudely rejected. As such, Westy has vowed to find and doctor a sufficiently embarrassing photo of Teeftastic so as to “destroy his blogging career.”

Ironically, while Westy plots to sabotage Teeftastic’s blog, he’s simultaneously working to get Teef’s brother, Pepperdeaf, to become IJAB’s Spiritual Advisor. Apparently these conversations have been “pleasant,” and Pepperdeaf has indicated that he wishes he had thought of the idea himself. If indeed Pepperdeaf comes on board as Spiritual Advisor, Westy will surely rub it in An Illini Life's face to make him jealous.

[**Note: If you’re a diehard Philthy Phanatic, skip over this paragraph.**] Perhaps the saddest revelation I can disclose is that Philthy Laundry has already been bought out by IJAB. You’ve probably already noticed the changes, such as the site’s re-design, the removal of My Hero, and the topics that it now covers are boring things like schools standing up for their beliefs and obscure Google games that nobody plays. (Oh, how I’m already longing for the days of Philthy uncensored. But I better keep my mouth shut and tow the company line, right?)

Also, you might be surprised to learn that Ben Sheets had agreed in principle to abandon his “For President” and “Leadership Diary” blogs to join IJAB last week. For Ben Sheets, the money was right and the challenge intriguing, but just before he signed on the dotted line, Westy made one more condition: Ben Sheets would have to change his moniker to Johan Santana.

The “Johan clause” proved to be the deal breaker as Ben Sheets backed out at the eleventh hour on principle. However, Westy in his relentless pursuit to crush the spirit of Ben Sheets, insists that “everyone has a price.” Privately, he has told me that he will up the ante and expects “Johan Santana will eventually play ball.” Truly, it will be a sad day in the blogosphere if Ben Sheets changes his name to Johan Santana just so he can change his game to IJAB. Say it ain’t so!

In an effort to increase readership among women, Westy had considered bringing lisa:)
in, but these talks have gone nowhere. Westy’s convinced that she’s too randsane to ever be trusted. I told Westy that maybe he should think inside the box on this issue, but he just looked at me quizzically. I then explained that his wife, SheWesty, is currently in Day 199 of her IJAB holdout and perhaps it was time he paid her fair market value. To this, Westy responded, “No way! I’ve got to show her who wears the pants in this blog.” (To this, I responded, “Well, excuse me, but I thought we all wore pants in this blog. After all, your strict dress code requires it, which is a shame because my lifelong dream is to blog in my pajamas.”)

Westy is surprisingly dismissive of the blogs run by Engy, GQ, and Chairman Gau. In fact, he basically ignores them, saying, “In the blogosphere, it’s a dog-eat-dog world and these guys are wearing milkbone underwear.”

As our meeting came to a close, I joked, “Do I get a Christmas bonus this year?”

Westy didn’t laugh. He called security.


Chairman said...

Milkbone underwear? No way, baby. All commando, all the time.


lisa :) said...

No Christmas Bonus??? Not even a Jelly of the Month Club? That's it - I'm starting a protest for "increase Pay of blogging" starting this month. I'll officially call it "I Want An iPob for Christmas!!!" Who's with me??

clauff said...

Greg -

Another classic from you. The hits just keep on coming. I'm awaiting a Best Of Greg release soon. Where does the depth of your sense of humor end?

Jason said...

th4t5 r1ght 1 pwn j00r w3b s1te j00 p05t wh3n 1 w4nt j00 2

1 4m 50 l33t

Greg said...

n5k 7r3ppY, j00 hA73 tQuGht th3 5cR1pt 71ppY W35tY a 13550n h3 w111 n373r f0rg3t.

Greg said...

Lisa, yes I'm with you on iPob!

C-Lauff, what can I say... the truth is sometimes funny? =)

RG, in a dog-eat-dog world, the milkbone underwear will inevitably lead to your current state...

Oneway said...

Amazing inventiveness, man. I gotta check out some of these other blogs...