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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, May. 24th, 2007 05:52 pm
This Is Your Fanfic on FanLib ...

Because so many fans are all atwitter about the whole FanLib thing, and because I have a lot of experience in marketing that applies to what these yahoos are trying to do as compared to what they have actually accomplished doing, I thought I'd do a little "This is Your Fanfic on FanLib" kind of allegorical illustration just for the fun of it. And because, you know, we fanficcers can be mean like that when you piss us off.

So here’s the way I look at the whole FanLib thing:

We're a pack of stray dogs (in their eyes) running around, eating other people's garbage. So one day, these guys see all the rich folk paying huge money for specific types of purebred dogs and think "Hey! Out of this HUGE pack of garbage-eating dogs out there, there's a pretty good chunk of them that are either purebreds or could pass for purebreds long enough for us to make some money off their backs."

And they also think, "Hey ... those stray dogs are eating garbage so they'd JUMP at the chance to be owned by someone who would buy them a diamond collar and carry them around in a designer handbag. 'Cause that's the American dream for all dogs, right?" So these "entrepreneurs" get it in their head that if they build a big shelter right in the middle of the stray dog zone and open the door and wave around a diamond collar, the smell alone will pull in so many strays they won’t know what to do with them all.

And being entrepreneurs, they figure if they charge a flea & tick company a buck a dog for every dog that just walks through the door so they (the flea & tick company) can run a claim in their ads that they "support charitable rescue operations," then DogLib is already a profitable enterprise because they’ve already made a buttload of money whether any of those dogs turn out to be sellable or not.

But the real opportunity here, as DogLib sees it, is the purebred (or purebred looking) garbage-eating strays who are so hungry they can be lured to the ring by the whiff of a diamond collar. Because once they get in the door, the DogLib people have a "terms of service agreement" that allows them to sell these sad strays off to all these rich, dog-loving folks who are paying big bucks for purebred dogs from puppy farms only to run the risk of getting genetically-deficient morons born of generations of inbreeding amongst a small population of stud dogs.

And to make the DogLib pot even sweeter, the biggest opportunity of all isn't even selling the strays; it's getting the rich folk to pay a sponsorship fee (buy a lotto ticket) for the privilege of looking over all those strays—especially the ones the DogLib people have "cherry-picked" by contest as the ones purebred enough to pass for puppy farm dogs—that are free for the adopting to sponsors-in-good-standing.

So DogLib’s selling proposition is this: make a buck a dog from the flea & tick guys (banner ads); make more bucks on selling the rich folks lottery tickets on the precept of "spend a buck and what can you lose but the buck; but if you hit it big, you're a millionaire!" (sponsorship fees) and the only real overhead for all that major buckage flying into their pockets is one diamond collar they don't actually own but that they can wave around their new virtual facility built in the right neighborhood to make the air smell good enough to pull in all those really hungry, garbage-eating stray dogs.

Because the dogs themselves? Pfffft. They’re just garbage-eating strays. They’d welcome the chance to be owned by some rich dude who wants to collar them with diamonds and carry them around in a designer bag.

So everybody wins, right? Free dogs. To good homes. And dollars in the middle-man’s pockets.

Or, you know, at least dollars in the middle-man’s pockets, which is really the whole point as far as DogLib cares.

And as far as controlling those strays goes? That’s one of the really sweet parts of this whole plan because DogLib doesn’t actually have to do that. By the time the strays are in a position to act out? The rich folk have already bought their lotto tickets and the flea & tick guys have already paid their buck-a-dog. So if the strays act out? No problem-o. DogLib already has their dosh in hand, so they just kick uncooperative strays out the back door and back to the streets where they can go on eating garbage for all the DogLib people care.

Because, you see, they don’t care.

But on the business end of things, it’s not a bad plan if you're dealing with stray dogs. But where DogLib kinda screwed up in is not realizing fanficcers aren’t stray dogs, and what we eat isn't garbage. And despite the sparkly of that diamond collar that might attract some just out of curiosity? The truth is, diamonds don’t taste very good, and they certainly aren’t very nourishing; which most not-strays who’ve been on the block for any length of time are going to know … and it will keep them (and their puppies) from actually going through the door of this strange place that opened up overnight with a big sign out front that says, "Hey! We’re here, and we’re going to SAVE you from being garbage-eating strays!"

And even more importantly, some of those not-strays are kinda cagey critters, so they looked around enough while the facility was going up to figure out the DogLib guys don’t even own that collar they’re waiving around as bait. So now those not-strays are sitting back and laughing like hyenas at the DogLib guys’ hubris while spreading the word amongst the pack that, at best, the whole thing’s a bait-and-switch.

And at worst? Well … there really isn’t any "worst" unless the rich folk get their knickers in a twist about all the stray dogs the DogLib guys are telling them run the streets, eating out of their garbage. Because if that happens, and the rich folk decide they have to do something about a nuisance that doesn’t really exist anywhere expect in DogLib’s ill-informed marketing literature, they might put some of that disposable income they’ve got lying around to the task of hiring dogcatchers to go out and shoot some of the free spirits running in the wind, doing what they want to do—something that doesn’t hurt anyone or leave garbage strewn about the streets in their wake—even though every one of them has a home to go back to at night, and food on their own table that might well be better than what the DogLib guys had for dinner.

So that could be a "worst" I suppose. Because the dogcatchers would likely at least be smart enough to know what they’re hired to shoot eats steak, not diamonds; so they might actually lure some of the free spirits into range with something that smells like a viable dinner they might want to check out.

But the DogLib guys? Pfffft. They didn’t even do enough market research to know who we are or what we eat. Or to realize, evidently, that the pack is matriarchy, not a patriarchy; so the quickest way to get yourself et is to actually spend your advertising budget implying (or down-right saying) you’re the savior to them that not only don’t need saving, but that aren’t particularly prone to sniffing asses with them that smell of shit.


Tags:
Current Mood: bitchy bitchy

41CommentReply

izhilzha
izhilzha
izhilzha
Thu, May. 24th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)

Nicely put. Now this I might link to--everything else I've seen is pretty damn confusing (and I was an English Lit. major; marketing is like black arts to me).

Actually--may I link?


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, May. 24th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)

Shore! Link away and happy to have your do it.

I spent a lot of years not only designing strategy but reconfiguring it to understandable language for those who don't have a Masters in Market-speak but who need to understand, at least in basic terms, why they are investing big bucks in what you are telling them to do. Because those people are SMART, they just don't know the jargon. Which a lot of advertisers depend on when trying to baffle with bullshit because they aren't capable of dazzling with brilliance.

Black arts, eh? Marketing isn't the black arts. Advertising is. Trust me on this. :D

But seriously? Marketing/Advertising is a great parallel to Hollywood. The perception is that it's all bait-and-switch and the only people who survive/thrive in it are soulless bastards who would sell their own mothers to the YED for the right price. But the reality is, there are a LOT of exactly those type of people who make it big in both advertising and H-wood. But there are just as many ethical, talented, hardworking regular folk who make it big, too; they just don't tend to get as much ink because they don't seel papers.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Thu, May. 24th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)

You're welcome. More than happy to do it. It's actually a pretty complex issue with a number of ins and outs, but like most things along those lines, it can be pared down to some pretty relevant basics that will communicate the broad strokes of the big picture better than a whole passel of details that tend to boggle those who aren't already in-the-know.


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apey1013
apey1013
Would be better, but they killed the bunnies.
Fri, May. 25th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)

That was surprisingly concise for a stray dog metaphor. *boggles* You certainly have them pegged, though. They don't understand that we aren't just a load of strays and while that's detrimental to them it also means they pose a potential inadvertent threat in that dogcatcher worst case scenario. The whole thing just makes you want to roll your eyes and shake your head.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Fri, May. 25th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)

It kinda makes me want to laugh my ass off at them, even though there is this small voice in the back of my head going, "Holy shit, I hope they don't get us shot!" And, of course, it make me want to make about twenty different "talking to pocket books about who they think Star Trek fans are does not constitute viable market research into fandom culture" jokes, all of which I've managed to resist to this point in time.

Well, except what I just said to you. ;)

I LOVE your icon, BTW ... reminds me of Gris Grimly's style.


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bluesister
bluesister
Fri, May. 25th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)

Ahha! Clever.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Fri, May. 25th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)

:D Thank you.


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starhawk2005
starhawk2005
Queen of Sassgard
Fri, May. 25th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)

*snort* Hubris is right. Did we

ask
to be 'saved' or 'helped'? I don't remember doing that. *scratches head*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Sat, May. 26th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)

Uh oh. That might have been me that asked. I was drunk that one night ... or was it high?

;)

(and long time no hear ... welcome back)


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rez_lo
rez_lo
Rez
Sat, May. 26th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)

Arf! *g*

Need me a DogLib icon, yes. This is wonderful; thank you!

(Great fic, great commentary; adding you.)


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Sat, May. 26th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)

Thanks! I surfed your LJ and read your FanLib posts and ... absolutely. What you said. Every once in a while someone creates a huge splash in a relatively peaceful pond in such an over-the-top, "I can't believe they are that stupid!" way that it begs the wise fish to realize no one is actually that stupid.

Unless, of course, they are.

But still ... wise fish.

I still have trouble convincing people Starship Troopers was cast as it was because wooden acting was necessary to create the right satire media (50s SciFi) to carry the message in the paint (villianizing a marginalized outsider to the end of uniting a people to a common imperialistic agenda in the name of self defense when it's really all about eminent domain) to the canvas. Sometimes the satire is so effective it seems like unmitigated idiocy rather than Columbo in a trenchcoat.

Underestimate him at your own peril, methinks.

I added back. And thanks for the invite.


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lorelei633
lorelei633
Sun, May. 27th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)

I think you summed it up nicely. I especially like the last paragraph.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)

Thanks. :D


ReplyThread Parent
sakanagi
sakanagi
Sakanagi
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)

Here via metafandom.

I must say that I loved your metaphors there. Very creative! And the meaning of it comes across nice and clearly.




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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)

Thank ya. You know that book "Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned in Kindergarten?" Or the fandom version "Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned from Star Trek?"

Mine is "Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned from My Rescue Dogs."

I find they are the universal metaphor for all situations, fandom or otherwise.


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riveroceansea
riveroceansea
Chaos, Panic, Pandemonium – my work here is done.
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)

Here via metafandom

I've been looking for a piece to link to when I get around to doing my own rant at my journal. I just found it. Great piece. Nice to hear from a marketing-experienced fan.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:29 am (UTC)

Thanks. I actually near swallowed my tongue when I saw how they were approaching the whole thing. And their responses to fan criticism? Dudes! Throws me right into a Marketing 101 lecture mode ...

And thanks for the link. I look for your rant to show up on metafandom.


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fictualities
fictualities
Fictualities
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)

Here from metafandom. Fantastic analogy! It captures perfectly the mixture of stupidity, effrontery, and and condescension that is FanlLib.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)

Thank you. I was bowled over by the triple crown-ness of their stupidity. Very impresive to take all three races on your first ad. It's actually kind of hard to screw up that badly, but these fellas managed to do it.

Which I suppose is good, in its own way. Because if they'd had a clue what they were doing advertising-wise? Well, let's put it this way: I could sell a snake its own skin. Only the YED knows what they could have sold fandom if they'd known who we are, what we eat and how to introduce themselves without putting the whole pack on high hackle alert.


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freifraufischer
freifraufischer
Major Fischer
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)

That's such a lovely metaphor. Much better than what I keep wanting to say...

... Chris Williams doesn't understand why he's not being greeted as a liberator and having flowers tossed at his feet ;)


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)

Thanks. I've found (my) dogs are pretty much the universal metaphor, especially when I'm trying to communicate rather than agitate. Politically-charged and/or socially polarizing metaphors can be too distracting to those who don't share political or social agendas ... which is about every other person in fandom, methinks. But the dog thing seemed a pretty safe bet to avoid getting caught up in the language of the parallel when the point is the jackassery that requires us to create such analogies in the first place.

And, too, my dogs are more marketting savvy than these yahoos, too, so there is that. :D


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ms_3m
ms_3m
Ms. 3M
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)

Here from metafandom.

Loved it! Well said.

One teeny, tiny thing that made me re-read: And even more importantly, some of those not-stays .... Should this be not-strays?


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)

Oooops! Thanks for catching that. Because we're not very good at staying when we are told or coming when we are called weither, by I was actually talking about strays there. So I fixed it.


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lindra
lindra
Lindra
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)

I've loved you for your fic and lurked around your journal for over a year, thinking all the time ' how can Dodger get any more awesome?' And then I discovered your meta, and I thought, 'holy shit, it' actually possible!' And now this? Clinches it.

YOU ARE AWESOME.


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)

LOL. Well thank you. And don't lurk unless that's just your natural state. Give a holler and chat a spell whenever the urge strikes.


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modillian
modillian
ROCK AND ROLL BAGPIPES
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)

getting genetically-deficient morons born of generations of inbreeding amongst a small population of stud dogs.
Ahahahahaa. My favorite part. What, inbreeding in Hollywood? No, never! *G* But it keeps getting better the further down you go. *applauds*


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, May. 29th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)

LOL. No nepotism, either. Uh uh, doesn't exist. Just an urban legend ...

Oh, wait *has sudden Winchester thought* ...


ReplyThread Parent
liresius
liresius
liresius
Mon, May. 28th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)

Woof! *g* No seriously, I chuckled at the allegory, but have to say, I think we're more cat-like, and not necessarily "Man's best friend" in this instance. Aloof, dignified and too smart to be taken in by interlopers, is what I hope for.

But a funny and entertaining tale, nevertheless ... well it would be if the whole thing wasn't so worrisome!! I sincerely hope our matriarchal social network doesn't get led into the mountain by the Pied Piper of eco-rat profiteers.

But cats are good rat-catchers, right? *g* so I don't think that will happen!


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dodger_winslow
dodger_winslow
I'd Sell My Soul for a Blunt Instrument ...
Tue, May. 29th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)

My dogs are master rat catchers, and they can take on bigger prey, too. And they are absolutely capable of (and willing to) putting the eat-down on them that mean us harm showing up at the door. Whereas my cats are more like, "You're on your own with that one, Mom!" although I'm sure they are rooting for me from where ever they sit, watching the show and enjoying the blood splatter.

But that's one of the unique and wonderful thing about fandom, isn't it? One of the few place on the planet where the not-strays of all species -- be they dogs or cats or ferets or leopard seals -- can pretty much hang out and, for the most part, be friends. Or at least resist the urge to eat each other. Except in wank comms, of course. ;)


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