A Short Blog Pertaining To Whiskey Media Subscriptions

 While only tangentially related to this blog, here is a Fable II screenshot to break up the text
This morning was a morning that started out pretty much the same as any other. I woke up, had some breakfast (crumpets with jam, in case you're curious), played a little Fable II, and then powered up my computer to see what was going down in the digital realm. I checked into Facebook to Like a few of my friends' wise-cracks, briefly scanned over my Last.fm page to check my shouts, and then pootled on over to Giant Bomb. I was met with the aftermath of an apparent shitstorm that, much like an explosion in a town ten miles away, I seemed to have peacefully slept through. The carnage I refer to is, of course, the fallout over the announcement of an option to subscribe to Whiskey Media's sites. People had flooded the forums with threads of complaint, even going as far as to throw around words like "honour" and "betrayal". About a website. Overwhelmed by the tide of hate sweeping over the site, I closed my web browser and stepped away from my laptop. Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much internet.
 
After spending most of the afternoon in a hospital waiting room, during which time there was bugger all else to do but ponder such menial issues as this, I came home this evening and set myself up for a monthly Whiskey Media subscription. On the surface, this is bound to seem like a crazy move on my part, largely because I have nothing to gain from this endeavour. The lure of HD videos doesn't interest me, for a start. I consume Giant Bomb's video content because I find it to be informative and entertaining, not to admire its visual fidelity, and SD videos serve those purposes just fine. I'm not in possession of a mobile phone advanced enough to browse the net, so a mobile version of the site holds no interest either. As for the promise of a Friday live show, I live in the UK and have to be awake very early most Saturday mornings for work. I'm simply not going to be able to stay up to take advantage of that benefit. Pretty much the only tangible reward I could have got out of this deal is a T-shirt, and that perk is exclusive to the yearly subscription. 
 
"So Dan," I hear you say, "why not get the yearly subscription? You'll save yourself ten dollars AND you'll get the cool T-shirt!" 
 
The short answer is, I don't want the cool T-shirt, and I definitely don't want to save ten dollars. In case you haven't gathered, I haven't subscribed to Whiskey Media because of what I'll get out of it. I've subscribed because of what the crew at Giant Bomb (and, of course, all the other Whiskey Media sites) will get out of it. By setting myself up for this monthly subscription, I'm putting an extra ten dollars in their pocket every year, ten dollars that I feel these fine folk really deserve for bringing us so much information and entertainment. I think that is something that a lot of people have selfishly forgotten in this metaphorical hurricane that I seem to be deep in the eye of. Instead of thinking about whether or not the rewards are worth $5 a month, or $50 a year, try thinking about whether or not all the effort that Jeff, Ryan, Brad, Vinny, Dave, Drew, and everybody else on the Giant Bomb team puts in specifically for us, the users, is worth that money. In my opinion, the answer is yes, and that's why I'm more than happy to support Whiskey Media with a little bit of my hard-earned cash each month. If your answer to that question is no, then that's cool. You're under no obligation to pay, and you'll be no worse off for not doing so. This is one of those situations where everybody is a winner, no matter what their end situation. Why there's so much open hatred is beyond me.
 
I guess the last thing I should address in this blog is the splitting of the Bombcast. I'll come right out and say that personally, it doesn't bother me, probably because I'm a very infrequent Bombcast listener. I can understand why this would be an issue for a lot of users who come here for the Bombcast, and especially for those who've been following Jeff and Ryan since the days of Arrow Pointing Down in early 2008. To be honest, it seems an awful lot like an opening gambit of sorts, a means of strong-arming some faithful listeners into subscribing, which is a shame, because it's surely this category of people who would be more than willing to support the GB crew without that incentive. Either way, I can't see this scheme lasting for too long. Whiskey Media are famously in the business of not pissing off the internet, and I'm fairly sure that the backlash will be enough to make them rethink their strategy. All this aside, though, my view still stands - subscribe not because of what you'll get out of it as a user, but because of what Whiskey Media will get out of it as the providers of the content we all love so much. Thanks very much for reading, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan 
 
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Currently playing - Fable II (X360)
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7 Comments
Posted by dankempster
 While only tangentially related to this blog, here is a Fable II screenshot to break up the text
This morning was a morning that started out pretty much the same as any other. I woke up, had some breakfast (crumpets with jam, in case you're curious), played a little Fable II, and then powered up my computer to see what was going down in the digital realm. I checked into Facebook to Like a few of my friends' wise-cracks, briefly scanned over my Last.fm page to check my shouts, and then pootled on over to Giant Bomb. I was met with the aftermath of an apparent shitstorm that, much like an explosion in a town ten miles away, I seemed to have peacefully slept through. The carnage I refer to is, of course, the fallout over the announcement of an option to subscribe to Whiskey Media's sites. People had flooded the forums with threads of complaint, even going as far as to throw around words like "honour" and "betrayal". About a website. Overwhelmed by the tide of hate sweeping over the site, I closed my web browser and stepped away from my laptop. Sometimes, there is such a thing as too much internet.
 
After spending most of the afternoon in a hospital waiting room, during which time there was bugger all else to do but ponder such menial issues as this, I came home this evening and set myself up for a monthly Whiskey Media subscription. On the surface, this is bound to seem like a crazy move on my part, largely because I have nothing to gain from this endeavour. The lure of HD videos doesn't interest me, for a start. I consume Giant Bomb's video content because I find it to be informative and entertaining, not to admire its visual fidelity, and SD videos serve those purposes just fine. I'm not in possession of a mobile phone advanced enough to browse the net, so a mobile version of the site holds no interest either. As for the promise of a Friday live show, I live in the UK and have to be awake very early most Saturday mornings for work. I'm simply not going to be able to stay up to take advantage of that benefit. Pretty much the only tangible reward I could have got out of this deal is a T-shirt, and that perk is exclusive to the yearly subscription. 
 
"So Dan," I hear you say, "why not get the yearly subscription? You'll save yourself ten dollars AND you'll get the cool T-shirt!" 
 
The short answer is, I don't want the cool T-shirt, and I definitely don't want to save ten dollars. In case you haven't gathered, I haven't subscribed to Whiskey Media because of what I'll get out of it. I've subscribed because of what the crew at Giant Bomb (and, of course, all the other Whiskey Media sites) will get out of it. By setting myself up for this monthly subscription, I'm putting an extra ten dollars in their pocket every year, ten dollars that I feel these fine folk really deserve for bringing us so much information and entertainment. I think that is something that a lot of people have selfishly forgotten in this metaphorical hurricane that I seem to be deep in the eye of. Instead of thinking about whether or not the rewards are worth $5 a month, or $50 a year, try thinking about whether or not all the effort that Jeff, Ryan, Brad, Vinny, Dave, Drew, and everybody else on the Giant Bomb team puts in specifically for us, the users, is worth that money. In my opinion, the answer is yes, and that's why I'm more than happy to support Whiskey Media with a little bit of my hard-earned cash each month. If your answer to that question is no, then that's cool. You're under no obligation to pay, and you'll be no worse off for not doing so. This is one of those situations where everybody is a winner, no matter what their end situation. Why there's so much open hatred is beyond me.
 
I guess the last thing I should address in this blog is the splitting of the Bombcast. I'll come right out and say that personally, it doesn't bother me, probably because I'm a very infrequent Bombcast listener. I can understand why this would be an issue for a lot of users who come here for the Bombcast, and especially for those who've been following Jeff and Ryan since the days of Arrow Pointing Down in early 2008. To be honest, it seems an awful lot like an opening gambit of sorts, a means of strong-arming some faithful listeners into subscribing, which is a shame, because it's surely this category of people who would be more than willing to support the GB crew without that incentive. Either way, I can't see this scheme lasting for too long. Whiskey Media are famously in the business of not pissing off the internet, and I'm fairly sure that the backlash will be enough to make them rethink their strategy. All this aside, though, my view still stands - subscribe not because of what you'll get out of it as a user, but because of what Whiskey Media will get out of it as the providers of the content we all love so much. Thanks very much for reading, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan 
 
--- 
 
Currently playing - Fable II (X360)
Posted by oliveshark

 This was a good read. I nearly threw my money at them so to speak, filling in the payment information twice because the major traffic because of the Big Live Live Show Live had me staring at a blank webpage. 
 
I'm in the same boat, subscribing because I want whiskey to keep trucking. I went for the $49 sub because I'd rather want them to have the $59 right away than me sending in $5 each month... and because I totally want that t-shirt.
 
Hope the hospital waiting room wasn't related to anything serious.    

Posted by Pepsiman

The Bombcast stuff is definitely not the sort of decision I would personally want to make, but their arguments for splitting it up are understandable. That thing certainly eats up a lot of bandwith weekly and knowing that podcasting is an incredibly hard thing to monetize in general, it's easy to see why they'd consider incentivizing it as part of the subscription perks. I have the feeling that they might very well relent given the community reaction, but since I'm pretty sure they'll format it so that the cutoff happens at clear points (read: not in the middle of a sentence at some automatic point), I don't think it'd be apocalyptic if they decide to stick with it either. In any event, I think most of the discussions are still timely enough that they're also relevant a week later for those that just want the whole thing in one chunk for free.
 
I will almost certainly join the fray and subscribe as well once I get some money matters taken care of. This site is more or less my Internet home and I want to give money to the people that help make that a reality everyday.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I don't feel angry about the entire deal.  Frankly, I don't get that kind of emotion over a website.  But I get the disquiet over the split of the Bombcast - it's admittedly not the greatest move done on the part of the Whiskey Media team, and it feels uncharacteristically and unfairly businesslike.  That is, however, the world we live in, and I get that they need to make the almighty dollar.  Hey, we all gotta eat.  
 
What I still don't get is the exclusive feature set to subscribers.  On paper, it looks like neat stuff, but in reality, for guys like you and me (I'll hardly ever use any of that stuff), it's all practically useless.  Maybe somewhere down the line when I have a better Internet connection, I'll use some of the HD video stuff, but for now, most of it feels like they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with justifications for the individual user to purchase a subscription plan. 

 
Is any of that gonna stop me from subscribing when I can?  Fuck no.  This site's fantastic, and five bucks out of my pocket to support the hours of entertainment I get out of this place is certainly worth it.  But still, I hope the team does look into more possible features and changes to the current ideas as time goes on.  Which, given the amount of talent in all the WM areas, I have no doubt they will.

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Posted by tfleming84@gmail.com

This entry you made was very thoughtfully written and I think that it illustrates the purpose of this subscription venture very well. Like you, the reason why I signed up is to give something back to all of the GB guys and the Tested guys and the other people involved in making these great sites function. I can't think of any other sites on the net related to this type of content that are so laid back in their style and presentation, and so ready to give an honest opinion. The reason for this, as has been made clear by the guys, is that they don't have the heavy obligations to advertisers that a site like IGN has. If they have to go to private investors or advertisers to acquire capital, there will be strings attached, and they will have to make compromises. The sites will slowly over time begin to conform to the norm of content delivery without much personality. By giving these people some money to work with, we can help them stay honest and genuine in their work. Frankly I feel indebted to them, cause for the last couple years they've delivered more consistently than any tv show or band or film director out there that I like.  
As for all of the kids bitching about the Bombcast, where is this sense of entitlement coming from? Nobody owes you a podcast. You're getting that awesomeness for free. If you can't deal with waiting a few more days to listen to a portion of it then you really need to get a life. 

Posted by dankempster

Thanks for the responses, guys. Kinda nice to see I'm not the only person who's subscribed for reasons other than the swag. I was a little worried about coming off as one of those 'Internet Martyr' types, but that's really not the case. I just love what all these guys do, and if I can support them in that, I'm sure as hell going to.
 
@oliveshark: Nothing serious at all. My girlfriend had a routine appointment, I was just the moral support.

Posted by KillerRabbit

Excellent points Darkdempster. I certainly want to support the guys as well, and i actually think the podcast idea is a great way to incentivise the user base.