Date: January 7, 2008
Subject: Thousand-year reich / editorial policy
- Permanent ban on baby talk, old internet memes, etc. Yes yes, let he who never posted a LOLcat cast the first stone, etc. But it’s a new year, we are building a bigger readership (including actual adults!), and we will type like upright humans with opposable thumbs. So please pack that stuff away in your 2005-2007 tool box: teh, !!1!, interwebs, internetz, any sort of “z for plural” or other such internet baby talk.
- Also, as I mentioned to some of you: No vulgarities in headlines, ever. (Google News has warned us, and readers don’t won’t giant FUCK YOUs on their screen when the boss walks by.) And keep the in-post profanity to a very bare minimum. If the vulgarity isn’t adding something interesting to the sentence, cut it—save the vulgarity for shock value or when there’s simply no better available word.
- It’s a blog, so we don’t care if we reference something repeatedly. Ideally, the subject matter of items will vary a bit from post to post on the front page, but the cold fact is that we have very little to write about this year—a shrinking pool of loathsome people & their dumb campaign antics—and anything especially noteworthy is going to be written about in dozens or even hundreds of posts, and during these primaries we are going to hammer away at the same little box of bullshit news all day long every day. So keep it short, keep it funny, and remember that the post is forgotten by readers mere seconds after they see it and move on to the next thing. (This doesn’t mean people don’t love their Wonkette. They do. But it’s a cumulative response based on a steady stream of “funny-at-the-time” blogging, as you’ll see one day when you try to find “clips” on Wonkette & see nothing but old blog posts instead.)
- You don’t need to schedule posts. I see a lot of terrorist “chatter” these days about planning out the posting on a blog. Please don’t bother. With three full-timers, one part-timer, two columnists, two video/photo people and two interns, we should have a constant stream of posts. A good example of this was our Iowa caucus day, with 60 or so posts in 24 hours, which means a post every 12 minutes or so—but in reality, that was about a post every 6 minutes over a dozen or so hours. If something is really super good and needs to be highlighted for longer, that’s what the “top” category is for. I’m also bringing back the WEEK IN REVIEW thing to highlight exciting posts again.
- Why is it on Wonkette? A little question to ask before posting something.
Jim Newell referenced this January 2008 memo the other day, written when Gawker published Wonkette and I had just come back to the company as Wonkette’s sole editor. My comrade Max Read’s new Gawker.com ban on meaningless 10-year-old Internet slang shows that every several years, some brave website editor has to do this all over again to clean out the sewer pipes.