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Jared's new website. 
25th-Jul-2015 03:59 pm
Discussion / no weapons discharge
I'm struggling with my feelings on this, so I thought I'd post some stuff and see if anyone else had some ideas. Mostly, I can't figure out if it's "harmless fun" (and shut-up and stop worrying/whinging/fretting) or if there's going to be some major fallout in the future that will harm Jared and therefore worry lots!

I am also aware that it really isn't my concern. He's a grown man and can make decisions for himself. But I also seem to care quite a lot about him and so I feel protective. I would HATE to see this take a bad turn (and from what I've been reading, this has happened to celebrities in the past), and knowing how personally Jared takes things, this might not help him.

So, this is what I've been reading.

It appears that Jared's website Jaredpadaleckioffical is run by a company called Digital Mavericks. They are essentially in the business of generating money. Sites like this are often referred to as "click bait" websites (like BuzzFeed) - consumers are offered links to "interesting" articles in the hope that they will click on them. My (limited) understanding is that each time someone clicks it makes money for the owner of the website (and company running it). According to this article sites like this can make about $18 per 1000 fans. I really don't know the ins and outs of exactly how money is generated, but all the links on the sites leads to either advertisements or a tiny article surrounded by other ads (and often those horrid pop ups). They are truly awful.

I totally understand that life is about making money, but I have to say I am distressed (upset?) that Jared has made a decision to go down this route.

It's interesting that when the site first appeared many thought his FB page had been hacked. That's how "un-like" Jared it seemed to be. It was confirmed by TBTB that it was real.

According to his manager (Dan Spilo) , this is about finding "fun content" to share. He says "Jared is writing the headlines. We use the company to help find the content".

If you are interested in reading further information about it, check out this Facebook thread. His manager talks about it and basically condemns fans for not being "positive" about it. It also gives more info about Digital Mavericks (and a worrying thing they did with a past celebrity).

I think the thing that bothers me most is the decision to make money from his followers. Now, I have no idea if this is purely Jared or its been pushed by his management. It might even be a great way for him to generate income for his charities. I think it would go a long way if Jared explained why he felt he needed to have a click-bait style website. If he wanted to link "fun content" he could do that with it being embedded in a website. OR he could have his own, genuine, ad free website. Or am I just being naive? Perhaps life just doesn't work like that anymore.

I've seen some comments say "It's Jared's page, and he can do what he wants" - which I totally agree with. Just like this is my journal page and I can make decisions about what's on it. But the nature of the site seems to go against what we know about Jared, it just worries me. To me, it seems to cheapen his cause and even him. I can't believe he needs the extra money (maybe his manager does?) or maybe it IS about fundraising after all.

Either way, I know it's not something I like and it will probably mean I will *sniff* unfollow him on Facebook. Mainly because I can not stand those sites. I realise I can scroll past them (like I do many similar type sites), but each time I see it I will worry about Jared. And it's likely to make me angry.

Dan Spilo argues that Jared's fans a loving it (lots of comments) so stop being so negative. And maybe he has a point. If the majority of the fans are loving the new content then it's working - both for the fans and for Jared and the marketing company. It's just not working for me - which probably puts me in the minority.

Mostly, I'd like to see JP take a major step back from social media. Tweet occasionally, FB occasionally and enjoy his real life, family and friends. His fans will love him whether his has a website or not. Perhaps take a leaf out of Jensen's method of surviving the business. But he's a grown man and can obviously make his own choices. I just hope he takes care of himself.

*hugs* him SO much. I admire him for speaking out about depression and helping many people start a conversation about it. I'm not keen on the marketing for it, but that's purely personal. I'm pretty cynical it turns out. ;)

ETA: More about this here on Tumblr by the girl who has investigated it all. It's mostly about letting fans know it's not Jared posting. And pointing out that the posts are automated. I haven't investigated all this personally, so please take from it what you will.
25th-Jul-2015 08:18 am (UTC)
i don't like this website thing because it's so impersonal - the nice thing about Jared having Twitter and Facebook was that we knew it was him talking - whether it was to us or to Delta airlines, it was Jared's voice. This website is just a marketing tool and yeah, I can see how it might have been sold to Jared as a great way of generating funds for his charities but it doesn't have anything I want. Those articles might be fun and interesting but they appear elsewhere and don't speak to me of Jared. So I'll probably only pick up stuff from there if it's specifically SPN/Jared-related posts that aren't appearing on his own FB or Twitter. (And I wouldn't even do that if I wasn't looking for content for our little FB group SSA).
25th-Jul-2015 10:55 am (UTC)

And the good thing is, it's easy to see when it's him and when it's the website posting. His posts don't have the "jaredpadaleckiofficial" at the bottom of it. I know he uses his FB to promote his cause, which I think is a positive marketing way of using it. The website does seem very impersonal. I have a feeling he's shown the article, writes a blurb and it's posted. I am concerned that maybe this means this company has access to his Facebook.

I suppose we'll just have to see what happens. My feeling is that if it was to raise funds for charities he may have said something. But maybe he's just wanting him to trust him on this. It's why I'm confused. I want to trust him, but I worry he'll get stung.
25th-Jul-2015 08:35 am (UTC)
Not just did everyone assume it was spam, but we also haven't seen any actual comment about it from Jared hinself (at least I didn't) that would let us know what he is planning with this. it just seems very un-Jared-like.
Maybe someone at the DC-con will ask him about it.
25th-Jul-2015 10:58 am (UTC)
I'm hoping we'll get more info after the con. Jared not saying anything is the confusing part I think.
25th-Jul-2015 08:47 am (UTC)
To be honest, I just don't get the point.

If it is to raise revenue for charities then why not be upfront about it? I don't see anything like the 'click here' to raise money buttons you see on other websites or any explanations about why he'd want something like this, which is so obviously far removed from his own personal hands.

*shrug* I agree, to each his own, but this is kind of a strange move to make. I hadn't heard anything about it, so did click your link above, to me it's more like his management has just traded on his name to make an advertising site, it could be anyone's name at the top. That's my judgement of it just looking at it cold and my first gut reaction is always the thing that sticks with me, so, let's just say, I won't be clicking it again.

If he's linking to it from his Twitter and Facebook accounts all the time, I think I'd frown on that behaviour too, but it's his network and his fans, so it's up to each individual to choose whether to click or not, but it honestly makes me uncomfortable, as fans can be enthusiastic but still end up feeling used.

Yeah, seems I'm pretty cynical too!
25th-Jul-2015 11:08 am (UTC)
So far, I haven't seen anything on his twitter. He's just been making posts to his FB. Looking at the FB thread where one particular girl talks about what's going on it seems its purely a marketing tool. And it seems that his manager is behind it (seeing how much defending he does). Now, I has to assume Jared is the one who had to gave the final ok and nows what it's like. I just wonder if he's aware how, um, tacky it is (that could be my cynicism or age talking!)

as fans can be enthusiastic but still end up feeling used.

What really makes me a bit sad is seeing fans interact with the posts as though Jared is posting them - or talks to him and share personal experiences. I mean, it's cool if those articles really do help people and maybe Jared really does see them. Perhaps people can enjoy the articles without actually clicking all the click-bait sites at the bottom and on the side.

25th-Jul-2015 09:09 am (UTC)
I think people are liking it is because they really think it's all 100% Jared which it is not and they want him to think 'hey look at me liking what you post'. I just find the whole thing 'icky' and deceiving.
25th-Jul-2015 01:14 pm (UTC)
*nods* I think that this sad thing for me. I love the support he gets, but with this site I'm not sure he sees it. I don't know. I almost feel that by saying something it's not supporting him, which is the last thing I want to do. But it's hard when it's not even him. Ugh
25th-Jul-2015 09:10 am (UTC)
I think it's a terrible site for multiple reasons and can't really see what Jared is trying to do with it. Who's the target audience? Obviously not possible future employers, because it's not professional enough. It's not directed at fans either, not really, because the content is too random. So probably it's supposed to be part of AKF - except that the quality of the articles is so low (not that I've read them all, but what I clicked on contained cringeworthy stuff like "go hiking, it just magically wipes your depression away") that it makes it look like Jared knows nothing about mental illnesses and isn't taking this project seriously. Which given how much time and emotion he's already invested into the campaign is clearly the opposite of what he wants to project.

I don't think that a lot of people like the site either. There were so many who first posted about Jared having been hacked that I'm pretty sure most people actually had a negative reaction to it. Sure, now many will comment on the articles as though there's nothing wrong with them, but I think that's mostly because they're following Dan Spilo's bizarre logic of "being a good fan". Speaking of which - fan-blaming instead of taking responsibility is just vile. How does this man still have a job?

As for the money issue - even if it's for the fund Jared and Jensen set up, it's still not an okay method of fundraising imo.

Finally, maybe I'm just as cynical as you are, but right now it seems to me that Jared (possibly because he's being advised really badly by his clearly incompetent manager) is milking all the attention he's been getting after his break-down both from the media and from fandom to the fullest, and so while I really hope he'd take a step back from social media I can't really see it happening any time soon.
26th-Jul-2015 12:09 pm (UTC)

Who's the target audience?

I'm going to guess it's fans. I can't speak for him but I think it might be about giving fans articles that he thinks they might like to read. In itself that's fair I think, it's just a shame he chose this way of doing it, rather than create his own website.

So probably it's supposed to be part of AKF

I'm not sure really. It might have come off the back of that, but there's no direct link to it as far as I can see. I think it's about inspiration etc. Positive articles that might be interesting to his fans.

that it makes it look like Jared knows nothing about mental illnesses and isn't taking this project seriously.

Hmm, again it's hard to say. I think Jared probably does know about mental illness (hearing him talk about his own struggles), and I think that maybe the articles are about making people feel good. In themselves the articles are pretty harmless, it's all the click bait next to them that I personally don't like.

but I think that's mostly because they're following Dan Spilo's bizarre logic of "being a good fan".

There's a lot of pressure from that. I've been called out a number of times for being "negative" (on a variety of show related topics), but I think being critical is not about being a bad fan. Saying everything is "great" when it's not is not being true to oneself.

I just hope it all works out for him. More than anything I hope he speaks about it this weekend and we have a better insight into what it's all about.
26th-Jul-2015 12:27 pm (UTC)

*nods*. I have stopped following him (*sniffs*) but it's just to painful and until it's cleared up I think it's best just to ignore it.

It might well be a way of protecting himself, but boy - I would have advised something different. I seriously hope this doesn't come back to bite him. Or, that he has some good protections if it does. And if it doesn't - fantastic! I really hope it all goes well for him. :)
25th-Jul-2015 10:36 am (UTC)
Huh, so I am not the only one who is disturbed by this site being linked to Jared...The promo links on the page are to rather sensational looking articles that hardly seem appropriate for his demographic and I have a hard time figuring out why Jared with be okay with being associated with such tawdry links. I actually hope he is getting poor advice, that his judgment is better than this. :(
26th-Jul-2015 12:38 pm (UTC)
Reading some stuff just know it could be that it's having some teething problems. Or that they haven't worked out exactly what they want (and by that I mean his management). They might be tailoring it more to his fans in the future and hopefully controlling some of the advertising. But yeah. I don't know. I hope it works out for him.
25th-Jul-2015 11:16 am (UTC)
The content is not just horribly written click bait, it is socially problematic. If this goes on they WILL publish something hurtful to enough people for them to have to care. But considering the way they've dealt with that sort of thing before, they won't. That will suck.

I'm pretty sure, or at least want to believe that Jared has little to do with this (I'm guessing he's being paid to promote it x times a day or such).

Yes, it is not ok and cynical to use - I mean - so many of his followers are there because he did an amazing thing - talking about mi the way he did - and that is super meaningful and needed. But that was a GIFT. Using the people who came because they need it is not ok.

(and to any nice liberal fans who never experienced this sort of thing and want to protect poor Jared from evil evil me for saying this - just don't. Just don't reply here)
(I care about Jared's feelings too, very deeply and personally, but I also care about the feelings of whatever kid trying not to kill themselves or dealing with abuse. And this is not rhetorics, this is literally and simply who this can harm )

Edited at 2015-07-25 12:01 pm (UTC)
26th-Jul-2015 01:09 pm (UTC)
(I'm guessing he's being paid to promote it x times a day or such).

I've added a link that suggests the posts are automated. According to Dan Jared writes the intros and then the posts are made - at certain times during the day. I haven't confirmed this though, so I'm not sure how true that is.

But that was a GIFT. Using the people who came because they need it is not ok.

I have issues with this on a very different level. It's massively complex so I'm not going to even attempt to discuss it. I will say that for those who it's helped I'm thrilled for. :)

I care very much for Jared feelings and I really hope he's protected from any fall out if it happens.

25th-Jul-2015 11:20 am (UTC)
It's possible his management have decided to cash in on his popularity and appeal and his far reach to the fans. I just hope this doesn't come up and bite him in the ass because he's such a gentle soul and he does take things to heart!
26th-Jul-2015 01:12 pm (UTC)
Exactly! He's such a gentle soul and I so hope this has been really thought though. There are times I just want to wrap him in cotton wool!
25th-Jul-2015 12:01 pm (UTC)
I gotta say I am not a fan of Dan Spilo. He doesn't seem to have Jared's best interests at heart.
26th-Jul-2015 01:13 pm (UTC)
I don;t know a lot about him at all. I really hope he does have his best interests at heart - Jared deserves it.
25th-Jul-2015 12:11 pm (UTC)
So again Jared gets hurt :(
26th-Jul-2015 01:14 pm (UTC)
Man, I hope not. I really, really do.
25th-Jul-2015 01:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not keen on it either. It may be a misguided attempt at social networking, but I don't like it, however much I like Jared.
26th-Jul-2015 01:17 pm (UTC)
That's me too. I adore jared and hope it's simply misguided. Or maybe it's a work in progress and will lead to something that actually represents him as we imagine him. :)
25th-Jul-2015 03:06 pm (UTC)
First, it is HIDEOUS. You can go on Godaddy or register.com and find free templates that are 100% better. I mean, WTF???

Second, as I wrote elsewhere, it's like one of those Twitter users like "Oscar Wilde Quotes" which alternates quotes with "One Weird Trick Housewives Use to Lose Weight!".

Third, the very concept is demeaning to Jared. Obviously he okay'd it, but it's hard to believe he's actually looked at it. He's used to sophisticated web design so why would he sign off on it?

Fourth, if there's money being made, I'm sure Jared doesn't know where it's actually going. He's a smart man, but it seems like he thinks with his heart first, not his head.

Edited at 2015-07-25 03:09 pm (UTC)
27th-Jul-2015 01:24 pm (UTC)
It really isn't a nice site and I can only hope that maybe it's a work in progress. Though, it's pretty clear it's a money maker and a way to gather more fans (though why he - or his management - thinks he needs more fans I don't know).

I would love to see him have a website that's professional made and thrown together for the sake of clicks.

But, I'm stepping away from it. I've worked out I can follow Jared on FB without seeing his official website or his ads. That makes me happy! :)
25th-Jul-2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
This is the first I've heard of this website and I have to say, the whole things sounds pretty disturbing. I'm guessing that manager of Jared's is a money-grubbing jerk who doesn't seem to care if people get the wrong idea from his public announcements on Jared's behalf (going on record that Jared was suffering from "exhaustion" when everyone in the business immediately thinks "rehab" when they hear that word is just beyond bad representation, imho). I love the way Jared has been so transparent with his fans, but I worry he's being exploited here. His success with his recent fund-raising campaigns has drawn the wrong kind of attention, it looks like. Damn. I hate to see him get hurt just for being generous and trying to use his celebrity for good causes.
28th-Jul-2015 11:45 am (UTC)
Exactly this. Just hoping our lovely Jared doesn't end up hurt. I would like his manager is involved considering how much he has defended the site. My feeling would be Jared would be defending it if he thought it was such a great idea. interesting to note there's nothing been posted for the last couple of days.
25th-Jul-2015 04:26 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one disturbed by the site. I don't know whether you're in the minority or whether it's a case of people not wanting to be negative about anything connected to Jared, so they're just not expressing dislike of the site.

Sometimes I think to myself, What would it take for me to not love these guys? and so far my only answer has been, If they became Scientologists. And I do love Jared and I'm not going to feel differently about him because of the site, but I think it's a bad move for him. I won't unlike his FB page but I'm trying to ignore the posts that are Buzzfeed-like. I clicked on one, once, and was so disappointed by the clearly PR driven site.

While we're expressing potentially unpopular thoughts about Jared's public persona and how we receive it, I think it would be good if the fandom chilled out a bit about how brave and inspiring JP is for talking about his depression/anxiety. Not because I don't think he's sincere or that I don't feel he is brave and inspiring -- I do, on all counts. But it's time we moved past talking about it quite so much. Jared is more than his cause, he's more than his depression. And once you've honored someone with a display of nearly 7k candles, you've pretty much topped out.

And I'm starting to experience that fund-raising weariness. I have a drawer full of SPN tshirts but I have a thing against wearing photographic images of people; nonetheless, I've participated in all three AKF tshirt campaigns. But I don't think I can do another one, no matter the cause, unless I actually like the shirt.
28th-Jul-2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
You have expressed many thoughts that are similar to mine (i seriously hope they don't become Scientologists!). The website seems to go against everything we (well, I) think about Jared. But I suppose I don't know him personally so it's hard to really know what's going on.

Re the campaign. I am extremely conflicted but that also. I love that he's opened up dialogue and it appears to have really helped some people but I agree there's a level of fatigue about it. I was surprised there was another t-shirt campaign to be honest. I love the way it's brought fans together, but there will come a point when it will all be overload I fear.

I confess to not buying any shirts (I also have an issue with wearing someone's imagine - even if I love them!) I also prefer to donate directly to the cause rather than pay for the manufacturing of t-shirts. But I totally appreciate fans wanting the shirts also - it's a wonderful way to connect. For me it's a purely personal choice and I love that so many people have supported the cause. :)
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