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just enough to make us dangerous
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 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.
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