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curled around these images
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.
Comments 
25th-Jul-2015 12:02 pm (UTC)
I thnk if he said this was a way of raising funds for people who can't afford to donate fans would be RUSHING in! Even I might consider clicking a few horrid links (which I did when checking some of these claims). His silence (so far) speaks volumes unfortunately.

And yes. If JP says anything about it at this weekends con, I'll post some more stuff.
25th-Jul-2015 02:51 pm (UTC)
Read the update from Tumblr, seems to have the main gist of what's going on as far as I can tell.

The web site seems totally removed from his charity, which again doesn't bode well for the more vicious bloggers around who won't hesitate to link his public meltdown on Twitter which has led to the huge gains he's made in social media only to turn it around into an ad driven, revenue hoarding, bland generator like this - yeah, I think you have every right to be worried.

Spilo says it's to reach out to his 2m fans on facebook and he's picking the articles himself so that's all ok. So, why not just link to the articles directly in a facebook post? It's looking bad, some of those articles are dreadful, and I'm really surprised he's given an ad company like this access to his facebook account. Spilo has some damage control to do before this spirals well out of his control, SPN fans are welcoming and forgiving, sadly the rest of the internet has claws and won't hesitate to draw blood and it won't be Spilo's blood but Jared's and it's the last thing he needs.
25th-Jul-2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
*nods*.

Also, "he's" just posted a bro hug post and it's received 7.7m likes. I mean…wow. The few concerned voices will be drowned out by those numbers. People really are responding like it's him creating them.

I've just un-followed the "official" posts. Hoping I'll still see the ones that are really him.
25th-Jul-2015 03:38 pm (UTC)
Am I right in saying 'those' facebook entries link directly back to that 'official' site therefore those 7.7m likes have generated pay per click revenue for the site runners, Jared and by extension Spilo himself?

I'm getting more and more disgusted by the moment...
26th-Jul-2015 11:23 am (UTC)
I'm not sure to be honest. I think the likes on the site might not create money? Though I have no idea. I think it would be the links on any of the other "articles" on the actual site that create money. And the ad links.
26th-Jul-2015 12:35 pm (UTC)
I think you're probably right, the like thing is a facebook thing, so it's the click through that probably counts, but as you've pointed out so many times, he's free to do what he wants and if he wants to make more money from his fame and celebrity status then that's his affair. Doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for fans answering those remote posts as if they are talking to him when in fact they're talking to an unfeeling advertising company...oh, and Spilo.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, it's been interesting seeing individual fan's views on things like this, similar to making payments for fan fiction or making revenue through ads on fan created sites, it's always going to be controversial at first, then it's up to each of us to make a choice on how to go forward. Can't make a choice without information about what's going on, but until I hear differently this is something I personally don't like about the celebrity culture on the net and will be steering well clear.

26th-Jul-2015 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Creating this post was about opening the discussion but also making people aware of it. It's become quite controversial and it's created divides in fandom, which has been sad to see. jared won't know about that (I hope) and I just hope there's no fallout for him. Maybe it might even be a positive.
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