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 Everett True

another conversation about music criticism on web 2.0

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Peanuts criticism cartoon

I hope that most of my friends and followers on Facebook have realised by now that if they comment on something over there, and it’s of interest, invariably I will bring it across to here in the hope of generating more discussion.

Question for writers: Do you think you ever (consciously or otherwise) moderate your opinions in articles in a way you wouldn’t have done pre-web 2.0?

Mof Gimmers
Nope. I’m not smart enough to moderate my views.

Jodi Biddle
Well if you’re thinking about “moderation” in the sense that I think carefully about the comment circus before I post an opinion these days, then yes. I just usually go ahead with it anyway, hatemail be damned.

Michael James Hall
because of the possibility of bands and labels reading your work increasing so greatly people are scared to be negative for fear of not having those artists and labels cooperate with them in the future. you may want to slate a crappy band but you dont want to necessarily upset people. it’s hard to maintain honesty and integrity in that atmosphere.

Everett True
It’s odd, because I’m beginning to form the opposite view. Everything is so transitory in web 2.0. I know from just monitoring traffic at Collapse Board that – with very few exceptions indeed – all page views/comments occur within 1-2 days of posting the article. So it’s actually got a far briefer shelf life than print. Everything is hidden in plain sight.

Sean Adams
If by moderate, you mean, leaving in overly floral things I know will annoy some people and making up silly genres, then, yeah, I probably adapt a little. It really depends if you give a fuck about the drive-by comment police or if you intend to let whatever you want flow out on the page, and then adapt it a little. I sometimes look at what I’ve written and if I hate it, then it doesn’t go anywhere. If I love it, and know someone will like it, whilst most people will hate it, then I try to make what they might hate a little more trolling for reaction (like some of the hideous tweet-worthy shit I put in my Jessie J review). Or is this a question as to whether you wannabe Lionel Blair or Thurston Moore? Or about removing references to Nazi’s or the uppity DiS contributor who thought it was ok to be racist about the french in an m83 review so wanted his name removed after I edited it out?

Chris Anderson
I mean moderate in any way at all. I hadn’t thought of it in terms of editing other people words though.

Everett True ‎
(This was originally Chris’ question.)

Sean Adams
I always get more worried when I don’t get any reaction and because that probably means that I’ve either bored people within a couple of sentences or just written something so beige that I wasted my time.

Lucy Gulland
All reviewers should be uppity. Uppityer the better.

Chris Anderson
It’s a tricky question.

Lucy Gulland ‎
@Sean: it’s interesting to hear that 2.0 means that you (as an editor) are more censorious about pieces that might get read as racist; it occurs to me that the great thing about the interactive nature of web criticism is the chance to argue such a point. (The review you are referring to didn’t strike me as racist, btw.)

Laura Crapo
you could do a little fanzine of your favorite reviews, like a yearbook or quarterly so there exists a hard copy. I feel like I can be free on your site cause there’s no “rep” damage to a physical printed beast that could be brought down from lack of advertisement funds. I don’t measure success from audience reaction because often people read, enjoy and move on. It’s the people who are or want to be writers themselves that respond. if you know it’s good, then it’s good. no wringing hands to wait for applause. Often good reactions come years later.

Everett True ‎
“you could do a little fanzine of your favorite reviews, like a yearbook or quarterly so there exists a hard copy.” Someone get me a little funding, I’ll do it tomorrow. Love to. Absolutely love to.

Everett True
‎”Often good reactions come years later.” Or (in the case of Riot Grrrl, decades later) …

Lucy Gulland
‎”I feel like I can be free on your site cause there’s no “rep” damage to a physical printed beast that could be brought down from lack of advertisement funds”
Yes! That’s it. There’s such liberation in the uncoupling of writing from financial considerations. I love the freedom and I love the dialogue that the internet provides.

Chris Anderson
It strikes me (as an observation) that if your politics have a solid base in humanity that you can write freely about music without a care in the world in web 2.0. Please don’t ask me to make sense of this!

Chris Anderson
One thing about Plan B and Careless Talk that I admired was that the advertisers did not always get the fawning reviews they might have hoped for – which gave the magazines a greater sense of being real.

Everett True
I’m not sure that writing freely about music without a care in the world is what people want. Not that that matters.

Lucy Gulland
Yeah, Chris, I think you’re right. S’long as you’re prepared to argue your position and have rhino hide for skin. Which is fine by me, most of the time. Of course, the added connections that Twitter and this place create that might not have existed before can add complications: everyone’s a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend’ these days.

Everett True
re: Plan B and CTCL. I learned that at Melody Maker, Chris – after one of my reviews lost IPC Magazines a major label account, worth literally squidillions, and my editor upon hearing of the fact, just shrugged his shoulders and said, “That’s Everett”

Lucy Gulland
What DO they want? If it’s quick comparison sites like Google Shopping or What Phone? but for music: they can fuck off. If it’s a decent conversation about music and writing then I’m in.

Everett True ‎
“everyone’s a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend’ these days.” I’ve been caught out by that before, notably on here. Singer with Dead Weather was NOT best pleased at my description of her music… she’d only befriended me a couple of days earlier.

Everett True
on the up side, the singer of Travis is a regular commentator on my Tweets.

Everett True
‎Lucy Gulland … you reckon The Guardian is trying to turn itself into Amazon?

Chris Anderson
I don’t care “what people want” particularly when I do my thing – I kind of assume that I’m brilliant enough to be generally appreciated (ha!) and that’s bolstered by my innate sense of unconscious quality control – most of them are greedy bastards anyways who wouldn’t give my ass the time of day and with whom I have no desire to participate. I think my favourite writers are like this whether I agree with them or not.

Lucy Gulland
Well, it’s fucking rubbish to have a 98 word review of an album you give four stars (stars! Ugh) to and then a link to a shop and dozens of reader reviews. I’m not going to take anything seriously that reduces music to product. If you think it’s an amazing album treat it as such. It’s not like the internet is running out of space.

Lucy Gulland
What the knowledge of connectivity/dialogue should do, instead of panicking writers, is to force them into having the courage of their convictions; they’re going to have to be able to justify what they’ve written either in public or private. That can’t be bad.

Lucy Gulland
And I meant it about uppitiness. The opposite would be, what, humble? Supine? It’s a word that always gets my hackles shivering cos it’s so often gendered.

Chris Anderson
You need to be battle-ready, I guess. Humility can work but only as a surprise tactic.

Darragh Murray
Nah!

Michael James Hall
humility is a great virtue in criticism/journalism in my opinion. leave egotism and arrogance to the bands.

Joanna Weber
It’s not about arrogance or humility, it’s about believing that what you have to say is more important than the person saying it, and that it’s important enough to need to be said. That will give you courage in your convictions so that you can stand up to the people who disagree with you, regardless of who they are.

Jules Boyle
If you give a band a good shoeing, there’s more chance now of them actually seeing it, but i try to never just be a dick and dont say anything i can’t back up, usually in the review itself. The only complaint i’ve ever had is from Hue And Cry. Says it all. 🙂

Tom Artrocker
Not I

Simon Morgan
Nor I , erm, ever! (tbh, not really sure what post web 2.0 actually means)

Neil Kulkarni
I try and write as if I’ve got nothing to lose, because I haven’t anymore. ET – remember that guide-to you had me do for Drowned In Sound? I want to do a rerub/follow-up for Collapse Board negating each point I make and instead furnishing writers with how to actually be successful. Granted its tone may be a little rancourous.

Everett True
Me and Sean were talking about doing a follow-up series across the two sites. I’ll get back in touch with him and then you shortly.

Rez Guthrie ‎
Is CB available as an e-book subscription? I’d subscribe.

Rez Guthrie
I have had to damn with faint praise. It was the house style. I still managed to get my point across. I’m not reviewing at the moment, but if I did, I’d go with truth combined with thought. I can moderate my language, but not so much my opinion.

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(from Twitter)

@sarah_morgan
I’m a PR and yes, longevity online means you aren’t necessarily as contentious or spontaneous. But can still try to be!

@everetttrue
that’s interesting, because I actually tend towards the other way. Online articles don’t seem to be read after one or two days

@sarah_morgan
well, i just found some PR i did in 2004 and it has had over 23,000 page views – thats more than some hardback novel sales!

well, i just found some PR i did in 2004 and it has had over 23,000 page views – thats more than some hardback novel sales!

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