Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I Say Evolve and Let the Chips Fall Where They May


Three months from now, on May 30th, this little experiment of mine will turn five years old.*

Since the Vicodin-induced inception of Deus Ex Malcontent, there have been a few noticeable cosmetic adjustments to it -- a tweak here, an addition or deletion there -- but for the most part the general format of the site has stayed the same. I've always prided myself on putting content first and never cluttering it up with unnecessary ads, banners and other assorted crap -- and Lord knows I never had to worry about anyone wanting to come in from the outside and be a part of the daily onslaught of phony erudition, unapologetic misanthropy and generally boorish behavior you get around here. I mean, really, who would be crazy enough to want to be professionally associated with this nonsense?

As it turns out, one guy.

For the past year or so, Ben Cohen, who runs the excellent site The Daily Banter out of his palatial estate in Los Angeles, has been quietly putting together a stable of bloggers, writers, journalists and troublemakers under one banner: The Banter Media Network. Among this elite group of crime-fighters are some of my favorite people online, including Bob Cesca, Matt Osborne and Oliver Willis, but if you believe Ben -- and he's obviously nuts, so take this for what it's worth -- I've been the get he's really wanted to get. The girl who just wouldn't give it up, despite his entreaties that if I loved him, I'd do it. The reason I wasn't willing to join has been elaborated on a couple of times here, in posts unrelated to what was going on behind the scenes: Given that everything in my life had been pulled out from under me and very little looked familiar following my split with Jayne and my subsequent move south, this site became a kind of permanent address for me when I felt like I had none. In other words, as I've said before quite a few times, Deus Ex Malcontent seemed like my home -- and I wasn't willing to bring change into that home when everything around it was so fluid.

Well, maybe I'm finally getting my footing, or maybe Ben just caught me at the right time a couple of weeks ago, because I've made the decision to join the Banter Network. I could blow sunshine up everyone's ass and talk about how it's a huge honor to be associated with such a terrific organization, one dedicated to fostering truly independent political and cultural voices, and of course how I'm not a "sell-out," but then I'd just sound like Arianna, minus the $315 million payday. The fact is, though, that I think this site really is ready to grow up just a little, and aligning myself with Banter has the potential to bring even more readers here, as well as, yes, a little steady revenue.

About that last point, it means exactly what it sounds like: Ads will begin appearing on this site for the first time ever very soon. To his credit, Ben has busted his ass to keep the commercial aspect of his network as tasteful, unobtrusive and in line with the themes of the various blogs as he possibly can. Around here, it'll mean a banner at the top of the page and a couple of ads in the sidebars -- which will affect the size of the main column -- but that's about it. You'll also see a few new widgets featuring links to other Banter outlets. What you won't see changing is anything you're used to when it comes to the content -- what I write and what Deus Ex Malcontent has become known for over the last five years. I put whatever the hell I feel like out there into the ether; I don't answer to anyone and I'm not going to start now. There will also still be the quarterly pledge drives because, let's face it, internet ads don't pay much regardless of whether you're part of an expanding network of contributors; the donations you guys make to this site make a huge difference in my life and keep DXM up and running -- no doubt about it -- and I hope you'll continue to pitch in.

But yeah, a couple of things are going to look different around here -- beginning within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Do not adjust your set. Don't be alarmed. It's just a little evolution -- and you know what kind of person argues against evolution, right? Besides, if this thing really takes off, my twin brother and I plan to sue Ben Cohen for stealing our idea. I figure we can settle out of court for around 60 mil.

As always, thanks for reading, folks.

*It's registered at Gap Kids, if you're so inclined.

(Update, 3.1.11: Ben has obviously already been busy in his basement lab tinkering with the site. Consider it "under construction" at the moment and if it's loading a little slower than before please be patient. Thank you for your patronage.)

22 comments:

Fred said...

Congrats, Chez. Looks like a great move forward!

Dan said...

I've already turned off AdBlocker, my $.00001 per view is ready for the update!

+++++++++++++++ said...

we should all be so unlucky.

+++++++++++++++ said...

and i think may 30 is three months from now. either that or i need a vicodin refill.

Micheal said...

Whatever it takes to keep you around...

kanye said...

I can see exactly how this is going to play out. You've already begun capitulating to your new British overlord by featuring a height chart that gives prominence to the metric system, all but pushing your own home country's system aside in an act that can only be described as "demeaning subservience".

I actually have something real to say about this, but I don't know that I have the balls to say it. Maybe a little ways down the road.

Congrats, Dude. This is big deal, and I couldn't be any happier for you.

Lisa said...

I don't even recall how I was guided to your site 3 years ago. Two computer upgrades and numerous brower changes later and you are one of 4 bookmarks I import regularly. You are brilliant, funny, edgy and always lead me to new ways of looking at things, esp. when it comes to music.

Congrats.

oh and I want you to know I would probably stalk you if I lived in Florida.

Matt Osborne said...

I got up from back pain and sat at the PC for a minute to let the Ibuprofen kick in when I notice there's a new link in the Banter widget of my site. Yes, my back hurts because it was my birthday yesterday and I celebrated by drinking Ichiban and dancing at a Fiddleworms show in a sushi bar; and this is my birthday present, I realized. Yes, sharing a widget with Chez is Teh Awesome.

Stephen said...

Good luck man...the funny thing is I was considering a mazda 3 for a commuter car and BAM!!! Right there when I logged on. I hope my click on that ad brings you dozens of cents :-)

Seriously, congrats!

Chez said...

Ha, ++++. Holy shit do I suck. Brain fart on my part, but for the record I'm horrible at math. That's why I write.

CNNfan said...

Wow, thanks Mr. Cohen. I like this change! All joking aside. This place finally has a few slots on it to do something useful, like raise ratings for TV News.

slouchmonkey said...

Five years? Shit, I remember reading the first post. I happened upon it while clicking next blog, next blog, next blog, next blog. Time flies. All the best.

J. Dack said...

'bout time.

Steven D Skelton said...

I'm really happy for you Chez.

I think you're a cool guy, and all cool guys should be successful.

I think I'll take five minutes or so out of my day clicking on your site. Think of it as my way of getting the tip for next cup of coffee.

brite said...

Just throwing my congratulations into the pool. Anything that allows you to write more is a good thing Chez!

Alanna said...

Ah, I didn't read this until now. Congrats, hunny!! (What did I say about this year?!? God, I love when I'm right) :)

Alanna said...

Ps - nice Tyler Durden/Phalaniuk quote as header.

Amy Starkey said...

After I finally got what you were saying on FB, I DID, in fact, scroll down and find this post. I'm glad for you, Chez. I've been reading you since the first time Fark posted you (how long ago was that anyway?), and if anyone deserves more recognition and a bigger audience, it's you.

Tara Parker said...

This sounds like a fantastic step forward for you, Chez. Congratulations. I know I don't comment much, but you have a permanent spot in my Google Reader.

Anonymous said...

While i understand it - not digging the banner ads.

Chez said...

It's going to be a work in progress for a while.

CNNfan said...

Now, media giants have an excellent place to commercially express themselves to the audience.

Which big media blurb will be the first?

FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, New York Times, Miami Herald, (the list goes on)?