Has the end come for Examiner.com’s stranglehold on content farm journalism and professional pandering?
In a recent article by The Boxing Tribune’s Tim Harrison, it was revealed that several writers engaged in pay-to-play practices with the mega-powerful and mega-visited Pacland news aggregator (now located at PinoyGreats.com), handing over a percentage of their earnings to site owner, Dong Secuya for prime placement on the Pacquiao fan site.
While the exact percentage of the split was not revealed and all the participating parties have not been “outed,” it’s safe to assume that those making the deals were also those working under the pay-per-click powerhouse of “citizen journalism,” Examiner.com.
The Pacland news aggregator is one of boxing site owners’ most poorly kept secrets. Submission of articles to PinoyGreats.com has been the sleight of hand path to hundreds or thousands of instant hits for websites, both big and small. A website owner who gets his articles listed will create a bump for his traffic figures, something which is ultimately beneficial to the site’s ability to sell advertising space. The Boxing Tribune has sparingly submitted articles to PinoyGreats and even the most pious of fake-independent bloggers rushes to send links to Dong Secuya.
But for these pay-per-click writers, prime placement on Pacland meant the difference between, literally, working for thirty cents per article or making as much as a hundred bucks per piece– if the article was appropriately “crafted” to meet the sensibilities of the target audience.
One writer who we do know participated in the “pay-to-play” arrangement was long-time “friend” of the Monday Rant, Dennis “D Source” Guillermo, winner of several honorary awards for a short career’s worth of unintentionally funny pieces and general world class pandering.
Guillermo hinted at the deal on his personal Facebook page when he became angered at Secuya’s refusal to publish one of his penny-click masterpieces, claiming that he had paid over 100,000 Philippine Pesos (about $2,500) in kickbacks to the fan site owner. Secuya would later confirm this fact on his site’s forum.
More interestingly, though, was the email exchange between the two, posted by Secuya in order to dispel some of the stories being launched into cyberspace.
Upon learning that he was persona non grata at Pacland, “D Source” went through a roller coaster of emotions, apologizing for any disrespect he may have demonstrated to Secuya, blaming the harsh tone of his correspondence on a battle with the gout, and looking to appease the fan site owner by assuring that the specific report Secuya had refused to post “even made Pacquiao look like a victim.”
After this news hit the fan, with the aid of Tim Harrison, all of the previous assumptions about the Pacquiao Press Corps were proven correct. They were, indeed, just a bunch of glad-handing carpetbaggers who had found a nice racket in exploiting the relatively boxing-naive influx of new Pacquiao fans. These dedicated Pacquiao-riding members of the media didn’t care about the validity or accuracy of their work, they were just there to sell the right story to the right group and laugh all the way to the bank.
This was further proven when Examiner.com changed its revenue split to one more favorable to the company. These pay-per-click outfits count on small hits by large numbers of writers, but when articles are pulling in 50,000 or 60,0000 hits and the writers are actually making a living wage, it’s a given that something will be “adjusted.”
And when this “adjustment” was recently made, the Examiners suddenly stopped caring so much about Manny Pacquiao and his exploits. And they also stopped flooding PinoyGreats.com with their poorly-crafted articles.
Hall of Fame Pacquiao cheerleader, Michael Marley had written fourteen Pacquiao-friendly articles in the month prior to Pacquiao-Bradley. In the month prior to Pacquiao-Marquez 4, he only managed to churn out one Pacquiao piece.
Some of the Examiners have dropped off the map altogether, depriving the sport of some of the worst boxing minds of all-time.
Others have refused to abandon the sinking ship, still taking their full five minutes to carefully craft a 300-word bit of fluff and carefully submit it to Secuya’s news aggregator for whatever spare change this currently generates.
While the Monday Rant will miss Marley’s shillfully splendid epics and Guillermo’s desperate need to be somebody, there will never be a shortage of dim-wits and bandwagon-hoppers willing to work cheap (or free) for the right to be dumb on a grand scale.
Hell, just a couple of days ago, Mississippi Fight Sports Examiner, Brad Cooney wrote that Buboy Fernandez deserved leniency after being accused of assaulting a ringside photographer because the long-time Pacquiao aide had saved a friend of his from dying one time. And, of course, “Scoop” Malinowski is always good for a few laughs.
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or listen to him via boxing’s first CB Radio Show: Talking Boxing with Truckers, every Monday at 4 AM Eastern Time. Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.