Posts Tagged ‘tbi’

OMG, the New The Bold Italic is Here! – A Statement from the New Owners

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Here it is:

WELCOME TO THE NEW BOLD ITALIC, by SUNIL RAJARAMAN & SONIA ARRISON SENKUT,  Aug 12 at 8am

Let’s take a look:

“built a great brand over the course of several years.”

Great? Mmmm… Take a look here at the now-defunct Gannett Blog. What TBI was was a way for a Fortune 500 media company to spend millions upon millions on an experiment, one that didn’t work out. Any chance at sustainability was squandered on highly-paid design consultants and also squandered on the crushing rent burden of an expensive reclaimed wood clubhouse betwixt the gritty Twitterloin and trendy Hayes Valley. So, a great tax write-off for Gannett Co, Inc? YES. But a “great brand?” NO.

“we were surprised that TBI was shutting down”

Well, you shouldn’t have been. It was nice that a DC-area corporation could pay people money in SF, but the whole shebang wasn’t real, it wasn’t sustainable.

One of the reasons people love TBI is its focus on the authenticity of the San Francisco experience…” 

Objection, Your Honor – this clause assumes facts not in evidence. At least they aren’t evident to me. Sorry, but I gots to keep it real, I gots to be authentic.

“world-class”

Oh. I think we hit Peak World Class about a half-decade back, just saying. And even back then, I wouldn’t apply that phrase to this Curate’s egg of a website.

Having said all that, bygones. Some are optimistic while others are skeptical, to say the least, but let’s see how The New Bold Italic does.

After all, we all deserve a chance at a new start*…

photo

*Including The Sans Serif…**

**But is this a new start? “Great article from on whether the article about “The Really Big One” was credible” Did I miss something? It seemed pretty credible to me…

Our Local Gannett Co Inc CorpoBlog “The Bold Italic” Asks, “SHOULD ALL WOMEN UNINSTALL UBER?” – Why This Is Funny!

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Well, first off, I don’t know where the question comes from. Is it about stuff like the hammer attack and the “inefficient route” thing from LA?

Prolly.

And, IMO, it’s not even a sincere question. Hey, how about this instead?

“Should women consider uninstalling Uber?”

Something like that would have a better chance of NOT being dismissed as a straw dog.

Anyway, I’ll bet you that there are some PR people at UBER who might not exactly approve of this straw dog headline.

Having said that, I know what the answer is, without even looking at the bit, because UBER is the kind of place what “partners” with our local Gannett CorpoBlog.

See?

Capturefdfffffd copy

So that’s why it’s funny.

[UPDATE: Whoo, well, I might have skipped through a few grafs there, but I just read the bit and here you go:

“For the record, I’m not suggesting that anyone uninstall Uber.”

So, the insincere question is answered with no, women should NOT uninstall Uber. So, the longstanding “partnerings” betwixt Uber and TBI are free to continue. Whew! 

And actually the whole bit was more about the sexy Lyon, France marketing stunt gone wrong as opposed to physical assaults, so that surprised me.

But this is fucking appalling:

“There have been a few incidents lately where Uber drivers have harassed their female passengers

Uh, abductions DO NOT EQUAL “harassment,” right? Uber drivers “harass” women each and every day, right? But didn’t these allegations relate to something like kidnapping and false imprisonment? I think so. Minimize that all you want, Gannett Co Inc. Feel free. And also feel to take your Women’s Studies major and … whoops, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean. Well, keep them coming, TBI. Keep them coming until your Virginia-based overseers ship your Page Street clubhouse on down to LA, reclaimed wood and all…]

Forget About Gannett’s Money-Losing “The Bold Italic” Website, Check Out “The Sans Serif” Instead!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Here it is, The Sans Serif from “Joel Finkelstein.”

It mocks The Bold Italic, which is the local chain store website from the national Gannett Co. Inc chain. You know, the one that used to not pay minimum wage.

Anyway, it has stuff like this:

WHICH WALGREENS IS REALLY THE BEST IN SF?

You know how everybody complains about The Bold Italic but nobody does anything about it?

Well, area resident “Joel Finkelstein” is finally doing something about it.

And for that we should cheer.

Well Look, Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Venture is Operating a _Paid_ Intern Program – But What About Before?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

[UPDATE: IMO, The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner (and family) are conducting their intern programs properly. IMO, San Francisco Magazine is not. Those are the ones I’ve looked at.)

Here’s the current ad from TBI:

“Hello writers! Are you a Bold Italic fan looking to get on the other side of the screen with us? We’re looking for two social media-savvy bloggers interested in interning at The Bold Italic HQ (Hayes Valley, SF) for the fall season. The gig lasts four months (mid-August through December), and is for 3-5 days a week. And yes, we pay our interns ($15/hr). We can give you school credit if you need it.”

That appears to be fine, so it’s time to take TBI off of secret double unpaid intern probation.

But how did Gannett / the Bold Italic get on intern detention in the first place? Well, it was the offers of unpaid internships. You can see an example of one below. (It’s the sort of thing that can get a Fortune 500 chain store outlet like The Bold Italic sued, you know, for not paying at least the minimum wage.)

All right, TBI, Go Forth And Sin No More.

Ah mem’ries:

The Bold Italic is looking for an intern!

The Bold Italic is a website about local discovery in San Francisco. Our mission is to help people become better locals by equipping our members with rare intel, backstories, and potential adventures. The Bold Italic is a project of Gannett, the publishing company that owns USA Today and other media outlets.

Most recently our writers engaged in shooting guns, performing stand up comedy, working a day at a pot club, and getting hands-on lessons from a butcher – all right here in San Francisco.

We’re looking for a cracker-jack intern to help us inspire San Franciscans to interact with their city.

Duties to include:
– General office administrative duties.
– Helping to draft promotional material.
– Contributing ideas for editorial, publicity, and marketing projects.
– Assisting with events.
– Other duties assigned by the Producers and Merchant Relations staff.

Skills we are looking for:
– Strong familiarity with San Francisco.
– A people person.
– Detail oriented.
– Responsible and on time.
– Excellent communication skills; writing experience a plus.
– Social media savvy.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to get involved with an online publication.

This is an unpaid 3-month internship, but we can offer hands-on experience and college credit.

Please only apply if you can dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

Send your resume and cover letter to info@thebolditalic.com

Oh No, Our “Local” Gannett Blog, The Bold Italic, STILL Doesn’t Know That the Fake Video It Posted is Fake

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Well here we go, some people took the effort to point out to our “local” Gannett Co Inc blog about one of its many mistakes. And it wasn’t just me, you know, right here: Gull-ible! – Gannett Co Inc’s West Coast Blog Gets Around to Posting a Two-Year Old Video – Oh, But It’s Not a Real Video.

So, Gannett, the charge is that your fake video is fake.

The rejoinder:

Was it?

YES IT WAS.

I mean, it very well may have been

WELL, IF THIS IS YOUR POSITION, THEN WHY NOT JUST SAY “FAKE THIEF-SEAGULL STEALS A GOPRO” INSTEAD?

but we just found people speculating that it was,

OH, IT’S UP TO THE GREATER PUBLIC TO PROVE YOU WRONG AS OPPOSED TO THE OPPOSITE? OK FINE.

and GoPro says they had nothing to do with it. (Though, they could be LYING, or seagulls themselves…)

UH-OH, YOU’RE MISSING THE CASE WHERE GOPRO ISN’T LYING AND SOMEBODY _OUTSIDE_ OF GOPRO PRODUCED THIS FAKE VIDEO, RIGHT?

All right, let’s play along. Do you really think a seagull can pick up a video camera with its webbed feet? If so, you’re naive.

And why do the seabirds of the world only pickup GoPro brand cameras and not Canons or Nikons or Sony Action Cams and whathaveyou?

And what French tourist takes an ordinary sunset video with a monitor-free GoPro in a waterproof case? Not that many, I’ll tell you.

And what of Nathalie Rollandin, what business was she in when she posted that video, only one, of course, the only she’s ever posted on YouTube? Let’s take a look:

Marketing strategy and product launch: concept development and product design, pricing and promotional strategies, training, launch and monitoring of results”

The French tourist turned out to be an Italian-American chick from Chicago. She’s now learning even more about viral marketing ‘n stuff at the Kellogg School. Mmmm

All right, here’s my contribution to the marketing intern fake video oeuvre.

Enjoy:

Actually, mine’s twice as good as yours, because mine has two marketing interns faking a video.

Hey Gannett! What’s your burn rate? Why don’t you move back to Virginia and make room for housing at your reclaimed wood clubhouse on Page? How many millions have you lost so far, The Bold italic, you know, since you all came to town?

Gull-ible! – Gannett Co Inc’s West Coast Blog Gets Around to Posting a Two-Year Old Video – Oh, But It’s Not a Real Video

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Here’s the video, which was ID’ed as a fake about 2.6 million views ago:

And here’s the recent post from the money-losing Gannet blog, The Bold Italic.

Do you really want to know how to do better, TBI? Well, don’t post crap like this, for starters.

The Bold Italic Finds a New Way to Suck: Is This Tweet an Ad for Ford? Gannett Co Inc’s Failed West Coast Operation

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

[UPDATE: Who says nameless, faceless, S&P500 corporations never listen to the little guy? ‘Cause now the unpaid(?) interns(?) at Gannett, Co. Inc are putting “sponsored” on their sponsored Tweets. Just like I asked them to, below. Excelsior! ]

Here we go:

Except it’s an ad for Ford.

(And how about, instead, calling it a _pointless_ trip to Mount Tam?)

SFist handles things differently – it would use the term “sponsored post” or something.

Why not do that instead, TBI?

Of course, if you gained a lot more readers you could pay for your expensive clubhouse with advertising but how can you do that if you trick the few readers you have with ads for Ford?

Or maybe TBI’s role is just to lose millions of dollars for the home office in VA to offset profits made from the profitable part of Gannett?

Mmmm…

CONCLUSION: The Gannett Co Inc’s THE BOLD ITALIC Website is From and For People Who Don’t Live in San Francisco

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

[UPDATE: Ah, well, TBI reacts by fixing the MACALLISTER typo, but by not fixing the map. You see, Gough doesn’t dead end here and Laguna doesn’t dead end here neither. The Bold Italic is written like it’s produced by minimum security prisoners in upstate New York making 11 cents per hour, IMO.]

Here you go, Where Are The Cheaper Rents in SF?”

Gannett Co. Inc’s money-losing (millions and millions so far) San Francisco media experiment is, once again, taking on an issue of concern to newcomers:

Where Should I Live And What Does Where I Live Say About Me?

Except this time it’s a dump from TBI “partner” Zumper, whatever the Hell that is.

So all there’s for the low level TBI people to do is make the accompanying graphics to break up the grafs.

Oh, here we go:

So, you know why the rents are cheaper here generally, GANNETCOINCTHEBOLDITALICZUMPER? It’s because of all the federally-subsidized housing projects. 

Oh, but you knew that and you showed that you knew that. So that’s good, I guess.

But actually, the area you’re showing is mostly PJ’s and concomitant parking lots? So the small number of readers you have won’t be able to actually move in, right? I can think of just one small area, in the upper right, where your data points come from. Is that what you’re talking about, TBIZumper?

Anyway, that’s why streets like Buchanan and Octavia dead end here, because of the Redevelopment, right?

Except Laguna doesn’t dead end, it does go through, right? Do you know that, TBI? The map says that you don’t know that. (And a good thing that Laguna doesn’t dead end, else the climate in this area would be even more muggy, if you know what I mean.)

And how many people at TBI looked at “MACALLISTER” and said, “Looks good to me, no problems here?”

But check it, the typos aren’t the problem, they are just the symptom of your problem.

From TBI:

“…here in San Francisco, we’re striving to create our own culturally significant publication that captures the city in such a thoughtful way…”

So, TBI, do you really think you’re a culturally significant publication? Do you really think you’re capturing the city in a thoughtful way?

I don’t.

So, TBI, do you really think you’re:

“a San Francisco-based website building a cultural narrative of the city for both locals and tourists?”

Well, I can see that you’re aimed at tourists but I don’t know about cultural narratives and whatnot.

All right, enjoy your high burn rate.

And enjoy your unsustainable clubhouse on Page while you slap a few graphics onto your partners’ pretty-much-worthless content.

And enjoy your self-indulgent field trips that really really super serve your readers.

END OF LINE.

The Case Against Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Website – Exh 1: Dismal, Dismal Numbers

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The question of the day is whether The Bold Italic website from Gannett Company, Incorporated (NYSEGCI,FWBGTTS&P 500 Component) is “villainous” – that’s the talk of the town, lately.

To wit:

“They’re hardly the villains in this town.”

Well let’s see.

I’ll tell you, over the years I thought that TBI was just one dude, a dude that I came across all the way back in 2010. He was proud that the average TBI visitor stayed on the site (or on a webpage or something) for like five minutes. Now we’ll see about that stat in a moment, but I’m just shocked that TBI has/had all those employees plus a custom-made clubhouse complete with reclaimed wood in Hayes Valley. That’s where I’m coming from.

Hey did you know that’s there’s a website called The Gannett Blog and it’s based in San Francisco? (I didn’t.) Anywho, let’s hear about the TBI from Anonymous:

The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

Is that true? I don’t know. But where did that $41k figure come from? Such specificity!

Of course public relations doctrine from your S&P 500 type of companies is to say that such a specific statement such as this is “false” or “way off.” That kind of thing is called a pregnant denial by some.

So, has The Gannet Company, Incorporated spent millions and millions of dollars on The TBI the past few years?

Sure looks that way.

Wow.

That’s starting to remind me of The Bay Citizen, actually. (Of course the TBC produced a lot of great journalism, IMO.)

So that’s one side of the ledger, millions upon millions spent, or wasted, whichever, but what about revenue coming in? What about the number of readers, for example.

Let’s check Alexa, The Web Information Company.

Ooh, here’s something:

Click to expand

The above graph show what the Alexa people think has been going on the past week. The San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com is in there as a baseline – it’s consistently something like the 1000th most popular website in the world, or something. No surprise there.

And look, this pathetic blog, the one you’re looking at right now, the one filled with animal photos and whatnot, the one with overhead of less than $100 per year, managed to make the grade as well. I can assure you that this is anomalous – either it’s a mistake or maybe a big website pointed to one bit and that generated a burst of traffic. I don’t actually know, or care to know, to be honest, and even if I did, I don’t know how to find out, oh well.

The real test is how TBI does compared with someplace like SFist, which is basically run by one dude. Check out Alexa – you can see that TBI gets beat by SFist consistently and thoroughly, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Ouch.

And I suspect that blue bump you see up there, when TBI clearly broke into top 100,000 territory, mostly had to do with the controversy related to a recent post from KevMo, Kevin Montgomery of TUA, The Uptown Almanac.

Mmmm.

And even that minutes-spent-onsite-per-visitor stat, the one that’s supposed to Have Meaning, turns out to be three minutes for both The TBI and SFist.com

Mmmm.

Of course there are other ways of getting revenue than simply having people look at your site.

Like there’s “partnerships” ‘n stuff.

That issue will be Exhibit 2 in the case against TBI.

(I haven’t proven villainousness yet, I’ll agree. I’m still on the fence. But I’ll look into it.)

All right, TBC, To Be Continued…

And San Francisco’s Worst Website is … The Bold Italic – From Gannett Co., Inc. – Ooh, a Nice Take-Down from TK

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Oh, so that The Bold Italic site is owned by Gannet Co. Inc, America’s largest newspaper publisher?

Well that explains a lot.

It certainly explains why a high-overhead, low-income* website  manages to keep chugging along, year after year.

A mystery solved.

Now, part of what makes the long-form website TBI the worst in town is the focus on graphics, which, you know, per se, are perfectly serviceable.

For example:

Via Raven Keller  – wow, a credit where it belongs. How, how novel that is!

But IMO, JMO, all that graphics stuff gets in the way of TBI’s writers making their fucking points.

JMO.

The one time I saw a bit on TBI where the writer made her point quickly and clearly was time that gal wrote about the comments people made about her broken iPhone screen. Guess what. It didn’t have any concomitant graphics at all. And I thought, wow, no graphics = better TBI. (And I think it had been six months since I followed a link and took a look at The Bold Italic, oh well.)

Now I’ve heard the spiel from the Gannett people about how great it is that the average reader spends five minutes on each TBI webpage or something, but TBI, you’re on the road to ruin.

Speaking of which, here comes The Uptown Almanac with a take-down.

Ouch.

And here. from out of nowhere, comes TK of 40 Going on 28 with The Barbary Italic:

“NEWCOMERS THREATEN TOWN! WILL DESTROY SAN FRANCISCO WITH THEIR “TELEGRAPHS” AND “INDOOR PLUMBING!”

Friends, our Way of Life in pleasant San Francisco is under siege from a wave of NE’ER-DO-WELLS, WHIPPERSNAPPERS and DANDIES who have never laid eyes on a gold pan or sluiced a river or skinned a beaver JUST FOR FUN.  I am sad to report they are INVADING OUR TOWN in waves with their newfangled TELEGRAPHY MACHINES and WRIST-WATCHES.

It used to be a man could buy a perfectly good mud-brick cabin with PANO VUs on the side of Russky Hill for ten dollars.  NO MORE.  Respectable cobblers, drapers, and whores are being driven from their homes by these VARMINTS who will pay TWELVE OR THIRTEEN DOLLARS for a shanty.”

And so on.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, TBI, you are the online version of 7×7 magazine. which is horrible.

What you should be instead is the online version of San Francisco Magazine, which has had some excellent long-form pieces lately, the past year especially.

Regards.

*How much money can you make from a site with a six-figure Alexa Traffic Rank? Not that much, brother! Let me assure you.