Out of the blue, this morning I was included in a Tweet about the usual suspects complaining about “scraping” which prompted me to pen this post to set the record straight regarding how I stand on this scourge of the internet.
Dear Top Feeders & Readers
I have been called many things in my life so I am thick skinned enough to laugh off the title of Bottom Feeder, Scraper, Keyboard Warrior or whatever these F1 folk consider us blogger sites that have mushroomed over the years.
The history of this site is well documented on these pages and no need to delve into that, but it is a hobby turned full-time gig and apart from the photo and F1 news agency subscriptions, it is myself and Ben Stevens, to a lesser, extent who scrape the news for our readers – which amounted to 120,000 in the past 30 days – grows later in the season… we hope.
Apart from producing opinion based posts and reports from our own sources, what this site also does primarily is explore or scrape (depending where you stand) the web for Formula 1 related stories from a dynamic range of multilingual sources and present what I find interesting to readers as the news of the day, which it is.
Thus this is a hub for F1 newsgathering from reputable sources and repackaging with our spin on the news, for our readers who are perhaps here for the no bullshit style.
Therefore from this year forward, all published posts that have sources gathered from other media outlets will contain links to the related article in the hope that this becomes the web norm in the future.
Stopping or marginalising Blogging as a mode of news gathering and disseminating thereof is not an option in the ‘social media’ driven world where everyone has an opinion and gets hits depending on how seriously he/she is taken.
Quite the opposite is, in fact, happening very rapidly and it is time to embrace the new wave as ‘friendly neighbours’ in contrast to the ‘scourge’ of the neighbourhood, which is the picture that is constantly painted.
According to Grand Prix247.com 2018 F1 Journalist of the Year Dieter Rencken, Top Feeder journos spend around 33K to cover an F1 season, thats a chunk of cash considering how difficult it is to make a living in that world packed with freeloaders and wannabes.
What the genuine F1 Top Feeders do to get the scoops needs to be respected across the board and supported because these folk are the last bastion of truth from within the piranha pit of a paddock. We need them to be there.
Imagine if we lived in the middle ages I would be the guy who went to listen to the news delivered by town criers, after noting the important news I would then hop on my horse, to the next town crier and try get four or five hearings in a week while taking notes along the way.
With enough notes I would then jump on my horse and gallop back to my village and go tell the tales to my people, occasionally peppering stories with my own observations and opinions. As a photographer at heart I would probably also draw a few pictures.
The villagers enjoyed my weekly sessions with the news from multiple sources and came to listen to me regularly. Of course, during my discourses, I always credited the original town criers.
In other words, aggregating news is a very old concept.
Those F1 Top Feeders who lament their plight should consider the bloggery mayhem of other sports: soccer, football, cricket, baseball, basketball – trust me we are a Mickey Mouse ‘problem’ compared to the army of influencers and countless PR people have all but made real journos redundant in thise sports.
I will diverge here with a purpose and divulge that at least once a week an email pops in from an SEO company wanting to buy links in posts on this site, with offers ranging from $100-$150 per post containing the supplied link.
Therefore, in good faith to all F1 Top Feeders, this site will always run ‘Credit Links’ to original articles as has been done in recent weeks, which in my book is worth a few SEO pennies.
In closing, the piece that kicked my hornet’s nest was the excellent interview Andy Gray conducted with F1 maverick Eddie Irvine, the BBC journo asking all the right questions.
What resulted is an interview with three or four great stories which the clueless Beeb published as one post! Talk about living in the dark ages when it comes to managing juicy news content!
Should Andy read this, apart from the obvious well done, you should know I have published two separate posts sourced from your superb piece with Credit Links as mentioned above, which is worth $200-$300 (SEO dollars!) and if the weekend is slow I might squeeze another one to add another legit $150 to BBC ‘SEO’ coffers.
It’s the least I can do unless of course, you have other suggestions feel free to share. Time to engage on this matter that is not going away, but please enough now with this Bottom Feeder thing…