Did you know The Clam is a spinoff? Like “Frasier” or “The Colbert Report” or “Joanie Loves Chachi”, this here little humor blog and (if you know the right passwords) mayonnaise fetish hub is a spinoff from Good Morning Gloucester. It’s true. I wrote a bunch of pieces there about my bike(s) getting ripped off, some bits on politics and Gloucester in general and that’s one of the things that inspired KT and I to go ahead and do this (alcohol was another major inspiration). We’d actually met through GMG, her reacting to my bike posts when they owned the bike shop and offering to help me out. And much of our audience, especially early on, was due to folks checking it out from GMG at Joey C’s encouragement and even today we see not-insignificant traffic from there.
Basically, GMG is a huge deal. I think a lot of folks don’t get how huge. Feel free to go to any other town that isn’t a major city and find a resource like it. You will find shitty local politics blogs, an endless supply of extremely narrow special interest sites and no end of people trying to sell you things through shameful web design. Sooooo much terrible web design. But finding a place where the town is celebrated, where people participate at a high level and where the traffic is substantial enough to make the whole thing work is unheard of.
So it was weird this week to find out there was a rift between Good Morning Gloucester and the “Cape Ann Weatherman” Peter Lovasco. The related posts have all been removed but here are the basics as I saw them: Peter had been doing weather for GMG for a while and he’s pretty great at it. A lot of fun, hyper-local, crazy into it. As a nerd I always enjoy watching people who are over-the-top into a topic, especially when they don’t take themselves too seriously.
So, great. Local weatherguy. Then we get the weather event of the decade and the guy sort of vanishes. Weird. People were like, “Where’s weather nerd guy?”
ESSENTIAL POINT FOLLOWS:
Look, no one is getting paid here. The guy didn’t show up and maybe he had to work or something. I don’t know, I was disappointed but more in the way I’m bummed if my neighbor doesn’t grow flowers in her yard one year. It’s a bummer because I enjoy them, but it’s her fricking yard, It’s not like she has to. This is critical to remember because the weird sense of entitlement a lot of people seem to have when it comes to volunteer bloggers is huge. We get emails, texts, semi-freaky people stop us in the street and on the beach to us exactly how, what and when to blog about stuff. Everyone is an expert. Literally two weeks ago a dude on the beach I’d met seconds before literally told me that The Clam “Uses language that is too strong.” Oh, really? Because we play close attention to our analytics and the only thing we really can tell for sure besides the fact that we skew younger and have a nice 50/50 male/female split is you animals like it when we swear.
Back to the GMG saga, apparently it turns out the guy was covering the storm, but on his own social media and not on GMG. That is where things get strange. Joey called him out on it, made a few cracks and the weather guy got all pissed off and ragequit. Then Joey posted an apology.
Joey is a friend of The Clam and I think most people agree he does his best (unlike us) at being a class act. Sure he slips and he goes over a line here and there, but Good Morning Gloucester has evolved to the point where it has to serve the needs of everyone: the butterfly fans, the mommyblog readers, people who like pictures of lighthouses and folks looking for a legit local news source since the Gloucester Daily Times online became a painful vomitous mass of unorganized infosalad all behind a paywall more expensive than the Wall Street Journal’s. And he does this all for free. It’s amazing.
Here is how I want you to think about Good Morning Gloucester: Think of it like a small-city sports team. A winning softball team, maybe. No one is getting paid, but everyone on that team is still expected to perform to high standards, right? What you get is glory, a chance to drink with the trophy and to be part of a winning operation. That’s it. But you have to perform, because all of a sudden thousands of people are watching. Lord knows I’d never do it – at times KT and I can barely get a post off what with our spouses and children and jobs and dogs that need walking, and we’re IMing each other at 11:30 at night trying to figure out which of us is going to do “Top Nicknames for Cape Ann Genitals” before 5:00am (winner: “Woodman”).
So now imagine you have this semi-serious amateur softball team and one of the dudes can’t make it to the big game. If you’re the captain, you get sorta pissed off, right? And then you find out the guy was playing a pickup game in his own backyard during the playoffs? It’s disappointing. Still, I want to make it clear that no one is getting paid here. No one is under ANY obligation.
And the online commenters who expect others to do something for love alone – and to keep doing it even when life intrudes – are insane, and are the truly entitled ones. Most are not young, by the way – the population always accused of being ‘entitled’. Most are actually fully formed adults ironically from the ‘we-had-to-do-everything-ourselves-back-in-the-day’ cadres.
But if it’s true that the guy was under even a gentleman’s agreement to do weather for GMG and was doing weather on his own and not posting to GMG during the big storm, that’s kinda weird. Maybe it’s not true, I don’t know. We welcome corrections here at The Clam and will update this post if we’re wrong (but know that if they are ranty we delete them laughing like Joseph Stalin as he enslaved Eastern Europe).
The larger point is this: If you do a local thing and want exposure the math is simple: Good Morning Gloucester is the place where that exposure will be greatest hands down. Why someone would want to go off on their own with Cape Ann weather of all things (not a sweary politically and socially divisive blog) is beyond me. And to the comments that GMG has “changed” and people don’t like it anymore? Fine. Go elsewhere. We tell this to people all the time. It’s a big Internet, they’re sure to find something they do like or they can go back to the GDT and enjoy the lunatics ranting about fluoride. Have fun with that. Out here is the new reality where dedicated amateurs produce things of great value. Look it up on Wikipedia sometime.
So I’ll miss the weatherguy, but you know, I only own no fewer than nine devices that give me a pretty accurate prediction of the local weather not including the “window” technology my house has been using for a while. It’s like the Atlantic Saltworks. Sure, it’s nice to have local salt but if it disappears tomorrow it’s not like I’m going to lose much in terms of my sodium needs.
Weather, like salt and bullshit opinions, I can pretty much get anywhere.