Best Web Award Awarder

By Shamus
on Nov 15, 2009
Filed under:
Movies

How the scam used to work is this: You start a completely unknown and unremarkable website that is of no use to anyone. Then, you find a couple of more useful, more popular websites and give them an “Award” for being the “best website about [whatever the website is about]”. Send them a notice of their victory along with an image of a trophy which (and this is the important part) is to be used to link back to your worthless website. The person with the [more] popular website gets the joy of winning an award, and you get their traffic. Now, just keep giving out awards until your site is large and popular. You’ll know you’ve made it when people start giving you awards.

At least, that’s how the game worked back in the savage 90’s. Back before people knew what they were doing and understood the details behind Google pagerank. Back before people were smart and web-savvy. The game has evolved quite a bit in the last ten years, and that old trick seems sort of childish and quaint by today’s standards. Today the game works like this: It’s exactly the same, except you also use Twitter.

I went to the award site du jour and made a pick, after which it posted the following to my Twitter:

Just nominated http://www.youtube.com/user/loadingreadyrun for Funniest YouTube Channel http://mashable.com/owa #openwebawards

These auto-generated endorsements have all the genuineness of a picture of a fat girl next to a picture of a completely different, not-fat girl over a caption that reads, “I lost 100lbs in eight and a half minutes without dieting or pills!”

I voted for LoadingReadyRun mostly because of the tenuous relationship between myself and the show. Graham and Paul – two members of the legion LRR cast – also do the Unskippable series at The Escapist, which is where my webcomic runs. It’s sort of like how if you live in a crappy small town with no sports team you end up cheering for the sports team in the nearest large city, even if never go there and wouldn’t actually care if the city was nuked off the map. If they become comedy superstars, then The Escapist will become known as the launching pad for them, and I’ll be known as the guy who writes for the one site where a couple of members of Loading Ready Run used to work before they became wildly successful. And that’s just the kind of boost my career needs right now. The fact that LRR is genuinely funny and brilliant is incidental to the greater cause of promoting myself by promoting a show that’s related to a show that’s promoted on the site where I promote my blog through my webcomic.

Anyway, if you somehow missed out on the whole LRR thing, then I offer this:


Link (YouTube)

Just remember the close, personal bond between myself and the people who made that video. And think of me if they ever create a category for “Best Disjointed Rambling and raging against All Things New blog”. Because I think I’ve got a shot at that one.

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20323 comments. Highly cototient!

From the Archives:

  1. UtopiaV1 says:

    I love LRR, i spent a whole week (because i do have uni to go to and stuff :P ) watching all their movies back-to-back. Well worth seeing every single one, even the not-so-funny ones (which are extremely few and far between. In fact, they’re only really at the beginning of the site, back when they didn’t know what to do with themselves and just posted short artsy films they did in college).

    Anyway, don’t worry Shamus, we all know you’re funnier than them!

  2. Kell says:

    “the greater cause of promoting myself by promoting a show that’s related to a show that’s promoted on the site where I promote my blog through my webcomic.”

    I love the internet.

  3. Pickly says:

    Giving out fake awards? Really? The real big scam was to post pointless comments on a lot of blogs linking the the site of interest, getting curious people to click the link. (Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work…..)

  4. Raine says:

    I heard of DM of the rings, and LRR at the same time.
    LRR is Funny, and Shamus is insightful… and After 2 years, I have more site on Reader, and I look for both, and Shamus has more to read! WOO!

  5. Daphne B. says:

    @Pickly: no, you don’t understand, Shamus is talking about *the time before blogs*. :P I remember the days of pointless awards, but then I am old.

  6. SolkaTruesilver says:

    Don’t worry about it Shamus. It’s not like you are promoting video like Fred. This thing up-here is fairly good quality.

    (To be honest, you can see there was much work put into it than, let’s say, the videos about the introduction of games. I don’t remember the name of that chronicle).

    You’d have to wonder about whether or not viral marketing is the way to go for anything exclusively internet-related. Off course, you don’t want to start advertising in mainstream medias (when will the internet seen as mainstream? :( ). But… how else is it possible to rate internet content without resorting to such means?

    You can also say that the internet IS viral by definition. Memes and funny videos is the best example. You cannot NOT have a viral effect over the net. It’s all person-to-person, in specific locations. You rarely see bloggers/webcomic endorse a meme openly. It happens in the forums..

    On the same topic, Dwarf Fortress is also purely viral-marketing approach to propagating itself. It’s all mouth to ear (well.. forum to forum), save for a few incredibly well done Let’s Play. It’s a pure product of the internet. Made for the internet, on the internet, and propagated only with people talking about it. You should consider it.

  7. Henebry says:

    That was a fantastic video. I never found Unskippable to my taste—it’s funny, but not consistently. But this is great genre parody.

  8. Yar Kramer says:

    Well then, congratulations … *puts on sunglasses* … on your promotion. (The Who: YEAAAAAHHHHHH)

  9. Neil Polenske says:

    The above comment deserves it’s own award.

  10. Phil says:

    I wonder how LRR’s and Yahtzee’s relationship came about. Since he’s appeared in a couple of their things now, and the ‘crossover’ where Yahtzee did an Unskippable, and Graham did a ZP.

    You should see if you can get in on that. Then you could be ‘that guy who once worked with a couple of members of Loading Ready Run before they became wildly successful.’

    Though, they are the ones who introduced me to Talk Like a Pirate Day (first vid of their’s that I saw), so in my mind, that makes them already wildly successful.

  11. Heron says:

    Well. If I ever have an itch to watch a video hilariously chock-full of bad puns, I know where to go ^_^

  12. BaCoN says:

    Shamus, TECHNICALLY, you can claim a closer bond with those guys. Having actually grown up with the crew of LRR(before I moved away, obviously) and been in a couple videos, and the fact that you and I have had a pseudo gamer-related friendship(at least in L4D, TF2 and Champions), you’re TECHNICALLY also a “friend of a friend”. =P Also, I link this site gratuitously on the LRR forums whenever I feel like it.

  13. Miral says:

    Maybe I just watched the wrong ones, but I’ve seen a few LRR videos and I have to say that none of them really grabbed me.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen every Unskippable and I adore them all to death. So… yeah. (I’ve only watched one of the ENN videos so far, but I liked that too.)

  14. Cuthalion says:

    Lol. Never seen that show. “I want you to deliver my pizza.”

  15. Greg from St Paul says:

    Did anyone else hear that entire narration in Leslie Nielsen’s voice?

  16. Nick says:

    I thought trackbacks were the new thing to artificially increase your standing on the Google popularity engine (I no longer consider Google a search engine) or are they now the old new thing and the web award scam the new old thing?

  17. BaCoN says:

    Shamus: Sandwich of Fire(season 1), most notably, a few t-shirt ads, and Stand-Up Guy. Mind you, I was wearing a mask in that last(twice). =P

  18. Lanthanide says:

    Does anyone remember webrings? Ah, webrings, the manual Google.

  19. DaveMc says:

    The line that jumped out at me, there, was “… made a pick, after which it posted the following to my Twitter: …” *It* posted something to Twitter on your behalf? I hope you had to agree to let that happen? Otherwise, the Machines will soon be impersonating us — and very short text snippets are the perfect venue for passing the Turing test.

    • Shamus says:

      DaveMc: You have to connect it to your twitter acct, and every time you vote it posts the vote to Twitter. I don’t think it’s possible to vote without having it post.

      Which actually solves a lot of common ballot-stuff problems. Well, not SOLVES it, but it’s certainly a lot more effort to make a bunch of twitter accts than to roll through a block of IP addresses.

  20. Aufero says:

    Greg from St Paul: No, actually – I heard it in Steve Martin’s voice. Film Noir parody has attracted a lot of comedians over the years.

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