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Arsenal: A blogosphere survival guide

By Terence McGovern.

It seems recently that the internet world involving Arsenal has descended into madness. We are inundated with reactionary pieces spawned by sensationalised and generally unfounded rumour. It is enough to drive even the most staunch supporter insane.

The ridiculous part of the problem though is that Arsenal supporters, for the most part, inflict it upon themselves. Here are a few survival guidelines to reduce your stress and enhance your calm.

STOP FEEDING THE BEAST

Online publications of the mainstream media survive on advertising revenues. The amount that they can charge for advertising depends largely upon their hit-rate, that is to say the number of people that they can get to click on their articles. As a result of this, they have a deliberate policy of publishing sensationalised pieces designed to attract somebody into clicking on their story.

The problem is that so many Arsenal supporters take the bait so often, that this has become a very lucrative operation for all concerned. Arsenal fans need to take on board what is going on here. YOU are their hitrate. If they consistently publish materials that upset or offend you DO NOT CLICK on their site again. If the type of articles they are running with receive very little traffic, they will be forced to rethink what it is they print about our club.

It is Arsenal supporters who perpetuate these types of articles by clicking on them if only to argue the point which in turn leads to debate and even more traffic for the offending site.

STOP giving them traffic. Deny them air and you will find that they will in turn change their policy.

IF the articles that they write about Arsenal are being ignored by Arsenal supporters they will have no choice but to contribute articles that are not offensive and will draw the traffic back.

JUST BECAUSE IT IS QUOTED DOESN’T MAKE IT TRUE!

Time and time again our supporters fall for the old misquote trick. An article is printed painting our club in a bad light using an alleged quote from on of our players and everybody accepts it as fact! How gullible are you? The source is almost always from a foreign publication in a foreign language which is then run through a translation matrix of convenience.

In other words a publication can write what they like and attribute it to one of our players because nobody is going to be able to trace it back and then translate it and even if they do, they will find it hard to be heard above the deafening chorus of the media inches already allotted to the story.

If you see an article headlining an upsetting quote by one of our players DON’T believe it and even better as above DON’T click on it!

The worst culprits of this are actually some Arsenal blogs themselves. In the absence of anything to write of their own, they simply replicate these types of stories because they are not Arsenal supporter blogs but rather hit-rate whores on newsnow and goonernews. They don’t care about our club or our fans only their potential advertising revenues.

Last season it was Arshavin and this season it will be Fabregas.

RESIST THE RUMOUR:

We all get hooked during the transfer windows on a sniff of a potential signing and it is our club in particular that is vulnerable to this type of post because we rarely hear about a real transfer from Arsenal until all the i’s and t’s are dotted and crossed. ” Arsenal face transfer battle with blah blah blah for new teenage sensation blah blah blah”.

Sound familiar?

Save yourself the time and resist the temptation to click on these kind of rubbish articles. They are never correct EVER, and that’s 2 minutes of your life that you will never have back. Add those up over a transfer window and that is an entire day wasted in all likelihood.

As long as you keep clicking on this crap they will keeping writing this crap. By clicking on it YOU replicate it and YOU perpetuate it.

BEING SELECTIVE INCREASES QUALITY:

There are many Arsenal blogs out there some producing daily and others less regularly. If you do not agree with the on-going viewpoints of a certain blog or set of blogs, for the love of God stop clicking on their articles. If you click on them you are supporting them and supporting their obtuse, negative and sometimes racist views.

Most of the time these kind of blogs gain the majority of their readership from those who disagree with them and very often are abused by them when they comment. Simply refuse to CLICK on their crap no matter the temptation or provocation. They are not stupid. They will realise that their hit-rate goes up significantly when they post something offensive.

DON’T TAKE THE BAIT.

Rise above their ignorance and let their bile pass by unread and more importantly unclicked. If you click on them you give them credibility, encouragement and revenue. Starve them of readership until all they have left are the throwbacks to the National Front that revel in abuse and hatred.

The time you spend arguing with these idiots making their blog more successful could be better spent having an intelligent debate on other blogs that actually support the club.

There are many great blogs out there. Arseblog with the Arsecast is never a wasted visit. ACLF, Goonerholic, Eastlower, Arsenal Insider, Ladyarse, Clockenders are all worth a visit and comprised of genuine supporter sentiment all with different slants towards the same destination.

Stay away from the haters. they will only depress you and bring down the general tone of your week. They are malcontented in their own lives and only wish to take it out on others. Leave them to stew in their own misery.

Submit articles and open genuine debates. Make your points and consider those of others. Get involved and stay away from those who wish to profit by upsetting you and your love for the club.

“Victory through Harmony.”  Some blogs profit by violating this motto.  Stop helping them.

————————

Editor’s PS: Can I add that I do welcome articles for Untold Arsenal, and for the Arsenal History site which have a generally positive view towards the club and the manager.  I can’t speak for Walter, but I understand that he is always interested in hearing from Arsenal fans outside the UK who would like to contribute positively to Arsenal Worldwide.

If you would like to write for this blog, just send in your idea, or your article to me at the address below.  If writing an article please submit it as a word document with your name at the very top of the article, so I don’t lose track of who you are.  (I am not, as you will have realised, not very well organised).

I do reject some articles, either because I think them inappropriate for this site, or because I think they repeat something we have already said.  Because of this, writing about a hot topic first time around can be a problem, because we may well have two or three pieces just waiting to go up.  Your best bet is to find some issue that we haven’t covered, or at least not for a while, and write a piece on that.

Most articles are about 1000 words long.  They don’t have to be, of course, but a very short, or very general article will probably look a bit out of place here and not get published.  Longer articles may be split into bits (as I recently did with my own piece about Wenger’s philosophy).

Email anything to Tony.Attwood@aisa.org

Untold Index

Arsenal History

Making the Arsenal – the book

Arsenal Worldwide

40 comments to Arsenal: A blogosphere survival guide

  • Adam

    Terence, I do think that the main problem with most bloggers todate is intelligence.
    Some people do not seem able to tell the difference between the “bull” and the truth. I for one only used to get my Arsenal info from Arsenal.com but since i found untold it has become a daily read for me.
    I just don`t understand the need for people to go looking for debate with sites that have extreme veiws.

  • Common Sensei

    @Terrence

    Relevent and concise article, I must have spent an entire day at the beginning of the week trying to bring a bunch of negative posters on ‘just some other’ web blog a bit of perpective and get them to stop attacking everybody who had a positive view;

    Obviously I had no idea that keeping the debate running for a day added to their coffers – so I now avoid the site completely!

    Makes blogs like Untold all the more necessary and important! Keep up the good work, hope everybody else can take the cue from this week to follow the very sound advice listed here

  • Jonny

    I do find the blog you haven’t mentioned interesting very interesting however. They don’t accept advertising and I suspect they genuinely believe their opinions. They clearly attract a very strong readership – though admittedly the regulars on there contribute a huge amount of traffic between them.

    I just find it funny they spread such negativity and with a certain degree of success and yet it isn’t done to grow clicks for cash…

  • Terence McGovern

    Hehe! I seem to recall mentioning them but it may have gotten……er lost in translation?
    I suppose it could be interpreted that they go without saying but are not guily of copying unfounded rumours even if they might mention them off the cuff in their ‘articles’ and when convenient accept them as true.

  • walter

    Terrence I had promised myself to just do what you have written after this weekend. But sometimes the finger on the mouse goes to fast and then I visit sites that I better could have ignored.

  • N. Nuzrat

    I am glad you brought this up. It is definitely not too difficult to set apart an honest and genuine Arsenal blog from a vast number of money-oriented ones, thus avoiding the bad ones. I specially would like to point out one specific so called Arsenal blog that comes up with one sensational transfer story after another. Let me admit! I was gullible myself in the beginning, so I was caught-off-side too on a number of occasions. But it wasn’t exactly rocket science to realize after a few clicks that this particular website was publishing all that BS merely to generate maximum traffic to receive maximum revenues from Internet adds.

    Since I wasn’t very sure in the beginning about the real motives of this website, I tried to register my protest by leaving a few posts in which I objected to their false reporting, but none of my posts was ever published.

    This depraved practice is going on unabated. Only a couple of days ago a news source reported that Arsenal, along with a host of other clubs, are trying to sign a teenage player from Barcelona. An hour later the same blog published this news under this headline ‘Arsenal to buy new Christiano Ronaldo from Barcelona’. It was enough to draw a few thousands of hits within minutes.

    There is nothing wrong if a blog writer is trying to make a few bucks by reporting a genuine piece of news or by offering some opinion. But what is absolutely unacceptable is the practice of misleading Arsenal supporters by making them believe in something that doesn’t exist at all. Just recall all those players who were linked to us during the last transfer window by this website and make a judgement by yourself. I doubt it left ANY player under the sky that was not linked to us.

    I completely agree with what Tony has suggested: only WE, THE ARSENAL SUPPORTERS, can stop this nonsense by completely boycotting those blogs that making money by exploiting Arsenal supporters’ love for their club.

  • walter

    And yes I am always interested in articles from fans overseas and over land for the worldwide website. 😉

    And I think Tony will let me have this short publicity in the comments sections:

    In fact tomorrow morning there will be an article that I have written myself for a change. And I think you must read it. Not because I have written it or because it is a brillant article. No, but because of the subject I talk about.

    It is about such a great and positive initiative (not mine) that I really feel a big joy in my heart just by even thinking about it.

    If this hasn’t mady you curious, well I don’t know what will make you curious. Just when you come on the internet tomorrow morning and have read the Untold article, just take a look at
    http://www.arsenalworldwide.co.uk/?page_id=59

  • mbusi musa

    Terence,
    ‘Tis interesting that there (hater blogs)endevours are actually counterproductive in the long run ‘coz they are inadvertently popularizing The Arsenal.In these parts,unlike say,ten years ago,no football team is spoken about more than the Arsenal (absence of trophies regardless).Its a fact here that the Manc & Chavski fans watch more Arsenal games than they do they do watch their own teams play.
    As to those who can’t see through the bogus blogs,I clearly understand how tormented they must be,and really feel sorry for them.

  • Gooner79

    Ahhh Terrence, without mentioning the site in question, you have reduced your comments from 250+ all the way down to 7.

    How very disappointing.

    Your patronising assumption that people are so stupid they accidentally click through to these sites is embarrassing. Your insistence on trying to dictate to people what they should and should not be doing on the internet is unnerving. Your misguided idea that this type of article is what people want to read is delusional.

    People click because they like, people comment becuase they like to contribute on sites they like and certain websites are more popular becuase they are superior, more honest and more interesting.

    Sorry to break it to you, you’ve got a long way to go.

    Anyway, at least I contributed.

    Lucky number 7.

  • Gooner Gal

    Terence, I am glad you’ve shed some light on this. After the official site, I like to read the following:-

    1. Untold – no explaination should be needed.

    2. ACLF – The guy that runs the site has a brilliant way of precisely summerising daily current football events.

    3. Desi Gunner(sometimes) – I like his match analysis

    4. Wrighty7(sometimes) – Its like listening to the bloke down the pub

    5. Gingers for Limpar -Its very cheeky and probably not to everyones taste(not even mine all the time).

    I haven’t got enough time in the day to bother regularly with others.

  • walter

    Gooner 79, have you read the article?

    Then you should have noticed that Terrence was not just talking about your favourite site.

    I think most people with a brain can understand what he was saying and I know that there are a lot of websites all full with rumours which we should not visit and this give them credibility and hits.

    Let us say all the “Cesc is going again to Barceloanus” articles anywhere in the “serious” media should be ignored.

    It’s all in the article, just read it.

  • Goonerpower

    Does this webite advertise?

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Arsenal Column
    Swiss Rambler
    Espnsoccernet (for league table)
    Barcalona Football Blog (for just being kept up to date on La Liga)

    79,

    Is that when you were born or a new $<x position I haven't heard about?

    Anyway Terrence great write up… Maybe Tony could add/del links based on a review perhaps bi-monthly.

  • Gooner Gal

    Arsene Apprentice – I figured it was his IQ level.

  • RedGooner

    Well said Terence, I do not mind someone having a negative view if its their own opinion and they back it up with stats etc.
    Its an entirely different story when people read something thats online and jump on the bandwagon.

    Keep up the articles comming.

  • Goonerpower – you asked “Does this website advertise”. To answer the question literally, yes in the sense that we are listed on a lot of other sites, there are occasional adverts for the site on the internet, and we are listed on various accumulator sites such as Goonernews.

    If you were asking something slightly different – do we accept adverts – yes we do.

  • Terence, I’ve been pondering this whole thing, and trying to work out the bits I really don’t like, and I think it is the abuse that can pour out from some blogs and some commentators.

    Somehow the ability to disagree about something vanishes, and the “conversation” just disintegrates into abuse rather than any sense of debate.

    The sort of comment that says, “If you can’t see x and y, then you are an idiot.”

    It just makes me feel a bit sad, I guess.

  • Pete The First

    Absolutely brilliant. Looking at me looking at you. Throw it over my fence, throw it back.

    Let it go guys.

    PS Is that Jonny bloke still digging out Denilson? Shame on you sir!

  • Paul C.

    I think the transfer rumours are the funniest. We should all know by now that rsenal just do not release information on transfers, and dont talk about transfers, and dont do “rumour”. That has been our way ever since I first started supporting, and I am sure Tony could confirm that it has been that way from before my time as well.

    It is just so easy to believe some of the rumours, especially when it is a player that you like. There are times we really want to believe them, even if they seem ridiculous.

    Havent we all, at some time or another, gone “WOW, wouldnt that be great!!!” when seeing some silly rumour in the media/internet even though we knew deep down that it was not true?

  • Jonny

    Pete The First – LOL!

    For the record though (and this isn’t funny) that Denilson is definitely a cunt.

    He came round my house once and broke up a fight between me and a mate. We were disagreeing about Geoff and Pedro, over which one we loved the most.

    It was extraordinary: I didn’t know Denilson could move that fast and I’d certainly never seen him tackle anything before.

    The lying cunt has been having us on all along – mark my words.

  • Filip

    I am still disappointed that the Boateng rumour didnt come out to be true. Why did he have to go to man city?
    Sometimes I click on the kind of sites the article is about just to have a laugh.By the way , they really do make me laugh!!!I know those speculations are just rubbish and I am simply amazed at the number of people that take them seriously.They are all idiots.However, we all know that two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity.

  • Dark Prince

    @Terence- Love it or hate it. Most Arsenal fans, including me, just cant resist to read something about Arsenal whether its written on Untold Arsenal or any other site. And just reading an article doesn’t mean we agree with it. Maybe we are contributing to their hits but that doesn’t mean we agree with them always.

  • adam smith

    Great article Terence about “blogworld”v So much bitterness about, yet we are meant to be supporting the same team.

    Your article should be compulsive reading for any semi sane fan.

  • adam smith

    Over the years there have always been players that have not lived up to speculation but they are far otweighed by the majority that in this present era under Wenger that were previously unknown to most of us, that have turned out to be skilled and a joy to watch.

    Some fans always bang on about the high cost of following the club and that should automatically equate to silverware year after year.They have the choice to attend or not.That is not the meaning of true support.

    The so called unnamed blog nearly always carries that theme.

    To call our manager or any of our players a c*** just doesn’t sit well with me.

  • Terence McGovern

    Gooner79 I should perhaps explain that any contribution that I make to this site or any other for that matter is made for specific criteria.

    Criteria no1: The subject matter is not being addressed by another writer or is being glossed over without examining the root cause of a detrimental situation.

    Criteria no2: See criteria no1:

    I am only interested in debate and to be honest the more intellectual and philosophical the better. naturally i can see how this would be of little interest to you.

    I believe in quality not quantity so the number of comments is an irrelevance. Suffice it to say that this site hasn’t a bunch of retards clambering to post the word ‘first’ in the comments section. If I get one single supporter to think in a more positive way or be challenged by a new idea, then my article is a far greater success than another who populist, generic, repetitive drivel generates 500 comments with a combined IQ of 40.

    Finally my article was an advice piece to be taken on board or discarded with equal economy. That is hardly patronising.
    Patronising would be telling somebody that “because” is not spelled “becuase”

    See how that works?

  • Terence McGovern

    Tony I understand fully what you are saying and in this regard you are a far wiser man than I.

    Your useful edit spared us a wave of trolling and subjective stupidity. I know that you detest wielding the red pen and never use it lightly.

  • The issue I have with this article and indeed other “anti” articles is that it seems a little…weak.

    Surely the way to root out those that seek to undermine our club is to engage in the debate rather than shoot at them from a safe distance?

  • A Casual Observer

    @Gooner79

    That logic would infer that ‘OK’ magazine is a more insightful and informative read on society than a Jock Young thesis.

    The intelligentsia are always in the minority and sought out by those with a more ‘discerning’ character… also, on a different tack, if you want to know why you and your ilk are frequently mistaken on here for bitter spuds – it’s because you sound just like them – Par exemple:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utUyha0wjSE&feature=player_embedded

    😉

  • Queen – the problem is the one I tried to outline in the final part of the trilogy on Wenger. I wrote a 5000 word piece and a writer came back and said in under 50 words, “same old rubbish, everyone can see Wenger is a has-been who can’t sign a goalkeeper” or words to that effect.

    It is not possible really to have a debate about the complex interplay of change of tactics, unexpected results thereof, change in the economic situation, and a vision of the future, with someone whose response is very simple.

    Another reply said, “the fact that you have to use 5000 words to defend Wenger shows how weak your argument is” and again I paraphrase. How do you argue with that? Does that suggest that the Bible, The Republic, Das Kapital or Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations are rubbish because of their length. By that writer’s view Wittgenstein, rather than being one of the very greatest thinkers in the history of mankind, is a dope because he could not reduce his ideas to 50 words.

    I am sure many people could work out how to counter this argument, but I am buggered if I know how to.

  • Tony, thankyou for the reply.

    I work on the principle that communication is not about what is said but instead about what is heard.

    There is a place for 5000 words, equally there is an important role for the distillation of that argument into 50 word chunks.

    There is a very real danger that the debate doesn’t become about Arsenal, but really about who is clever and who is not.

    For me,anyway, the challenge and fun of debate is about matching my argument to my audience and then persuading them.

  • Paul C.

    Ah Queen, you are a ray of light in an otherwise gloomy blogosphere. Really, you are.

    Unfortunately there are not many like you. Many of us have, on many occasions, tried to engage those who see things in a more, how shall we put it, negative or pessimistic way, and have ended up being subject to abuse, insults, or ignored completely. There is very little desire to debate.

    For example:

    Doomers might say: AW should have spent more money the past 5 years to win more trophies.

    We might say: But AW was under strcit orders to cut wages 5 years ago and had zero money in his transfer budget. What would you have done in those circumstances?

    Doomers might reply: F**k You! AW should have spent more money the past 5 years to win more trophies. This club has no ambition.

    We might say: But the club was spending 350million in an unbeleivably ambitious attempt to put Arsenal at the top tier of European Clubs. There was no money to spend on anything else. AW’s job was simply to keep us in the top-4, nothing else.

    Doomers might reply: “F**k You!!! You’re an AKB loser!!! AW should have spent more money the past 5 years to win more trophies. This club has no ambition. Arsene is a wanker, interested only in taking the easy way.

    See where that is going? Is it any wonder that many of us have given up any form of debate?

  • Terence McGovern

    Queen I have to admit that after raising an eyebrow at the ‘anti’ label I had to agree that in real terms it was. Then again by being ‘anti’ to disinformation for profit and cautioning against engaging with those who pose negativity in exchange for hit-rates, I would hope to help maintain a poitive frame of mind which is in essence more ‘pro’ than ‘anti’ I do accept however, that this type of discussion is a serpent eating its own tail.

    I accept that you prefer to engage and try and educate/challenge the naysayers but by doing this you give them traffic which is the only thing they are interested in. Also in some cases you do not have the option to dissent and when you have it can be removed quickly…..mentioning no names.

    Very good point about the direction of the debate though although from my perspective that debate is rhetorical.(tongue in cheek) 😉

  • Terence McGovern

    Queen . To elaborate on your discussion with Tony. i believe his point is that it is all well and good to have a 50 word opinion but if all you ever do with it is repeat it like a religous mantra it precludes any form of genuine debate with another who wishes to examine an issue with more than a sursory glance.
    It could also be said that those who can only repeat these mantras have either no ability to debate them because they have little basis in logic or only wish to portray a negative viewpoint for the sake of it.

    I am only an infrequent contributor here but in my opinion this site thrives on debate not comment and hit-rate levels.
    If you read through what goes on here, it is not a social network for people to say hello but a genuine forum for ideas. Some of us myself especially may be perceived as dismissive and with some justification, BUT a genuinely thought out argument presented in an intelligent manner regardless of viewpoint will always receive respect here.
    50 word mantras blindly chanted….not so much.

  • Terence McGovern

    Man my typing sucks today as always I meant “cursory glance” in above article. EDITOR!!!

  • Paul, thankyou for the compliment.

    With the exception of one or two posters whom I am certain are not Arsenal fans, in all my blog travels I have never seen that level of response.

    I can only speak from a personal perspective, i’d not be put off by those type of responses. I think its important to contest those views if they are held, especially when they are based on falsehoods.

  • I agree Terence that there are some who resort to the mantra.

    The mantra is just another tool of debate though. Its usually founded on a premise and that premise can be picked up and examined, contested and or accepted.

    Einstein wrote that “everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler”. Language and debate should have a rhythm, in the hands of some, it becomes an irritant but a preference for style of debate should not stop one engaging in it.

  • Terence McGovern

    Your point is well taken.
    Stick around Queenie!
    You are definitely worth the price of admission.

  • Paul C.

    Queen – you are right, it is a very small minority who use insult, but it is very depressing when it does occur. For many of the people here, it is simply the general air of negativity that surrounds the “doom and gloom” camp that puts us off. I could handle insults of all kinds if they were defending a positive view!!!!

    It is genuinely sad that opinion has become so divided and bitter at times within the Arsenal support. In Canada, where I live now, I see it in all the time in North American team sports as well. It is the internet that has done it to a large degree. I suppose those divisions have always been there among fans of every sport. I remember towards the end of GG’s reign there was a group of fans that were pro-GG and a group that wanted GG out (of which I was one). Both sides were obviously passionate but there was no way that people could make their voice known easily, as the internet now provides us. I can imagine the war online that one one would have generated!!

    I suppose it comes down to how you answer a very simple question:

    Have the past 5 years been a success or a failure?

    That goes to the root of it, I think. Divisions have been created over that question alone. Of course there are loads of other sub-plots but that is the core of it.

    Many of the people here view the past 5 years as a roaring, unbelievable success and are hugely positive about the future of our great club. We want trophies but can understand the various actors that have made that extremely diffcult for us during that time. We understand the lottery nature of Cup competitions. We could all see the financial advantage both Chelsea and Utd had over us during the period in question.

    It is just depressing to be surrounded by all the negativity that some of those blogs are mired in!!! The unfortunate thing is that the negativity sometimes hides wonderful writing, good humour and unbelievable passion in both the blog and the comments.

    I just dont know what people expected during a period when we were spending 350million on a new stadium and were also up to our eyeballs in property debt during the Highbury Redevelopment project!!!!! Man, those worst case scenarios during that time were bad!!!!

    But we survived, are lowering our debt by huge amounts very quickly, stayed in the top-4 every season, gone deep into the CL virtually every season (including our first 2 semi-finals EVER!!!!), AND COMPLETELY OVERHAULED THE ENTIRE PLAYING STAFF!!!

    I just really do not understand how people can equate ONLY trophies to success and ignore the quite unbelievable change at Arsenal Football Club over the past decade, and especially how they can ignore the fact, for Arsenal (under AW’S management or anybody else), the future looks even better. Can Chelsea, Liverpool, Utd, even City (how long will the Sheiks keep spending?) say that?

  • Terence McGovern

    Well said paul!

    Those negative elements should add up the transfer fees of our first choice (or theirs) 11 and compare that figure to other clubs and have a serious think about criticising the manager in the face of the outstanding financial achievement he has performed to allow us our new stadium and thus our secured future.

  • C4

    It’s rather obvious that certain parts of the media don’t like the Arsenal. Even when 1 of our players performs well, they’ll mention it, but quickly cast some sort of dark shadow over it, like “Theo is in good form, but….” etc.
    It’s rare to see the same “they did well, but….” phenomenon with the more “English” clubs. Things like the invincibles season must have really left a lot of hate in the hearts of “bigger” clubs that have never, and probably won’t manage such a feat, by the look of things. The trophies will come. Considering that we’ve remained in the top flight over the last 5 difficult years, I think it’s safe to say we’re well on track to becoming major trophy collectors.