Wednesday, May 13, 2020

When A Schoolyard Scrap Gets Goofy

It goes without saying that there is, from time to time, tension between those of us who work in the glamorous world of watch media.

Recently what was perhaps the most precious moment was the blood in the water effect that Media Outlet X's post on LinkedIn regarding their behind the scenes strategizing with a watch fair had on other members of the Fourth and Fifth Estate.  This triggered a particularly interesting reaction on another, longer standing watch media outlet (Print, and more and more lately?  Digital).  Owner of Media Outlet Y decided that the best way to "up" his standing and showcase his "bonafides" was to, as we used to say 'round the school yard, talk shit about the Owner of Media Outlet X.  And in fact, not just about the Owner of Media Outlet X, but he went  there - he dropped the "B" word... on LinkedIn!

Now, I certainly don't claim to be the smartest guy out there, but I'm also pretty sure I'm not the dumbest.  The Owner of Media Outlet Y moved to a digital format because?  You guessed it, he couldn't compete in the print world at a level that he (and his outlet) once did. The world has evolved.  And hey, I like nice shiny things, subsidized foreign travel, and to have watch PR people pretending to listen to me like my opinion even matters one little bit (spoiler alert - it does not).  When your way of life gets challenged, the simple thing to do is to lay the blame on another outlet's doorstep.  In fact, the Owner of Media Outlet Y puts out near daily posts in a digital format that he then promotes online through social media   You know, just like a B%*G..., or the Owner of Media Outlet X

I was waiting for all the other kids (read media outlet owners) to start circling around chanting "Fight, fight, fight" which would, hopefully, summon the Assistant Principal to rush out and break it up and sentence the two verbal pugilists to their respective after-school detentions.
Scene from the film 3 o'clock High
Now a few things were very clear to me reading both of these big, swinging dick's comments. They both personally feel that they are really important in the decision making process of watch brands, serious collectors, and (what I suspect they would refer to as) hangers on.  And the truth is?  They are not.  Not anymore.  And very few actually are.  I labor under no false beliefs, and do not lay awake nights waiting for the call from Richemont or LVMH inviting me to come run a brand's media program ; )

Let's take a brief stroll down memory lane to those thrilling days of yesteryear.  You know, back when all of those big, shiny ONLINE MAGAZINES were blogs?  That's right, most of them started out as blogs.  And the people who started them?  BLOGGERS.  More importantly?  Just like watch brands, there are too many of them to be viable on a commercial level.  And as for print?  It's not dead, not by a long shot.  But with the evolution of a subject matter, there will be an evolution of the content providers of said subject matter. Those of us who were 20 - 30 somethings in the 90s will likely remember Wallpaper Magazine (the stuff that surrounds you).  Lately?  Not so much.  But almost all of us are now quite familiar with Monocle magazine.  Another mind-blower?  Unless I misread the Wikipedia page, both were founded by Tyler Brûlé.  The point being?  He saw the evolution of interest and readership, and he adapted.  He evolved.  And I think it proves a point. Whether it has to do with quality or quantity of content, sooner or later? The end consumer (i.e. the reader) will make their choice, and if you want to be in the content providing business, just like Mr. Brûlé, you will need to adapt and evolve.

But for the outlet owners out there, let's just be really honest with ourselves - and the readers. For the most part we started because we were passionate about the thing that we wanted to cover.  And I would like to think that by and large the readers will be attracted to what they find interesting or relatable.  Do I think that people looking for the latest review or celebrity partnership or red carpet watch sighting is heading to Tempus Fugit?  Again, not so much.

Do outlets pander to brands?  Of course - and in fairness we all (outlet owners) do it on different levels.  Are some brands more likely to bestow favor on a given outlet owing to the belief that more people will visit said outlet and more eyes will land on their watch?  
Courtesy of The Simpsons
Now, are all of those millions of visitors some outlets claim to have, how do I say this... not actually for realsies?
Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide infoweb
So it is not a 100% level playing field.  It might be time for everyone to get over it.  As mentioned earlier, here at Tempus Fugit we have finally discovered our niche - industry related (and hopefully relatable) topics.  It is nearly impossible to be everything to everyone, and more importantly?  It's exhausting, and never really achievable.

We are glad you decided to spend some time here at Tempus Fugit, and we're going to stick to our path.

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