Shortly before Comic-Con started this year, I heard about the Masters of Web panel that would be happening -- a panel comprised of leaders of some prominent movie sites. The panel wasn't originated by Con organizers, it was sold to them, pre-packaged. Cinematical wasn't invited to sit, which on some level I understand since we've been around for two years, while other sites like JoBlo have been around much longer. On the other hand, our traffic triples and quadruples that of many of those who were being invited, so it was a little odd. Check out the traffic measuring site of your choice to verify that. But since I was sending a team to the Con, I felt obligated to find out who was organizing this panel and ask them politely, 'Hey, can Cinematical sit in?' It turned out to be Robert Sanchez of IESB.net, who I considered a friendly colleague. Back when IESB was shut down by Paramount Pictures in May, Cinematical wrote a post saying that was way out of line, and IESB actually thanked us for that.
So I e-mailed Robert, asking him if we could sit on the panel. He wrote me back, saying that the reason we weren't invited was because there were already a huge number of invitees and the Con was asking for numbers to be cut down, not expanded. Okay, sounded reasonable enough, and again, I didn't really care. The panel was considered pretty low-rent anyway -- AICN skipped it all-together. I never gave it another thought, until this morning when someone on my team pointed me to the video IESB is hosting of the event. Imagine my surprise to find Robert completely bashing Cinematical, a site that sends him tons of traffic and never shows his site anything but proper respect. Of course, he doesn't come out and say our name -- he hides behind saying 'blog owned by AOL' as if that could mean anything but us. Last time I checked, we're the only movie blog owned by AOL that turns over millions of hits a month. Here's where we got mentioned, during Robert's diatribe about how no one gives him props:
"It's not only established media ... we're not bloggers, for God's sakes. I'm not a f**king blogger. You know, we might have a blog, but we don't blog. Chud's not a blog. Latino Review's not a blog. And I hate when the established 'quote unquote' media treats us as bloggers. But at the same time, bloggers who live 300 miles away from any f**king studio will pick up our stories and they do the exact same thing. There's even a couple that are owned, by like, AOL -- I'm not gonna mention their f**king names -- that will run stories without giving us credit. Or they'll do a stupid little hyperlink, like 'sources are saying,' you know. But they won't mention your name. We're the ones working our asses off to bring you guys news, and we do. I think everyone here does it full time, or almost full time. You know, we have families to support ... but son of a bitch, these little bloggers who don't do anything but live with their mom will take our stories and not give us credit and they write them up as their own." [We did verify with Robert that he was intentionally referring to us. He owned up to it.]