The Monday Morning Power Digest: July 25, 2022
Dig the well before you get thirsty.
My good friends. Apologies for the postponement last week. It’s summertime and no one is really on the internet. Nonetheless, I return to you now.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe or share this with someone you think might enjoy this little Monday ritual you’ve come to know and love. Hope you’re enjoying your morning coffee and having a laugh with your old pal, Bri.
Here we go.
Inside Internet Industry Info of the Week
When I was working for TFM and PGP, the worst times of the year for traffic were the dog days of summer and Christmas. No one is on the internet this time of year. People are using up the last days of summer to go on vacation, kids are outside, people are enjoying themselves. No need to ruin that with the internet. That still holds true to this day. So don’t blame me if I’m feeling unmotivated around this time of year. It’s learned behavior.
But the back-to-school and New Year’s traffic bumps were very, very real. I started working for PGP full-time this time of year NINE YEARS AGO. Nine. Almost a decade. I can’t believe it. I feel like I stepped off the plane in Austin yesterday.
I moved to Austin in the middle of a historic stretch of horrendously brutal weather unique to Central Texas. 30 consecutive days of 100 degree heat. Two pairs of underwear a day.
I remember being disgruntled about some sluggish traffic numbers my first couple of weeks. I went to happy hour with Ross Bolen at Little Woodrow’s on West Sixth and told him I was frustrated about our numbers as we sat under the misters. A few Parliament Lights and some iced down Lone Star longnecks in, he assured me “Just wait til school starts. Just wait. It’ll blow your mind.” Two months later, we had put up back-to-back months with over a million visitors thanks to two tentpole pieces of content. The site was less than a year old and we had insane momentum.
Ross and I basically ran PGP by ourselves those first few months in 2013. Every day was a competition to see who could make the other guy laugh the hardest with some Golden Tee mixed in around 2 o’clock every afternoon. If anyone asks me why PGP ended the way it did, I honestly think Ross and I not collaborating as much on it as we did in the beginning was a major factor. I was frustrated that we’d basically abandoned a great project on a massive growth trajectory so he could be sent into advertising and strategy meetings when we should have been cranking out content left and right.
Looking back, those first six months in Austin were pure magic, probably moreso than my first semester at Mizzou. Ask anyone who was at the company at that time and they’d agree wholeheartedly. We had a New York Times Bestselling book, a movie deal (what a pile of shit that turned out to be), three websites absolutely melting the face off the internet with traffic numbers rivaling some serious heavy hitters in the content world. TFM, TSM and PGP were bigger than Barstool, closing in on theCHIVE and sniffing the top 100 websites in the country on a regular basis.
I was making $40,000 a year and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in a job. I rarely talk about that time in my life because it ended in such a disappointing way. Not just for me, but for pretty much everyone involved with the company. Everyone who worked there has some kind of horror story about the incompetence that ran rampant throughout the company in its terminal stages, but those first six months in Austin is something I’ll always look back on with nothing but pride.
Why I’m Renewing My Netflix Subscription of the Week
The Manti Te’o documentary.
I love the people in the comments saying “I’d love to see how Twitter would react to this today.”
Dude…this was **THE** Twitter story.
It had Twitter captivated for weeks, if not months. It put Deadspin over the top as a legitimate news outlet (for the time being) and launched them into low orbit. Manti Te’o was the Polynesian Tim Tebow. Dude resurrected Notre Dame football. He was a superstar. He was destroyed in a matter of minutes because some psychopath he met one time had a crush on him.
In terms of top Twitter moments, it’s:
1a) Osama bin Laden dead
1b) Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend
Career Announcement of the Week
I’m starting a new job August 1 as the Communications Director for Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. Yep. Full blown coasterhead. My career has taken many twists and turns over the past decade, but I know for a fact that I’m most in my element when I’m doing something I give a shit about. I grew up going to Worlds of Fun and in my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated attractions in the Midwest, so I’m jacked. They’re going into their 50th anniversary season. We’re cooking up something big for #50, I can tell you that much. You guys found out before LinkedIn. Feel special.
I’ve also been moonlighting at Harp BBQ in Raytown, doing the brisket trim Wednesday morning and Friday and Saturday service. The knowledge I’ve acquired from just six weeks with him is more than I could have learned in any YouTube video or book. I look forward to sharing some of that knowledge with you all in the future. Stay tuned on that.
We went deep this week. No hokey cheap YouTube links or Zillow houses today. I’ve been blessed to live an interesting life. I love sharing it with you guys.
Go get ‘em.