Don't vote for me in this online contest

Getting a flood of "vote for me" emails and Facebook groups from comedians lately. Heck, I've even done it before.

But it's starting to feel like this "online comedy voting" thing is the digital equivalent of a bringer show. Like each one of these contests is nothing but a con that promises "exposure" but is really there just to get people to go to the site of whoever is producing it.

Good PR for that site/brand/club/network/whatever, but what's actually being measured by this "contest"? How many online friends a comic has? Or whether they can figure out a way to hack the voting?

Not THAT big a deal but still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Comics are so desperate to get seen that we're easy marks for people who want to use that desperation to their own ends.

But I guess it's like bringer shows. If people go for it, that's their business. Ya can't rape the willing.

(Btw, I used that phrase recently and someone thought I said "can't rape the willies" — which I liked because it made me think that you are specifically NOT allowed to rape Willie Nelson, former Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell, Charles in Charge's Willie Aames, etc.)

Don't even think about it.


TechTaco said...

I feel bad when I try to get friends to my shows and they find excuses. And then I remember I don't even want them there, I only need strangers. But then again, how can I have 100 strangers as facebook friends?

Cody Hess said...

As a comedian, I'm friends with a good number of other comedians on Facebook. Because of their (our?) spam, Facebook no longer functions as a tool for communication.

I think there's a right way to use Facebook for self-promotion that we haven't found out yet.

Online voting for comedy competitions is a fucking joke that exacerbates the problem. You're a hacker too, right Matt? It would be fun to make a documentary of yourself scamming every online voting competition in a year.

When I bother to put an event on Facebook, I don't make the RSVPs public because it's embarrassing when there's so much 'no'.

Alex Grubard said...

As I'm sure this is a response to the flood from the 120 of us about this year's March Comedy Madness I cannot help but be self loathing about the amount of self promotion I'm doing. I've never promoted myself to people for really anything before (my parents didn't know I did stand-up until this blog comment) and it feels awful.

The online voting, while doesn't seem like a great idea to begin with, is definitely done in a way that could be greatly improved. And I'm sure it will be in upcoming years.

What I've been trying to do, probably unsuccessfully, is make the self-promotion have at least a little humor to it. It's tough to promote inside of a joke in 140 characters, but it's possible.

I am not a hacker, but I have seen Hackers and people are clearly hacking. Hey "comedians"! You ever think that it's called "hacking" because only "hacks" hack? TO THE STREETS!

http://tinyurl.com/yaz6teb (this link negates everything I just posted)

Abbi Crutchfield said...

@ Cody Hess, when strangers request to be my friend on FB, and I'm sure they're not performers (they aren't holding a mic or wearing a blazer) I label them as "Fans", then I make sure event invites only go to people from the "Fans" group. It would be even better if I'd categorize which fans live in NYC and might actually be able to come.

@ Alex Grubard, why do you feel bad about promoting yourself? It's necessary. I totally agree about being funny as often as possible. Farts. Even if it looks like you're trying too hard. Doo doo farts.

Anonymous said...

Delayed reaction. I appreciate this post (and this whole site). How are these contests anything other than a series of bringer shows in (slightly) clever disguise? It's interesting to see many people who don't do bringers participating in these bracket-type showdowns. Call it a competition and everyone's in. Kind of brilliant on the part of the clubs. No disrespect to anyone. Maybe they're worth doing, I don't really know - just saying.

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