I Hate Jill Zarin Bloggers Unite!
Yesterday on the blog, I made this announcement:
Yes, its true, I won’t be blogging about The Real Housewives of Miami. I’m not “banning” any discussion of the show, but I want everyone to understand why we’re all doing this and I’m hoping for your support.
By “we” I’m talking about Real Old Housewife, Real City Housewife, TVTime101 and Terry Aley. We’re all a bit upset with Bravo right now and we are hoping that this will change the relationship between us and them and in turn improve our blogs and improve the content that you all read on our blogs.
Let me explain. We bloggers support each other, we have all wondered more than once why we don’t see any support from Bravo. We’re providing them with free advertising, free unlimited feedback (from all of you) and with constant reminders of their shows through the blogs, Twitter and Facebook. This type of advertising and consumer feedback through focus groups would cost them millions.
We’ve all gotten feedback from people telling us that they wouldn’t be watching some of these shows if we weren’t blogging about them. We’re not arrogant enough to think that we can make or break a show, but we do feel that our efforts, while we enjoy what we do, benefits Bravo.
A few of us have attempted to contact Bravo, we’ve respectfully asked for advance copies of shows, we’ve asked for interviews with cast, we’ve asked for advertising/support and we’ve even asked for something as simple as a RESPONSE. We’ve all gotten absolutely nothing, not even a return email acknowledging that we’ve contacted them.
While we understand that the reality show / blogging relationship is fairly new and there isn’t any standard for how a network handles this, we do know that Bravo leaks information and provides advance copies of their shows to outlets like TMZ, People and RadarOnLine.
Those news outlets cater to many different networks, TV shows, movies and celebrities. We “Hobby bloggers” focus mainly on Bravo and Bravo’s shows. Why are those outlets more deserving of any attention from Bravo than we are? We feel that our blogs are helping the network and the network is ignoring us.
We’re not asking for the world here, we would like a representative at the network be assigned to “handle” us, answers questions, respond to our emails and maybe sends us a preview of a show once in a while. We’d like a little bit of access to the cast members, maybe a monthly interview with one of us and we rotate bloggers to do the interview.
Both Terry Aley and TVTime (@Imajustsaying) have already written blogs about this. And we are looking for the support from our readers because in the end, it will benefit all of us, including our readers. All of you are the reason we do this, without readers, what is the point of blogging.
And so I hope that you’ll all support this action we’re taking, we don’t have anything necessarily against The Real Housewives of Miami in particular, we’ve chosen this show because it is new and is in need of bloggers to spread the word. We’ll continue to blog daily and blog about Bravo shows. We are just looking for a little love from Bravo after all the love we’ve given them in the past.
I’m wide open to feedback, I already know some disagree with this decision and we may fail miserably, but we felt that we had to try something to get their attention.
Thank you all for your unending support.
The following is the letter to Andy Cohen that we all put together:
Dear Andy Cohen / Bravo Executives
This letter represents five major blogs who focus primarily on Bravo shows, more specifically, we focus on all of your Housewives series.
Some of us have attempted to reach out to you in an effort to connect with the network that we spend so much time blogging about, unfortunately you’ve chosen to ignore us.
Since all previous attempts to communicate with you have failed, we’d like to make one final attempt and make these points:
- Our blogs attract thousands of readers who are die-hard Housewives/Bravo fans. You, as a network, tend to work with TMZ or RadarOnline who have no clear focus but cover all entertainment from movie stars to television personalities.
- We have a strong influence on what viewers watch and don’t watch. All of us have gotten messages from viewers telling us that they wouldn’t be watching a particular show if we had not been blogging about the show.
- We feel completely taken for granted by Bravo as we provide millions of dollars in free advertising to Bravo yet are completely ignored by the network.
- Many of us have attempted to reach out to Network Executive, Andy Cohen and received absolutely no response.
- Our readers don’t just occasionally watch a Housewives episode here and there, they watch every Bravo show and are fans of not only the shows but the Network.
- The endless comments from viewers on our blogs provide you with invaluable consumer feedback that you would otherwise have to spend thousands on creating a focus group.
- Some of our blogs have become chat rooms that keep the discussion about Bravo shows alive for days and even weeks after the shows are over.
- All of us Tweet in addition to blogging bringing focus to Bravo’s shows on this social network.
- Many of us also have Facebook pages providing free advertising to Bravo’s shows.
- We all do this on our own time and do not get paid for any of it.
Even when we have some negative things to say about Bravo’s shows, it is still free advertising and gets people watching the shows. You know it and we know it.
We are proposing that things change and while we understand that Reality Shows and Bloggers have yet to create any type of relationship, Bravo does tend to be a trend-setter and its open to new ideas. Here are some of our thoughts, we respectfully request that:
- Bravo assign an employee to communicate openly with us. A Bravo employee who can be our iron clad “Source” providing us with solid information and allow us to ask questions, give us advanced information about premier dates, new shows and previews of new episodes. Things that you would typically leak to TMZ or RadarOnline would be provided to us as well.
- Bravo allow us to do periodic interviews with Bravo cast members, possibly once per month on a rotating basis for all five bloggers represented in this letter. We’re open to different thoughts on this. It could be as simple as a list of questions emailed to the Bravo cast member or a telephone interview.
- Bravo provide us with advanced copies of some episodes of Bravo shows, on a rotating basis taking turns between the bloggers
- On Twitter we would be looking for some acknowledgement that we’ve spend hours promoting Bravo’s programs. Possibly a re-tweet of some links to our blogs by @BravoTV or @BravoPR. Again details could be negotiated.
- Links to our blogs posted on BravoTV.com
These are suggestions made by some of us and all are obviously negotiable, we don’t expect to get everything we’re asking for but we sincerely hope that some breakthrough will result from this communication.
Imajustsaying from http://www.TVTime101.com and Terry from http://terryaley.com have already announced that they will not be blogging about Bravo’s newest Housewives series. I hope you will take a moment to read their thoughts.
The rest of us are prepared to follow suit, and not mention The Real Housewives of Miami on our blogs at all. This isn’t something that we wanted to do, this is something that we feel we’ve been forced to do by Bravo because we’ve been ignored. We feel as if we’ve been providing free advertising, focus groups and support and have received nothing in return.
If you would like blog stats, please let us know, we are all happy to provide it from our prospective blog hosting sites to underscore the number of viewers that we represent.
Please understand that we are fans, no we are SUPER FANS of Bravo, we do what we do on our own time because we love your shows, we want to work in harmony with you, we are simply asking for a little recognition that won’t cost Bravo a thing, except hopefully a growing audience right along with our growing readership.
You can contact us at the following email addresses:
For your convenience, listed below are the web sites represented here:
http://www.LynnNChicago101.wordpress.com and http://look.ac/h2wUfs
SONJA MORGAN REALITY BUZZ with LYNN HUDSON! http://j.mp/hJg7fA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i95dN5tIS4U RealCityHousewife created this YouTube video which has 35,000 hits
Frequently Asked Questions, (ok, they were asked once by HD, thanks HD!)
1. I know you said you are not banning discussion of the show but to me that seems counterproductive to what you are trying to accomplish here. Which is fine with me. I watched tonight and it was boring as hell. If we never discuss it I am fine with that. I know you are not banning it but if you are not blogging about it but you have 200 people on this site talking about it then to me that works against you. JMO.
2. An honest question here…do you and the other bloggers feel you have “put in your time” to have these demands met? Do you have the numbers/”followers” (for lack of a better word) to back your demands? What may seem like a lot to us is nothing “entertainment land”. Do you have the type of clout in the blogsphere/Twitter/Facebook, etc for anyone at Bravo to really listen to you? I’m just asking because I don’t know. You can have a million followers on Twitter or whatnot.
3. Out of the bloggers you mentioned no one knows anyone at Bravo through degrees of seperation that can get you a step closer to what you want?
4. Have you and the bloggers thought about uniting in one area to make an impact? Like maybe a Twitter account or a Facebook page? Maybe if they see a lot of people support you they will sing a different tune.
1. True, I will not be blogging about the show but I don’t try to control content and want everyone to feel comfortable talking about anything they want to talk about. I only hope everyone supports my decision.
2. We simply don’t know. We know that we have a lot of readers, the comments made on the blog only reflect a small portion of the hits that the blog gets. We have a lot of lurkers here. In January I posted the summary that WordPress provides to us with some stats for the year. The blog started in May 2010 and here are the year end stats:https://lynnnchicago101.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/2010-in-review/
I don’t have stats on the other blogs and we know we have readers in common but we feel that a good portion of viewers who do read blogs, read at least one of our blogs. So the answer really is, we don’t know but we believe that we do make a difference to Bravo, we think we enhance viewers experience and expand on the shows, keep people talking about the shows long after they’ve finished airing, sometimes even weeks after.
3. Surprisingly enough, no … none of us have any connections to anyone even remotely connected to Bravo.
4. That is a great idea, we have all agreed that in addition to not blogging, we won’t Tweet or post anything on Facebook about this one show but we hadn’t thought about creating a Facebook page, something I will talk with them about. Thank you!
Thanks HD! xo
Finally, some of you here at IHJZ have already posted with your unending support, thank you to all of you who have done that, here are just a few:
Lynn – bloggers would be the ideal focus group for Bravo HW franchise!
But a one sided relationship never works and Bravo IMO, has not acknowledged their most actively engaged fans – bloggers and their followers! Many viewers came to the hobby blogs because they could not participate on Bravo’s blog.
Through you, I have found other HW blogs and with you I am comfortable enough to say that unless Bravo wants to invite you and your peers to the party I have no problem saying NO to RHOM.
I think that you deserve to be heard and to be listened to. Your podcast also promotes Bravo and its celebrities, and you definitely deserve some type of a respons from the network.
Thank you Lynn et all bloggers involved. I completely support and respect this decision you have all made. You are the reason I don’t miss a thing, rewatch episodes to catch something you point out that I have missed and are the only places where I get real info and answers. The blogs are the only place for us fans to leave feedback with comments that actually get posted. Bravo themselves doesn’t even allow this. You are doing them a huge service and they should be kissing all of your feet for all you do for thier shows. They are shooting themselves in the foot by disreguarding you all. I want Bravo to know that without the “hobby bloggers” they would eventually not really even have shows that we care to watch. I want bravo to know that any one of you bloggers could do Andy Cohens interviews with more insight, concern for the viewers, better questions and better information. You all are, unlike Andy, in touch with the viewer. I will gladly support you all and not even bother watching some if not all Bravo shows until Bravo and Andy Cohen give and show you all the respect you so much deserve. Thank you for all you do for us, Debbie
Count me in too. Maybe we shouldn’t even watch RHOM?Does anyone know the head of BRAVO? (Andy’s boss?)
We all know how we stand with Andy so lets go over his head.
Lynn I was just talking about this “Bravo” mistake of not acknowledging the huge support they receive from you… If you were not blogging Bravo’s programs I will not be watching them! (I never watched TSM, or Top Chef, RHOA, Etc.) I think they should give you some recognition for your hard work bringing more viewers to their programs as well as for RCHW, Terry and Really Old Housewife. My support is all yours! Not RHOM! Thanks for blogging, thanks for your hard work, thanks for your friendship! Cusi
Whatever happens, I wish you the best. Be true to yourself and your work and never forget the reasons you started blogging. Sometimes as things grow bigger we have pause and come back to our first love and remember why we started doing something in the first place. The blog is not bigger than you, you are over it. If you never get your demands met are you still going to blog about housewives shows?
I agree with Windy’s comments and I will also being saying NO to Miami.
I don’t think you are asking for too much at all. Bravo is using the popular blogs as focus groups right now and it is indeed a one way street.
Listen Lynn, I remember asking Andy months ago to consider having you as a guest on WWHL. If it wasn’t for you and these blogs, Bravo wouldn’t have a clue as to what the “real “watching public thinks and feels about these shows- they basically ignore their own blogs. We all know they read the boards and have gotten limitless free feedback on a multimillion dollar industry.
I think the internet is moving even faster than they are capable of understanding, and they need to address the power and influence that the boards have. (and i’m not even considering the craziness that is twitter) Bravo knows who you are-they just don’t know what to do with you yet! they will soon enough, i consider it growing pains on their part- they’ll come around, they have to. (I also think they are somewhat afraid of the talent, if you can call it that, and how they will react) I respect what you’re doing, and understand it as well. If you say no Miami, well then- no Miami. after all, you listened to us when no one else would, it’s the least we can do to show you our appreciation.
My best to you always—Bev
I won’t be watching RHM either, and not blogging about it won’t hurt my feelings any. Besides that…I’m not passing up my favorite tv show The Good Wife for another bunch of crazy housewives IMO
Thank you to ALL of you who have shown your support, its been asked several times, YES! I will continue to blog about other Bravo shows, I’m looking forward to Bethenny Ever After and hopefully someday, The Real Housewives of New York!
Other bloggers are welcome to join us, feel free to email any one of us, all of the bloggers who have “United” are listed above in the letter to Andy Cohen.
Mickey Mouth has shown her support! Thanks Mickey! @MickeyMouth1 on Twitter
Until Next Time…