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David Poland

By David Poland

Sharon Waxman, Please Explain This.

Picture 146.png
How to Beat the Paywall
By Temp X
Published: March 31, 2010

I’m not linking because, “Screw you.”
You really have the unmitigated gall to sell the hypocrisy of threatening Newser for doing a slightly more aggressive version of what your business has done from the start and then you publish this?
Ha ha. Here is how to get around Variety’s business model. Isn’t this funny!?!?
I think the paywall is dumb, as many do… but is this really the level of journalistic ethics to which you wish to lead the web? (Don’t sweat it… it’s a rhetorical question and everyone but you knows it.)
I just don’t get how someone can be as tone deaf as you in regards to the industry in which you do business. I am actually happy for the people who will work for you as you lose this next $2 million. People need jobs. You’ll be ghostwriting some retired exec’s memoir soon enough.
I know that few will care… just as few people cared about you obtaining Variety’s long built Academy list using much the same technique with which Gizmodo acquired that iPhone. Fortunately, you have little idea how to use it and none of the people who gave you the list are still around. But it’s the principle of the thing, right?

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9 Responses to “Sharon Waxman, Please Explain This.”

  1. alynch says:

    Not to mention, there is a much simpler way of beating the paywall that has nothing to with typing in IP addresses. It took me about five minutes to figure it out.

  2. Wrecktum says:

    Cut and paste, my friend.

  3. sashastone says:

    So, are you saying that The Wrap acquired the Academy list by buying it from someone who had it and shouldn’t have? That’s quite an accusation and I’m sure the Academy would be none too pleased about this, especially if it leads to directly contacting them.
    Anyway, there was nothing worse than the paywall decision for Variety – especially now. REALLY BAD IDEA. Dozens of outlets report Variety’s story. People will get their news from those sites – basically they just rewrite the story with a link. They need more viewer access, not less. Information wants to be free.

  4. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “Information wants to be free.”
    Sigh. Read your own first paragraph.

  5. David Poland says:

    Not an accusation, Sasha. A fact… that has been printed here a few times. It was given to her by former Variety staff that came to work for The Wrap, and who knew it was very, very proprietary.
    And I am told, though I do not know this for a fact, had access to the key that eliminated the false entries designed to allow Variety to know if the list was being used by someone other than them.
    Direct reach out to Academy members by mail started in October, as I recall.
    After consulting various people, including an off-the-record conversation with someone at The Academy, I decided not to press the issue as we went into a new season. Live and let live… and who needs a new and aggressive enemy?
    But the hypocrisy is so relentless and a fact like this so simple, here it is, in the off season. Like I said, she never really turned the corner on how to use the list effectively. But the standard of conduct is consistent with so much of her behavior, at The Wrap, but all at NYT.

  6. sashastone says:

    I have never actually addressed a foamy squirrel but I will try: information does not, I don’t think, include private mailing lists. Also, buying an iphone for $10,000 does not back up the idea that information should be free. I’m not saying the Academy shouldn’t release all of their information; they should. But there I see a difference between news as info and confidential stuff. But that’s just me. Feel free to be a foamy squirrel about it. No one will hold it against you. They might want to give you a shot or a bath or something.
    DP – I had no idea. I guess I don’t necessarily object to their trying to elbow out Variety with direct mail of Academy members, but I do think it’s not a smart way of reaching them. They tune it out, for the most part. And I didn’t see that it helped them much in terms of Oscar ads.
    I was surprised to hear that they had such an aggressive approach – it will be off-putting and intimidating is my guess. But what do I know.

  7. MediaGurrrrl says:

    You dont have to be a rocket scientist to know who the individual is. He’s there in the masthead and was a prominent ex-employee at Variety who had access to teh list. Of course Variety knows this.
    Sharon has two personalities: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The people who don’t know her see Dr. Jekyll, smiling and acting reasonable, and think she is wonderful, learned and delightful. The people who have worked with her or suffered at her hands know the nastier truth. A good test of this is turnover. Her site has churned through quite a few decent people who have good reps.
    Also, please remember that she is a rabid social climber. If the site goes down and flames but she ends up as a big personality in town, she will be more than happy.
    I don’t place much hope in karma, especially in a town like this. But there are so many people I run into on a daily basis who curse her name that I can’t imagine her not getting her comeuppance one day.
    Till then, I’ll keep watching the Nikki vs. Sharon show, and getting weirdly, sadly entertained.

  8. Val says:

    You know that this is from another blog that she poached right?
    See original here

  9. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Yes, there is a difference. That’s kinda the point. It’s what makes the sweeping generalization “information wants to be free” blatantly untrue.
    Also, I’ll have you know that the foam is from luxury bath salts. My doctor says that the incidental rabies should clear up any day now.

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