Conflict at Whale Oil

An exchange between Cameron Slater and Belt reveals conflict at Whale Oil.

Links and quotes from Google cache show an exchange on Whale Oil’s Back Chat on 19 November.

Cam Slater: Do want to be fired?

Pete: You can try. But it isn’t spelled fired. Its spelled buy-out.

Cam Slater: Oh you are going to buy me out? Sure, you’ve got all my money anyway. You’ve already wrecked the blog, pushed away all the commenters and reduced the traffic to a shadow of what it was. The experiment is coming to an end.

Pete: Cam, I know its been a rough day. But can we take this off-line please?

Slater: You already did that this morning, remember?

These comments have since been deleted. It followed comments by ‘Nellie’ and ‘Disinfectant’.

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2015/11/whaleoil-backchat-628/

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2015/11/whaleoil-backchat-628/

Source: https://yournz.org/2015/12/12/height-of-hypocrisy-and-falsity/#comment-67599

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113 Comments

  1. If you were a conspiracy theorist you might think Belt was brought in to hasten the ruin of Slater. After all it as pretty soon after his start that the hack happened. Just saying. 😜

    Reply
    • Not sure he was brought in or volunteered to hasten the ruin. But why he volunteered or was brought in is a good question. He seems to have a financial interest so deliberate ruin looks unlikely.

      Did he see it as a personal opportunity? Or do others have an interest?

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  13th December 2015

        From what I understand the WO’s comment section back in the day was toxic. Belt has done a lot to improve the quality of the comments to the point that in my opinion they are the best of any of the major blogs in New Zealand. They are certainly better than kiwiblog which consists of mostly right wing spam (and I’m centre right) and The Standard which consists of inane left wing dribble (proof that banning alone doesn’t improve the quality of comments).

        Reply
        • “Belt has done a lot to improve the quality of the comments…”

          No. He improved the language of the comments. The rest is iron fisted (or perhaps rubber fisted as Loki pointed out) dictatorial style sanitation of comments and slash and burn of the readership.

          The intellectual engagement of the comments hasn’t improved. Some readers yes, but there’s still a lot of mindless dross and dumbfuckery on most posts. A lot of engagement, but the fingers not the brains.

          This blog might be a backwater in comparison, but for the most part the commenting here is more engaging with the odd exception of people that just comment on other people’s comments rather than engaging the post itself.

          In comparison, I’d rather read a small amount of intelligent debate then read a large amount of mindless shit. Kiwiblog is terrible too, just readers with no lives insulting and bitching at each other half the time.

          Having been in blogging and seen how it shouldn’t be done, I’d have to say PG’s moderation of his comment section and readers is spot on.

          Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  13th December 2015

          @Kevin… from what you understand… meh… You understand little.

          What Belt’s done isn’t ‘cleaning the blog up’, it’s not moderation, it’s social engineering to eliminate any and all dissent. And not just political dissent. It’s elimination of thoughtful comments across the board.

          When you have the likes of Wendy, CaptainConway, and Duncan Brown banned – nice, well-behaved supporters all – then what’s left is a small clique of tumble-weed commenters, blowing in whatever direction Belt and Slater are being paid to blow them in.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  13th December 2015

            @ Joe Bloggs
            The comments are are waste of time, they all agree with the narrative. One would have to wonder about Belt, he clearly isn’t a business man’s ring piece and it would seem Slater has been scammed again. Is the man even awake?

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  13th December 2015

              @Maureen

              haha, there’s a novelty…a call for moderation for agreeing with the narrative… very witty 🙂

              I don’t know that I agree Slater’s asleep at the wheel…he’s struck me in the past as having too much rat-cunning to be that dumb..

            • MaureenW

               /  13th December 2015

              The “king” of Dirty Politics was scammed by Dirty Politics, scammed by Rachinger, scammed by Belt. Which eye do you think is open?

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  13th December 2015

              Hmmmm, I agree that he’s been caught out repeatedly but I’m still not convinced he’s asleep…he’s wide awake but his misplaced sense of complete invulnerability and an inability to take responsibility for his own actions leads him to behave the way he does. He’s a little like an alcoholic who blames everyone else for his own behavioural shortcomings

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th December 2015

      What was Belt’s background. Who had he worked for? That might be a clue as to how and why he took over.

      Maybe Loki knows.

      Reply
      • Loki

         /  13th December 2015

        Belt was a volunteer.
        He saw an opportunity to do more and took it.
        You cannot blame him.
        He is alongside the worlds laziest mouth breather.
        Completely incapable of ever completing a task (other than eating),
        Just bone idle.
        And belt came from a background of hijacking web addresses and selling sex toys online.
        So you could say he has rammed a big rubber fist up the mouth breathers web site..

        Reply
  2. Kevin

     /  13th December 2015

    Bear in mind that this was a month ago. Things could have been sorted out by now.

    Reply
    • Financially I think that’s unlikely. Belt has been posting, about since then, that funds are scarce at a tight time of year.

      And why would Slater launch a new political letter timed with a massive wind down of politics at the end of the year?

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  13th December 2015

        I don’t see Incite being that popular and I don’t think it’s intended to be. I believe it’s aimed at the 1 to 5% of WO readers who are actually involved in politics – MPs, staffers, strategists etc. After all if you’re in involved in politics you’d be dumb not to at least be keeping an eye on WO and stupid not to at least check out Incite.

        So I don’t see Incite as Slater’s way of segwaying into something else.

        Reply
        • Loki

           /  13th December 2015

          Incite will be another episode in the long line of slater failers.
          He will sell a handful of issues, which will be copied and shared.
          And appear online elsewhere for free 🙂
          They are just trying to scrape a few more coins from the last of the few.
          If you call the list of “alleged” contributors I KNOW you will discover that most of them will have been a bit surprised to be named.
          WE ARE NEARLY AT THE END IF WHALEOIL.
          Collins has now cut him off. Part of the deal to get back into the ministerial pay club.
          And when his arch nemesis is openly and publicly mocking him with over the top pity posts you know it is over.

          Reply
        • Goldie

           /  13th December 2015

          “I believe it’s aimed at the 1 to 5% of WO readers who are actually involved in politics – MPs, staffers, strategists etc. After all if you’re in involved in politics you’d be dumb not to at least be keeping an eye on WO and stupid not to at least check out Incite.”

          Once, when Whaleoil was clearly getting insider information and gossip. Not now.

          The site is toxic, and unless you have in interest in WTW articles on SpanishBride’s obsession with Islam, Fish&Game/Simon Lusk on Tukituki and irrigation, Heartland Institute on global warming, and (most amusingly) summaries of the NZ Herald, it doesn’t offer much.

          Reply
    • Mike C

       /  13th December 2015

      @Kevin

      I doubt it 🙂

      Reply
  3. col

     /  13th December 2015

    Belt has banned about 70% of the posters over there. Those remaining seem to be too scared to confront him.

    Reply
    • And if they do, you should see the patronizing emails they receive in return. The stupid part is The World’s Greatest Moderator Chimp deleted comments or banned readers that contributed automatic payments into the piggy bank. Arrogant and thick as pig shit, and Cam sits there with eyes wide open watching it happen. I don’t know many times I’ve seen “I will be stopping my payments” in emails.

      Reply
      • David

         /  13th December 2015

        Wonder if you saw the patronising email I got from Belt and it wasn’t giving reasons why as a someone with a monthly payment had been banned but it was spewing bile on why I had inconvenienced everyone for having the temerity of asking why.
        i would have put at least a grand to them in the previous 12 months too for various causes.

        Reply
        • Yes, I read it again the other day as I scrolled back through my emails looking for something. Sorry to hear you wasted your hard earned $.

          Reply
  4. Nelly Smickers

     /  13th December 2015

    Maxwell Smart: “Could you speak a little louder Chief?. They’re throwing dirt in my grave.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat

    Reply
  5. loki or travdog.

    What was Belt’s motivation to ban the apparent scores of people he did. Why would he lose the business thousands a month in subs? Surely it was in his own interests to resolve issues and still keep the contributors and their cash? From what I have read here he wouldn’t even enter into debate with those who sought an explanation.

    His actions seem to have been so bizarre in some of the instances cited, that the possibility he has been sabotaging the model has to be considered. If so why?

    Reply
    • It’s hard to fathom what he had in mind. It seems unlikely he would not have known that people he was banning had been donors. Possibly they realised too late, but the banning and comment manipulation has continued on and on.

      Perhaps he just wasn’t prepared to admit he’s made bad mistakes so kept on doing the same things.

      Reply
      • Loki

         /  13th December 2015

        A power crazed failure. Just like his boss.
        You spend time around our hero and you soon see the macho nonsense and Agro attitude start to seep in.
        Belt has been allowed to fill the void of emptiness that the site became when the brains all cut him off.
        Slater will not change. He has been lazy for too long.

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  13th December 2015

          @Loki

          What does Slater do with his time all day then ???

          When I got banned a year or so ago and phoned him … he told me I was interrupting his fishing … and that he left all of the moderation and ban decisions to Belt and Poulton.

          So if Slater isn’t writing posts and isn’t moderating … then does he just sit on his fat arse all day ???

          Reply
          • Loki

             /  13th December 2015

            Yes.
            Sat in front of a screen googling himself and scanning other sites to pinch posts from.
            It is pathetic. The herald publish stories that are days old and then they appear on faleoil the day after that.

            Reply
            • Come on, sometimes it was the other way around too!

            • Mike C

               /  13th December 2015

              @Loki

              That probably explains why there has appeared to be a deluge of [unsubstantiated – PG] writing comments in here over the past few months 🙂

              Slater has no doubt been here in Georges blog reading posts and comments written about himself and the Whale blog … and the poor sad bastard has felt an over whelming urge to defend himself and attack some of the commenter’s in here. LOL.

      • Kevin

         /  13th December 2015

        My own opinion is that Belt wants to both keep the comments down to a reasonable level and also ensure that the comments are of a good standard. So ignoring personal issues, he’ll ban you not only for comments that are not up to scratch, but for commenting too much, or pushing an issue too much etc, even if your comments are of Einstein quality.

        The bottom line is if I was thinking of starting a blog would I want Belt onboard? I certainly would. What he does is keeps the comments tidy which in turn keeps the blog professional.

        Reply
        • MaureenW

           /  13th December 2015

          @ Kevin
          That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Clearly “your” blog would not be a commercial venture (Belt’s results speak for themselves), and how would you pay Belt – do you have shares in Mars Bars?

          Reply
        • Once you start choosing which comments are “reasonable” for any reason of arbitrary standards then you will annoy people who will think you are selectively censoring. More so if this happens silently – other commentsrs don’t know what’s disappearing so they have no idea what the general opinion might be, it it just reinforces their own prejudices.

          Belt style moderating is worse than the old letters to the editor selections, at least they has an excuse of limited space.

          Belt’s moderating is the worst I’ve seen, especially because of how many people he has ‘disappeared’. Insidious. And self defeating as his ongoing complaints about revenue problems show.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  13th December 2015

          That is the most ridiculous thing you have ever said, Kevin. Polite words fail me.

          Reply
        • Kevin, I don’t know if you are some sort of Slater fanboi or a troll or what, but you sure know how to shovel shit. I got banned for using FFS a couple of times and having a laugh at the naked attempts they made to promote Judith Collins over John Key. It was pretty mild stuff, they just didn’t like what I had to say. If you think that’s good moderation, you can go eat a dick. It really isn’t.

          Reply
          • Kevin

             /  13th December 2015

            Three questions.

            1. Do you think the comments over at WO have improved?
            2. Do you think the comments there are of higher standard than those at The Standard.
            3. Do you think the comments are of higher standard than those at Kiwiblog?

            PS. I would have banned you too 🙂

            Reply
          • kotenga

             /  13th December 2015

            Yay! This place is starting to really feel like WO Classic now!

            CUNTS! BASTARDS!! FUCKERS!!!

            There, that feels better.

            Reply
    • Because he’s a control freak. Half the time it was about him getting rid of people that pissed him off or said something that annoyed him under the crock of shit guise of ‘moderation’. Out of all the people I managed to get unbanned he’d just start looking for another excuse to eventually get rid of them again permanently. Once he’s got a chip on his shoulder that’s it. Epic tantrums and long simmering grudges. He went the best part of 6 months of not talking to me after we had a disagreement about the way the blog and moderation was heading, fuckin hard to work with. I never really could work out his festering angry fixation with certain readers like they were the enemy. What he was seeing as violations of moderation just wasn’t there, they were concocted in his head to get rid of people that annoyed him or disagreed with. If something annoyed him that wasn’t in the rules, he’d just write it in the ‘policy’ (*snort* ) so he can get rid of them.

      Too late now, no use combing the hair on the scalp when there’s a terminal cancer inside the skull. Not my clowns, not my circus. Giving control to a control freak is always a recipe for disaster.

      Reply
      • So some were attracted to the community, and there was certainly a strong WO commnenter community.

        And somne were attracted to the perception of power.

        But as Slater has found in politics, Belt has found out on a website, if you do the dirty on too many people too often you lose informants, you lose friends, you lose donors, and you lose.

        And all they are left doing is trying to explain how mean people have been to them. And forgetting their own ‘explaining’ rule – or rather, proving that their rules were only rules they tried to impose on others.

        Reply
        • Yes, well it’s not just explaining that is losing. The victim mentality is cute though. You can’t spend years dealing kickings to others then play the victim when people kick back. Sooner or later this happens [I don’t want to have any links to violent responses. There’s better ways of confronting bullies. PG]

          Reply
      • It’s like any business, unless you’re giving your customers what they want and making them feel they’re a big part of your brand, you’ll be forced to shut up shop. Plenty will still walk on by and have a laugh at the window display and even chat, but no buying happens when you’ve got no original or interesting product.

        Nero – Rome – fiddling.

        Reply
        • It’s the dumbest business model I’ve ever seen, treating your customers like they’re scum, children and idiots.

          There are some very intelligent people that have fallen by the wayside that had little tolerance for the patronizing and condescending treatment they got under ‘moderation’. Sure there were a few assholes, but many of them weren’t. You can’t have someone that likes being patronizing and condescending at the front desk dealing with your customers.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  13th December 2015

            He’s never heard that ‘the customer is always right.’

            I was in a shop a week ago where the owner and someone else were so busy talking that they ignored me completely. I left without buying anything, as I didn’t want to disturb them by breaking into the conversation-and I haven’t been back.

            Reply
            • A lot of young shop assistants are like that these days, more interested in talking to each other than the customer. If you don’t like your job, bloody well change it! It must cost employers lots of $$, I’ve done the disgruntled walkout many times after getting no attendance by shop assistants that aren’t occupied with customers.

            • Guest

               /  13th December 2015

              You sound female @Travdog

            • Guest

               /  13th December 2015

              @Travdog
              You seem to have history of stomping off in a huff! It must be awful to realise you’re insignificant

            • Guest

               /  13th December 2015

              Awww…@Travdog is feeling sensitive twice over

            • You sound like someone specifically annoyed with my comments and trying to passive aggressively lash out without giving yourself away.

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  13th December 2015

              @ kc

              Goodness, do you think they may have recognized you from this blog?

              🙂

          • Kevin

             /  13th December 2015

            The commentators at a blog are not the customers, or at least they make up a very tiny percentage of the customers. Belt could ban everyone from commentating and it’d still be the most highly rated blog in New Zealand.

            Commentators are important to show activity but once a blog has reached a certain point, like WO has, commentators aren’t really all that important. Not that people who comment should be treated with disrespect of course.

            Reply
            • MaureenW

               /  13th December 2015

              Of course commenters are not important Kevin, it’s just more likely that they’ll pay a subscription, which of course is clearly not important in your blog business model either. One question, are you over 20? It’s just that some people have to earn an income from their activities.

            • alloytoo

               /  14th December 2015

              Kevin,

              Active commentators on a blog are almost as important as the blog itself, like the blogger they are the product.

              That’s why successful blogs have “General Discussion” posts (usually daily) which are generally very lightly moderated.

      • Mike C

         /  13th December 2015

        @Travis

        How many years did you work for Whale Oil without being paid?

        Did you honestly not know that Slater took money for the multitude of Paid For Posts that Slater did … and has continued to do ever since Belt arrived at the Whale blog ???

        Reply
        • “@Travis
          How many years did you work for Whale Oil without being paid?”

          2 years. Saying I worked without being paid isn’t quite accurate though, I worked as a volunteer.

          “Did you honestly not know that Slater took money for the multitude of Paid For Posts that Slater did … and has continued to do ever since Belt arrived at the Whale blog ???”

          That is correct. I didn’t know about the paid for posts until Dirty Politics came out, and after a ‘chat incident’ it was pretty obvious, not that it really matters because it is not illegal. (although I always had an inkling due to comments by his hate fan club). In hindsight, being kept in the outer orbit instead of the inner core was a blessing, especially when the core is rotten.

          Doing posts like the series on the Gaza conflict last year I did out of pure passion to tell a side that the media weren’t telling, and to combat anti semitism. Paid hit jobs were out of my jurisdiction, and thankfully so. Leaving was the best thing I ever did, it’s a really negative environment to be part of. I pity the gullible ‘helpers’ and readers that are still there lapping up every mouthful of bullshit that comes out, especially when many of them are actually decent people.

          But then half the time you don’t know who’s bullshit you’re reading anyway, the names attributed to the posts are largely irrelevant.

          At least I owned all of my work and didn’t write anyone elses.

          The sources are dry, the end is nigh.

          Reply
          • Guest

             /  13th December 2015

            @Travis
            You left out of spite, not with insight…or is that INCITE?

            Reply
            • Is that you my long lost temperamental pal? lol

            • MaureenW

               /  13th December 2015

              See below .. The great one blocked 35 commenters for “mentioning” a particular URL. Lol – no sense of humour.

            • Loki

               /  13th December 2015

              I see the panic room is being manned tonight at the mouth breathers.
              Travdog getting a serve.
              Unfairly in fact. A good guy who got sucked into the weird little cult as a volunteer.
              You and the rest of us are well out of the fetid turd.

          • Jeeves

             /  14th December 2015

            Please don’t use the term ‘decent’ to describe these people, or yourself.

            A vital component of being a ‘decent’ person, is an ability to recognise what Filth smells like, what it looks like, and who it hangs out with. Alongside this ability is the necessity to stay away from Filth.

            So I’m sorry to lay this on you- but volunteering to help Filth is not what decent people do.

            Reply
            • Well thanks for your opinion Jeeves, but opinions are like arse holes: both full of shit and everyone’s got one.

              Have a Merry Christmas anonymous jellyfish.

  6. somewhat amused to read that in 7 years WO never once paid for Cathy Odgers’ lunch. 🙂

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  13th December 2015

      Thought the same, Belle… some gentleman he turned out to be…wining and dining with Odgers for seven years and never picking up the tab…

      Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  13th December 2015

      belledejourNZ
      Could be she was bringing in the dollars and he wasn’t or
      Maybe Odgers’ was cutting the lunch herself,
      SB started calling herself CS mistress, very adamant about not being his ‘wife’. any more
      In that sick power hungry crazed lot anything is possible it seems.
      Won’t be long before WO is just a icky in infinitely memory.

      Reply
    • Loki

       /  13th December 2015

      It is true.
      He never pays. Ever.
      A moochers moocher.
      Without mr five families and the legion of good people he has chewed up and spat out over the last decade or two he would be a 60 kilo tramp living under Grafton bridge.
      I actually pity Belt, trying to get regularly paid by the mouth breather would be a misery without end.
      He will resent paying him and I expect as the end approaches hastened by the usual seasonal drought on the net there will be an epic falling out. Belt will go (and be owed thousands) and the eruption of spiteful tantrums will be like the meteor shower in John Wyndhams Day of the Triffids.

      Reply
    • To be fair, Cathy has fuck-off money. I wouldn’t pay for lunch with her either.

      I’m still a fan of Cathy actually. She has some terrible friends, but I’d still have a Moet with her.

      Reply
      • A macho man he might rate himself, but skipping out on your round is a crime against humanity. Even a relatively impoverished friend picks up the tab once in 7 lunches or they don’t accept or tender invitations. He who pays owns, so paying your way is paramount for perception, trust and respect.
        The constant begging bowl takes on another significance. Weak as the proverbial.

        Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  13th December 2015

        Even if someone has a fortune, it’s nice to at least offer to pay-and the other person would probably appreciate it. I would pay sometimes so as not to feel like the poor relation and be on something more like an equal footing with the other person.

        Reply
      • Timoti

         /  13th December 2015

        Fuck-off money. That’s the great thing about wealth. Its not the houses and cars.
        People dream of winning Lotto and telling the boss to f-off. They sell themselves
        short. There’s so many others you can tell the same thing.

        Reply
  7. Hel

     /  13th December 2015

    Spanish Bride was a mistress to the blog wasn’t she? Complaining Slater spent all day working on it. Now she has to [unsubstantiated – PG] as well as he seems to be the new brains behind it?

    Reply
  8. MaureenW

     /  13th December 2015

    I wonder what URL Chimp is referring to – blocked 35 commenters today. Another great day for the Whaleoil Blog. (He wears it like a badge of honour)

    It is quiet tonight. Probably because I blocked about 35 people today for mentioning a certain URL.

    Reply
  9. Currently the WO headline advert is a self promo advertising “New Advertisingt and Promo activities”.

    Which links to http://digitalads.co.nz/whaleoil/

    Reply
  10. Joe Bloggs

     /  13th December 2015

    Goodness me… 30% more comments for this post alone than the highest # of comments for any post on WO today… Looks like Belt’s ban hammer on 35 brave souls has killed conversations ‘over there’…

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  13th December 2015

      Quality not quantity. Though I’d love to have known what the url was.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th December 2015

        If you can’t guess that, take a look at the top of your browser.

        Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  13th December 2015

        Well it certainly wouldn’t have impacted you (who’s been on this blog most of the day). Actually, I would have thought that crime would deserve a life ban. When did you last comment there again?

        Reply
  11. Kevin

     /  13th December 2015

    Most of the day? Hardly. I’ve been working most of the day and come here off and on during breaks. I stopped work around 9.30 and just been commenting on this thread.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  14th December 2015

      @Kevin

      Just like you … I too take a look at Georges blog during my work breaks 🙂

      Sometimes I also add a comment or two whilst drinking my cuppa.

      But while you are on your work breaks … you appear to only want to come here now … and the Whale is no longer your first port of call.

      I would suggest that you enjoy the freedom of speech and the quality of debate you get here in Georges blog … as opposed to the Nazi style of moderation over at the Whale Ghost Town full of tumble weeds. LOL.

      Reply
  12. A few issues have been raised in this thread that are worthy of explanation, which no doubt Loki and Travdog will be able to confirm.

    Q. What is Pete Belt’s motivation for shutting down comments and opposing views?

    A. Belt isn’t rewarded for donations that come to the blog via the commentary community. He doesn’t care about the commenters, or the WO community. Instead he’s always been incentivised on google advertising revenue. The entire WO blog is architected to maximise google hits. You want to read a full article? You need to click through to view. Wonder why there are so many photos-of-the-day, viral videos, proverbs of the day, etc? Maximise google hits.

    Belt goes into a blind panic whenever a comment trips up the google search algorithms: swear words will do it, as will many links, even off-topic comments will compromise the google rankings. In terms of google rankings, the commentary community is just one big nuisance at WO. No doubt there is a control-freak element at play as well, but the primary reason is google ad revenue.

    Q. Are the published stats at WO accurate?

    A. Yes and no. Yes, it does attract far more hits than any other NZ blog, but we are not comparing like for like. No other blog in NZ has been architected for the specific purpose of maximising google advertising revenue. To the extent that it has, it has been moderately successful. WO attracts huge numbers of overseas visitors who might simply be searching for a proverb from Solomon, or be searching for a particular youtube video. Does that make it a successful NZ blog? Depends on your opinion. As a platform for online opinion, no it doesn’t. As a platform for other activities carried out by Cameron, very possibly.

    Q. Does Cameron receive a large proportion of his income from other activities?

    A. Despite the claims made in Dirty Politics and elsewhere, Cameron has sucked badly at turning Whale’s hits-for-hire activities into a serious money-making venture. The most successful of these activities–the attempts to rehabilitate Mark Hotchin’s reputation–accounted for half of Cameron’s income in that year. The money from Carrick Graham’s other hits is nowhere near enough to earn a living. Sure, Cameron has had paid trips to Vegas, Israel and Fiji for his promotional pieces over the last few years, but that doesn’t put food on the Slater family table.

    The effectiveness of WO’s click-harvesting is connected to the hit-jobs-for-hire, though. If you appear on WO, then by virtue of its google footprint, you are going to stick around for a long time unless WO turns you off. This is the essence of the threats that WO makes against its petty targets. Do you have a private dispute with one of WO’s grungier associates? Easily solved: we’ll splash your name across WO and will leave it there until you pay up. Are you an academic working in a domain that is critical of some of the industries that Carrick Graham represents? Easy solution: we’ll destroy your reputation until you shut up. Are you running for political office in a campaign that Simon Lusk is running on behalf of one of his clients? Fine, we’ll mention you on WO and watch you cower out of the race when you see what google has to say about you.

    As a business model, it doesn’t attract a lot of money even if run successfully. At present it’s barely enough to pay for Belt’s expenses, and WO has teetered on the edge of financial collapse ever since his income protection insurance got cut off. Yet WO has always dreamed that the next iteration of his blog–the Freed venture–would jump off in leaps and bounds from the original WO model. Sadly for Cameron, he hasn’t yet convinced any investors to front up the serious money required to launch it, and it’s more likely that Matt Blomfield will bankrupt Cameron before Freed ever does find a seriously-wealthy-yet-highly-gullible funder.

    Reply
    • kotenga

       /  14th December 2015

      Jesus, what a load of crap. You just make shit up as you go along. What did he do, [inappropriate, could be seen as an insinuation – PG]?

      Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  14th December 2015

        Kotenga
        which part is crap and which part is a true picture of how WO has been run?
        do you really know.

        Reply
        • kotenga

           /  14th December 2015

          Price and Slater have been at it for years. Just because someone doesn’t like Slater doesn’t make what he says diamond encrusted. Price is from the same rotten sewer as Slater is from. He’s only here to insert more crap about Slater, and no other reason. But just as Slater has his devoted fans, Price too has people that take whatever he writes as coming from God himself. It’s pathetic.

          Reply
          • Hi Kotenga, how are you? Nice to hear from you, and that you have the courage to put your own name. Pete George has very kindly informed me off-line just what it was that you said that he edited out. It was the source of considerable amusement for my early morning.

            It’s fair to say that it is accurate that Cameron and I have had a beef with each other going back some time. It is also accurate that my opinions as to what are going on inside the Whale tent has a degree of speculation and shouldn’t be treated as gospel. On the other hand, as an observer of Whaleoil over a long period–we were never very close, but broadly on the same side in the early years of his blogging (pro-Nat govt, anti-Labour)–my speculation as an outsider has been pretty much on the money the whole time.

            It was me who first identified the Lusk/Slater relationship as essentially a toxic one to public life generally, and the National Party in particular. It was me who identified the Carrick Graham/Cameron Slater hits-for-hire ring, and identified the likely clients. It was me who outed Slater and Cook, and Luigi Wewege, as behind the gutless post-election extortion racket against Len Brown. For the most part, I haven’t had any philosophical sympathies with Cameron’s targets, but I have had an extreme objection to opening up extortion as a method of silencing opponents and shutting them out of public life. Even senior politicians are personally fallible. Everybody makes mistakes in their personal lives. If you try and make that territory fair game for political discourse, then you open up a partisan civil war that shuts out good people, wrecks democracies, and makes political life ungovernable.

            I don’t think it’s at all accurate that there is a group of people who hang off my every word. I’m not a demagogue, and the people who I am most closely associated with in politics are people who invariably have their own minds, their own philosophical convictions, and are perfectly capable of telling me to my face that my views are a load of old twaddle. They’re entitled to their opinions, and I would neither respect them, nor be respected by them, if robust debate weren’t a key part of those relationships.

            You’re entitled to your opinion, of course. As for those supposed fans I have, I don’t know who you mean, and I’d actually be pretty horrified if it were true.

            Reply
            • Mike C

               /  14th December 2015

              @HamishP

              I saw what Kotanga wrote before George edited it out 🙂

              The closest he’d have got would have been within 100 metres in a Restraining Order. LOL.

        • Jeeves

           /  14th December 2015

          The crap bit is the lie that there is such a thing as the “Slater Family table”… its just a concrete trough.

          Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  14th December 2015

      Thanks for that explanation. I afraid some of us are still well behind the eight ball in the ways of the ‘blog’.

      Reply
    • Kevin

       /  14th December 2015

      “A. Belt isn’t rewarded for donations that come to the blog via the commentary community. He doesn’t care about the commenters, or the WO community. Instead he’s always been incentivised on google advertising revenue. The entire WO blog is architected to maximise google hits. You want to read a full article? You need to click through to view. Wonder why there are so many photos-of-the-day, viral videos, proverbs of the day, etc? Maximise google hits.”

      Pretty much. Unlike say The Standard or even Kiwiblog, WO is a commercial venture. What people don’t seem to understand is that once a blog has reached a certain level commentators aren’t really that important – in fact they can become a liability (e.g. Kiwiblog). Basically you want each article on your blog to be google friendly and not weighed down with hundreds of irrelevant and low quality comments. And that’s why in terms of keeping the comments tidy I think Belt has done a good job. Has it come at a cost? Yes. Have people who shouldn’t have been caught up caught up? Yes. But you can’t deny the result.

      For the record I think the comment moderation here has been good so far, in fact it’s been very good. My concern is whether or not it can stay that way as more commentators come on board.

      Reply
      • Maureen W

         /  14th December 2015

        @ Kevin
        In that case, you’d have to wonder why Slater accuses Belt of wrecking the blog?

        Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  14th December 2015

        Kev 2 words to debunk that theory … ad block

        Reply
      • Jeeves

         /  14th December 2015

        “You can’t deny the result”….

        Well I’ll give it my best shot.

        I think the WO website has descended into the world of twee bubblegum low intellect tripe.
        It has gone from nasty but quite entertaining, to just plain yawny.

        Reply

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