Shutting down Whale Oil “not that far off”

Cameron Slater has returned from his two month break (although he kept in touch with a few comments) and it looks like the financial pressure is on.

Yesterday SB posted a question: Would you pay for an ad- free Whaleoil?

If you are already supporting Whaleoil financially, please, for the moment, pretend you are not, then answer the questions on our Whaleoil survey.

In a comment in response Slater said:

Some of you are talking about ad blocking. I respect that you don’t want to see ads, but ad blocking will actually become self defeating, as more people use it the ad revenue goes down and then sites like this will cease to exist. So by all means use ad-blockers, but I don’t want to hear any moaning when I shut the site down because it is no longer sustainable….and it’s not far off that BTW.

This was promoted as a feature comment so it seems to have been more than a passing comment:


Whale Oil’s ad click model of funding is obviously under pressure. The donations are also presumably insufficient.

And it’s likely the pay per hit job revenue stream has dried up substantially as well. That relied on the mainstream media picking up stories and circulating them widely, which is ironic considering the level and nature of attacks Whale Oil has made against old media that Slater claims has failed.

Click bait advertising has problems problem across media types.

Was the shutdown threat an indication of unsustainable reality? It seems to be more than a grumpy moan. And being elevated to ‘Featured Comment’ suggests that Pete Belt may be in agreement with the comment.

Whale Oil still serves a useful purpose but after a short time as a pace setting, ground breaking influential media phenomenon it has now joined the ranks of the niche forums along with all the other New Zealand blogs.

The Whale used to blow hard and prominently on the media surface but now it is spluttering. Will it sink altogether?

Slater seems still worn down and demoralised rather than revitalised by his break.  That’s not surprising, he’s had a demanding decade and a torrid couple of years, and his bite is now largely toothless. For someone who thrived on the thrill of online and political warfare there may not be much left to sustain this. As well as the finances.

UPDATE: SB has posted on this again today: Would you pay for an ad-free Whaleoil?

Whaleoil will remain free to access to anyone.  We are just trying to ascertain if there is an interest in being able to pay to make the ads disappear.  One way or another, we need some money to pay for it all…

Leave a comment


  1. Chad

     /  6th September 2016

    Monkey man must have been having a bad day quite some time ago as I was banned for disagreeing with his messy idea to making money by sending marketing material directly to subscribing readers (or something similar). My idea – paying not to see ads!

    Later they dabbled with annoying auto directs to iPhone App marketing crap for a while. He won’t ever see a cent from me. I have to wonder why I am compelled to return now – it’s a bit like watching a slow motion train crash in the ever-changing online/political world.

  2. Tipene

     /  6th September 2016

    Ad revenue and click bait will soon be the least of Slater’s worries regarding his websites sustainability.

    The tangled web of deception will soon be further unravelled – there will be a run on popcorn as a result.

  3. Jeeves

     /  6th September 2016

    The Filth is settling at the bottom of the cesspit, where it belongs.

    • Corky

       /  6th September 2016

      Quite true. But what’s left? An incestuous bunch of backslappers.

      • Pickled Possum

         /  6th September 2016

        Jez Corky “incestuous bunch of back slappers” that’s taking things a little to far dontcha think. Some of the comments I read over there yesterday were from obviously loyal intelligent committed to WO people, some who are astute business people grandparents and woman of discernment, granted they have their sanitized say, butt Calling them names just isn’t fair fear or even fare Imo.
        I for one am now going to join the gang of No Potty Mouth Name Calling Here …
        I just gave my patch in and am now a recovering name caller. 😉

        Like Grace sings “Pull up to the bumper baby, Pull up”

        • Conspiratoor

           /  6th September 2016

          Agreed Possum. ‘Filth’, ‘incestuous backslappers’, ‘monkey man’. This blog sure as hell holds the moral high ground. Cheers,c

          • Chad

             /  6th September 2016

            ‘Monkey man’ is an appropriate title. I stand by it.

            • Iceberg

               /  6th September 2016

              In what way?

            • Ratty

               /  6th September 2016

              “I’m not a moderator…The monkey boy is in charge of that, ably assisted by the bogan pie eater.”

              Maybe not man then… however.. by taking out ‘man’ and replacing with ‘boy’ these are Slaters words

          • Jeeves

             /  6th September 2016

            I could stoop so low that I would need to stand on a ladder to tickle a snake’s belly……

            And I could still easily hold the ‘high moral ground’ against the Filth which is Slater .

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  6th September 2016

              That pretty much epitomises the loony Left’s world view – so certain of their moral high ground that they have no need to consider anything else at all. Which is good, because that is why they are unelectable.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  6th September 2016

              Perhaps we should send jeeves and his pals on an anger management course Al. But you have to feel their pain. The invective reflects a frustration born of years in the political wilderness and the realisation their precious labour pardy is now effectively a corpse. So sad, never mind, maybe saint nick will pull a rabbit out next year

  4. Doesn’t “Monkey” Man/Boy just refer to Bolt’s choice of avatar image…which is a chimpanzee?

  5. Conspiratoor

     /  6th September 2016

    Yep, turn the lights out…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s