Previously in denial about his photographic past, Rob Gilley now rummages through his trove of mediocrity.
Warning: The photograph at the bottom of this page features adult content. You must be 18 years old or European to view.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the website with which you are currently engaged has improved dramatically over the last year. A new approach to content and design has taken Surfermag.com from an afterthought to one of the first places on the web that discerning surfers visit.
From zero to hero in a few short months, basically.
Although this has been a group effort, much of the credit for this improvement, and for the improvement of the print version as well, can be attributed to SURFER Magazine’s new Editor, Brendon Thomas.
Apparently Brendon possesses the wisdom, diligence, and thick skin required to properly man the helm and guide SURFER into a new century.
He’s also a clever little bugger.
For example, he put the fear of god in yours truly by firing me, and then, like a guardian angel scooping up the downtrodden, re-hired me a few months later. He let me twist in the wind where I could feel the slings and arrows of the monthly bill cycle before bringing me back into the fold.
Now, happily, I am Brendon Thomas’ little minion. His beholden whipping boy. An Igor to his Dr. Frankenstein.
Another example of Brendon’s cleverness can be seen in a recent group e-mail he sent to those of us who contribute to this website. In this correspondence, he congratulated us on our efforts and gave us concrete proof of our success—a numerical breakdown of how many “page views” each part of the revamped website was getting, including this blog.
And then he ended this email with the following sentence,
“The challenge now is to see whose blog can get the most traffic next month…”
I had to smile when I read this. I knew what this was. This was the oldest trick in the book. A thinly veiled way of stirring our competitive juices in an attempt to get us to work extra hard on our blogs.
Well I, for one, am not falling for it, Brendon. Personally, I find it important to carry on the SURFER tradition of avoiding hard work. I’ve got better things to do, like nap.
More conveniently, I don’t need to expend any extra effort. Why jam the flippers all day when you can just tilt the table?
After all, it’s a surf magazine tradition:
“THE BIGGEST EVER!”
“DAY OF THE DECADE!”
As any good corporate research department worth its salt will tell you, there’s no better way to draw attention, to boost numbers, to get people to look at your product than with a good blurb. Than with a juicy teaser. Than with a sensationalized title. Than with a shitload of exclamation points (December 1984’s SURFER cover featured six).
Yes, the rich tradition of surf sensationalism will be my savior. My ticket to buku page views. My formula for pleasing Dr. Frankenstein.
And as unfair as it may seem, market research also tells us that a good surf photo will trump a well-written article every time. Even an exhumed and reanimated Hemingway would lose a page-view battle to Shipsterns Bluff.
So who needs substance when you can titillate? Why attempt to intellectually engage an audience when all you have to do is run another Teahupoovian apocolypse?
And page-view wise, there’s something that’s even more powerful than photos of giant, death-defying slabs, and that’s photos of giant, death-defying boobs. If you consider the durable popularity of the ESM girl and the Transworld Model Search, the token flesh of the SURFER Magazine contents page, and the shockingly high bikini “hit count” on the Surfline.com reader photo feature, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And finally, there’s nothing more alluring to an American audience than getting something for nothing. Or at least the appearance of getting something for nothing. Regardless of the existence of an actual complementary item, a “poly-bagged” surf magazine with a giant FREE emblazoned on its shiny, non-biodegradable exterior will self-bag it’s own sucker every time.
So there you have it. All the elements are in place. Simply by titling this blog a certain way, and making sure to include the right amount of exclamation points, I am assured of a massive amount of page views. It’s a done deal. My job is secure.
But it’s not right for me to blatantly lie. The title of this blog promised a free naked photo, and a free naked photo you shall get. But instead of a tight, gratuitous, silicone-laden model, I leave you with a more accurate, representative reality. Nudity that is actually witnessed by surfers on a regular basis.
A naked truth.
Sometimes you get what you pay for. Photo: Gilley