k so we're not the greatest jounalists in the world, in fact we're actually marketers and developers who have been working in the crypto space since 2016 and have many stories to tell. If you check out some of our other posts you will see we enjoy a story. And this is what has lead us to write this post, where are the stories in crypto and blockchain?
TL/DR - What a fucking shit show media and marketing is in this industry. Sad face. I hate CZ/Binance and Coin Telegraph, you have to pay for press releases people and everyone wants $$ for fuck all. Thankfully we can all laugh at it now $billions have been lost by morons running these currencies.
I should begin by saying there are a couple of good players in the space and Coin Desk in particular stands ahead of any other publication in the industry, fair play to them for keeping their integrity so far. Coin Telegraph? Let's come back to them shall we...
Why would the crypto press not be trustworthy?
Money. Industry monopolisation. Control. But let's tell the story first.
Since we started in the industry we've worked with some major projects in the space and I am happy to say many are businesses rather than projects. It was ok to say projects during the ICO boom of 2017 & 2018 because they were all ideas on the back of a beer mat, with many going on to raise tens of millions of dollars.
Yes absolute scenes! In fact, we have looked back at a random selection for where are these ICO's now. It really was utter madness. And the result? Well some really underwhelming products, many lost businesses and lots of wealthy, young chancers. More wealthy young chancers than anything else unfortunately. But back to why this is important...(we're telling a story here, stick with us)
Projects needed to raise capital to finance their big offices and lifestyle plans and the way that quickly earned the reputation as the best way to achieve exposure was..PR. Public Relations. Within the marketing industry, PR is really defined as protecting and enhancing the brand reputation of a business by generating positive stories.
This didn't quite translate to the young, non-marketing savvy bods in crypto, which is fine but where the real issue arose was it also didn't translate to the 'bloggers' acting as journalists. Those who were really good at churning out any content they could to bring readers in to their websites, were now sitting pretty as crypto's answer to the Daily Star. Facepalm.
This my friends, brings us nicely to the first reason why you cannot trust the crypto press.
How do crypto publications make money?
We're happy to acknowledge that no-one should work for free, we all need to eat and pay the mortgage, which is why the worlds leading publications make money off advertising, advertorials and sponsored content. The first one is how publications have survived since the earliest newspapers - advertising revenue.
This is the same for crypto publications except for a couple of glaring differences.
Blockchain Press Releases
If you get in touch with crypto press outside of Coin Desk, about your Blockchain curing Cancer, all you need is to tell the world, the first response will be:
Thank you for getting in touch with our publication. Here is our Media Kit with prices. Buy 10 press releases today for a discount.
Buy a press release? No I attached a press release, about our cure for Cancer, with Blockchain, is this not news? Let's just check this for a minute, what is a press release?
Disclaimer: we have not cured Cancer with Blockchain.
Quote from The Balance SMB
'A press release is a written communication that reports specific but brief information about an event, circumstance, product launch, or other happening. It's typically tied to a business or organization and provided to media through a variety of means.'
This is the best bit, missed by 99% of all crypto and Blockchain companies:
'Issuing a press release doesn't mean the media will automatically run with it. Media outlets will ask the same questions they always do: Does it interest their readers? Does it benefit the community in some way?'
The reason this statement is so important is if the publication is relying on advertising revenue, they need visitors to read their publications (yes even those old print ones on paper) or the money will not arrive. So receive interesting press release, ie our cure for Cancer Blockchain, write a great article, get lots of readers, make more money.
This has been the way for decades and decades, maybe even centuries now.
And back to the Crypto way again, just so we haven't forgotten...
Cure for Cancer with Blockchain = Fuck you, pay me
Space travel possible for all right now for $10 = Fuck you, pay me
World hunger eradicated by new crypto FOOD = Fuck you, pay me
The 'pay me' fee can vary from $60 up to $4000 with Coin Telegraph, will kindly mark it as a sponsored post, when you were sending them news.
Now if you love the crypto and blockchain industries, and we do, these types of publications are like a virus. They spread bad things, they offer no value, they don't help the industry improve and grow, they're simply out to make a quick buck and they're contributing to the industry struggles.
News should NOT be paid for as this completely destroys the integrity of journalism, and let's be honest that's already on it's knees. News should be earned, which means a token for trading blades of grass doesn't deserve news, unless it's fucking hilarious as most ICO's were, but they SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO BUY THAT NEWS EITHER.
That's right no? Because now that 'news' for trading grass is potentially getting seen by a lot of people in the industry - not as many as they claim but more on that later too - believing it might actually be worthwhile as it's in the crypto press and they trust it. But should they trust the crypto press? Unlikely.
Who can get press in crypto media?
It's not media, but it's gives a nice title. Well this is quite cool. If you really really want to get into the crypto press you need 1 of 3 things, combine as you wish.
1) Be CZ from Binance
2) Be a 'Former' employee in any of the following. Just change employee for 'executive', 'senior executive' or maybe 'trader', even if you only made the tea.
- A major high street or investment bank - HSBC / Goldman Sachs
- A major tech company, the most likely to get you featured are Google, Facebook and Amazon
- Have been at Baakt. Is Baakt even successful? Another article is needed! - https://cointelegraph.com/news/former-bakkt-ceo-appointed-to-trumps-task-force-for-reopening-the-economy
3) Be an outspoken cretin on the price Bitcoin and the Covid-19 lockdown, which is in place to save lives. I couldn't possibly be referring to you Roger Ver. Or b called Justin Scum. Sun.
If you would like to dig a little deeper into this problem specifically, simply check out Coin Telegraph for more than 5 minutes. In fact, I just Googled them, and low and behold.
CZ CZ CZ CZ CZ - for the love of god.
This is such a problem that we've decided to write a completely separate article about Mr CZ and his beloved Binance.
Ok so I'm feeling a little jaded after all this. We've all known about this stuff for so long but actually writing it down and not being someone who worships anything that comes out of the industries mouth is a little depressing isn't it? Time for a coffee, or an Espresso Martini now it's past 2pm during lockdown, and try to complete this expose.
TL/DR from here - much less intereting than the above in my opinion but we do have emails asking us for $3000 which is batshit funny.
Crypto lists and Best of Articles
This is a something of conflict of interest type problem. You search Google for 'Best blockchain for a pointless token' and are served with myriad of articles claiming to provide the ultimate list for your search query. Absolutely nothing wrong with this by the way, it's a great way to serve great content, the problem is when it's not great content.
This one is fun, stick with this rant a little longer! You can leave after this segment, the rest is probably just waffle - or incredible...
We reached out to a few publications who have similar articles to one we wanted to create. We feel this article needs to be created because the others are awful or wrong or pointless as they do not actually feature companies that solve the search problem.
Our process was, be friendly and introduce a new business that perfectly suits the search query of consumers and that therefore compliments the article of their publication = better article, happier readers, more ad revenue. Boom. First response below:
How much Alexander? At time of writing, $4600 for a bank solution to be added to a list of other banks, most of which do not actually offer the ability to bank crypto companies and individuals? So to make your article actually do what it says it does, we must pay you $4600 and you won't make it known that it's been paid for either, breaking ad laws?
Obviously we didn't take this offer, but thanks anyway Coindilligent.
Within the same 2 hour period, we had our next response:
$1000 per year Asaf? Really? This article is nowhere to be seen in the UK top 20 ranks man, what are you smoking? If you are smoking btw, it's bad for you, outside of making you deluded.
If you're one of these banks paying $1000 to be in this article, please stop! Stop now!
If you're a great option for crypto, you can be in our one, for free. If you're not a good one for crypto, then you won't be getting featured.
So what does this tell us? Well a brief summary would be, if you're reading anything on a crypto publication, basically a bedroom blog, take everything you read with a pinch of salt and try to dig out the more trustworthy news sources...I'd list them if I could.
Advertorials & sponsored content in crypto
Crypto Advertising, CPC and CPM
There's no need to get into too much technical marketing detail here, what this is really about is is there any value in advertising with a crypto publication?
CPC = cost per click
CPM = cost per 1000 views of an advert