The (Unofficial) Guide to Getting Over the 1D Split By A Former Boyband Expert

Well, have we all recovered from the Invasion of the Middle Class Mummies? Good. Shall we carry on then?

Of course, if you find what I write “lazy, inarticulate or dull” or find my style is not up to the same impressive par as your “ten year old daughter,” thanks for the stats but do naff off eh?

Anyway.

Most mornings, the first thing I do is check the news on my mobile. I like to know of any emerging stories and be on the ball with regards thinking of my next move, post wise.

However, I was filled with shock and horror that, eek, One Direction had announced that they were going on “hiatus” after the release of their next album.

See, I’m no fan of the band. I cannot bloody stand the crap, being that I’m 33 this is probably quite the normal and expected reaction to their chosen brand of pop shite.

No, my fear was of what Mini, my tween, would think. Or, more to the point, what decibels of screams and crying I could expect to be deafened with.

Mini, who has been in this mood since news broke this morning

Mini, who has been in this mood since news broke this morning

I’m speaking from experience here. When Zayn left, she came running upstairs as if she was severely injured, launching herself at me in floods of tears. I had to employ chocolate there. Not only was Zayn her preferred member of her preferred band, he was also the other half (at the time) of her other most preferred member of her second most preferred band, and so she was concerned Perrie may leave Little Mix too.

It put me in mind to my own days, back in the nineties, as a Take That fan, left despondent when they split up just a few short months after Robbie left.

Such was my upset I was allowed to leave my maths class to compose myself when a peer had the news sent over to his pager. (remember those?). I have to admit my own upset probably was dealt with after a sly Silk Cut in the upper girls Loo, but I did manage to turn my devastation into missing a whole double maths period.

Girls, fans of Harry, of Louis, and of the Irish one who looks like he tagged along by accident, oh and that one who was in that video where he smiled for each selfie then went back to looking like a miserable sod, here is my guide to getting over it.

Know That There Are Other Bands Out There

Yes, there are indeed other bands and singers out there, just ripe to take over your teen angst. They even play guitars. Most write their own songs too, all of love, losing a loved one, or generally just being a misery guts.

Bands like Nirvana, who are great for those times you want to slam your door when your parent’s wont buy you an iPhone.

Or The Cure who can go from dark lyrics to jolly beats about Friday being a great day to be in love.

You could go for original Boy Bands that trail blazed, like The Beatles or the Stones – in fact, looking at pictures of them in their prime is almost like looking at Harry!

Or go the other way and fall in love with Janis Joplin. For those of you who loved the catchy, sing-a-long lyrics (that’s a quote from Mini, not me, I still think the lyrics were wank) of Best Song Ever, you can’t beat the actually quite great sing-a-long and definitely not wank lyrics of Mercedes Benz.

See, it’s not all bad, music wise. In fact, it could be the making of you!

Know that Hiatus Means Ten Years and Prepare for it

Sorry to be the bearer of bad times, but, as I told Mini this morning, us Thatters are only too aware of what a hiatus really means.

With Take That, it meant they disappeared for ten years.

Ten years!

Yes, you had a few solo projects, Jason was in some indie film, Gary tried, oh bless him he tried, going from that chubby guy with the bad hair to a buffed God, but he didn’t get very far. Then there was the album where Mark (still forever to be referred to by original Thatters as “Little Marky”) went all hippy on us all and sang about Green Men and all sorts. Howard went off and did some Djing.

I have no idea what Robbie went on to do, apparently he did a couple of albums….

So, dear Directioners, you may want to prepare to bunker down and play on a loop all the albums until which time they run out of cash and decide to come back again.

Look on the bright side, by then, you may have kids of your own who you can foist your former band of choice on,

Know That Your Merch Is Worth Keeping for the Future

Yes, all those books and CDs, dolls and the like, keep it all, don’t cry buckets over it.

Especially the rarer tat from the fan club or tours. Keep the lot safe, because even though one day you’ll look back on your love of Direction and think “what was I thinking?” as you hopefully listen to Janis Joplin instead after reading this post back when they split, these things are collectible.

I still have quite a few bits of my Take That memorabilia from back in the early to mid nineties, and some of it would quite happily go for quite a bit on eBay these days.

Things to keep safe? Autographs, personal pictures, anything which is rare or early.

Don’t Drive Everyone On Twitter Scatty

Please, ladies, every time one of this sodding band farts you can’t wait to go to twitter. I’ve not even logged in today, knowing it will be blanket virtual wailing.

I know I admitted to crying when Take That split up as a way of conning my creepy maths teacher into letting me leave early, but thankfully Twitter didn’t exist then.

I hear there are phone lines open for the very upset. I never got that when my band of choice split.

No doubt this has been timed to coincide with the new series of X Factor, launching this weekend. What’s the betting that a new, improved boy band is found on there, just as One Direction are bowing out to spend all the cash you earned them?

Yes, it’s sad, but go find a dedicated forum for your wailing and shouts of “my life will never be the same agaaaaaain”.

Yes, it will.

There’s always Rixton, after all- and one of them is engaged to one of Little Mix, its almost like they’ll have never left us.

Life will go on, and one day you’ll feel a little bit daft at your school reunion when a few ex-classmates can’t wait to remind you of when you had to leave double maths cos some crappy band split up.

Just remember, if that happens, always come back with the line that you missed double maths down to your tears and spent that time in the loos listening to music with the cool upper girls, whilst they had to concern themselves with an hour odd of x and y and Pythagoras.

That will shut ’em up.

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Is It Just Me: Thinking Mumsnet Brought the DadSec Attack On Itself?

I think its pretty standard knowledge that I’m no fan of Mumsnet or it’s bullying practices and members.

Even I was slightly shocked by DadSec hacking and bringing the site down, as well as “swatting” Justine Roberts and another member.

“Swatting” is a mostly American practice where to be ultra snarky to someone who you aren’t a fan of, you ring in a false report on 999, then film the swat team turning up.

No one has thus far uploaded a video of such events at Justine’s house, and it’s doubtful they will if they have sense- after all the Met do tend to take a dim view of false reports ending in lots of Police with guns going for no reason to someone’s home.

My view?

Mumsnet, especially Justine as its co-founder, have to take some responsibility for the actions taken against it. I’m only surprised it’s taken this long.

The site itself may advertise itself as a friendly place for parent’s to interact and share tips. In my experience, and the experiences of others, its anything but.

Now, I’m not suggesting that all members on the site are awful, but there does seem to be a hierarchy of longer term members who are allowed to do and say what they like and not get in trouble for it. To the point where, they can happily call you terrible names, tell you you are an awful parent and be as nasty as they like.

Yet no matter how many times you appeal to their supposedly neutral moderators, you get ignored. In some cases, the moderators join in with the abuse. All whilst covering themselves with a well placed smiley emojji.

Say something back at these bullies though, and the mere second they moan to the exact same admin, you get told off in public. Argue back, and, like me, despite legitimately asking for help against a vast group who even followed me to my blog to snark, and you’ll be banished from the site without a right to reply or appeal, whilst the very nasty lot you’ve had abuse from gets free reign to slag you further and announce you a wuss for “flouncing”.

Take as well the Bounty Mutiny.

Mumsnet had no issue battering a competitor to try and rid the competition from the net.

Yet answer back and suggest they had ulterior motives for suddenly and publicly trying to remove a valid funding source for the cash strapped NHS and, you guessed it, you better have your Twitter block button on standby and prepare for yet more abuse.

I met Justine Roberts many years ago at a very early blogging conference. Back even then, in 2010. she had no issue in confirming that Mumsnet preferred the Middle class Mum to single mums on benefits or lower income parents.

I kid you not, it caused all sorts of anger in the early UK blog community.

And no surprise that the site itself may run a Blogger Community but it’s forum members actively and unashamedly slag it and bloggers to death as being interlopers.

I’m not a fan of wasting Police time, but instead of bemoaning the behavior of taking the wretched site offline, perhaps Mumsnet Towers needs to put down the Prosecco, and look within as to why they were targeted.

All the while they are so off to Dads, single parents and the poor, and belittle with glee parent’s who actually stumble on the group for advice down to love for their children, Mumsnet should prepare itself for more attempts to remove it from the net.

There are far nicer groups out there, and I think the net can do without an adult cyber bully fest.

Perhaps now they’ve had a taste of their own bitter medicine, Mumsnet can regroup and refresh it’s skewed rules and regulations.

Dadsec may be sensationalist, but it’s about time the uneducated on the ways of this self confessed viper nest asked why they were adamant that Mumsnet should be stopped?

I for one hope they do make changes.

But, as someone who spent 18 months investigating the site, I very much doubt they will.

Bloggers, Blackmail and How Not To Behave with Outreach #BlogSchool

Jesus.

I refer you to my previous post regards bloggers, and summer holidays and sunshine getting to us all, but bloody hell, the latest round in Bloggers making other bloggers look like shit has even shocked me.

We are talking serious piss take to make me blush and my jaw drop.

It seems that, not content with approaching a perfectly nice, small business, and asking to work with them, and them saying hell yes, come on down, no, this was not enough.

She wanted, actually demanded, £100 of stuff, for her and a guest she didn’t even tell them about, when they had put together a small gift bag of treats.

They rightly told her they couldn’t give her that much stuff, so she got the hump and stormed off, returning half hour later, like some sort of  modern day Highwayman after cakes and told them in no uncertain terms that, should they not give her half their bloody stock, she’d “review them anyway”. In other words, hand over the loot or I’ll slag you to death across Instagram.

Which is exactly what she did.

Yeah, I’ll let that sink in. She tried to gain a shit tonne of stuff for a write up, didn’t get given in to, so slandered the brand.

Now, the brand, having seen this on Instagram, wrote a post about what actually happened. The problem is, they had to do something, as it’s their small business, which they could have lost down to nasty behavior like this classless idiot, and they had a right to reply.

And reply they have, and named her too.

Are they wrong to do that?

In essence, I feel we can hardly blame them, as our little Blagger friend decided to slate them across not one but four separate posts on Instagram. I would have been  mortified as a brand who, like many others, would have thought a bit of brand promotion via the relatively cheap medium of bloggers was a great idea and would never have foreseen the bad publicity this grasping, greedy cow gave them.

Some suggest they should not have named her, and others have said they should not expect decent behavior from someone who promotes they give good reviews based on getting their own way (although she denies this and has since deleted the images).

However, the fact that, instead of apologising for her shouty harridan behavior, she has now suggested they are bullies for writing a response to her slanderous bollocks says it all.

In both sides there is right and wrong, but frankly, I feel the weight of balance certainly tips towards the blogger being a complete no mark and ridiculous to think she can write in the post that she has since deleted the images and “expects” at least a £100 before she will review something.

Expects!!?

I have reviewed everything and anything, and price to me is irrelevant. Being recognised as a blogger who can and will put something to the test, be constructive and then move on to the next thing is enough for me.

I think possibly this lady is from the realms of those who started a blog purely to get freebies. I started a blog before that all came about, and was flattered when brands found me 4 years in.

The thing is, you can say when something is less than you’d expect. As long as you do it in a  respectful way, and give the brand right of reply, then that’s great.

All this blogger has done is make herself look bad. And as for the excuse that she has deleted the images, well tough, they are out there, the brand saw, and frankly you knew what you were doing when you posted it.

The whole thing is just disgusting, from the minute this lady walked into someone’s business, got the arse and stormed out, and then bought the cakes just so she could slate the brand, all whilst menacing them that she would give a review “no matter what”, well it leaves a sour taste n my mouth for sure.

Once again though, its not just this one tit that looks bad, its all us bloggers who review.

I have enough trouble convincing brands I’m not some idiot blagger as it is without #BloggerBlackmail trending from here to China.

Oh yes, it has its own bloody hashtag trending on twitter, most of which contain links to both posts.

I really hope this blag artist gets herself offline pronto. There is no justification for her behavior at all.

If you want to review, you don’t get to go into someone’s business and expect to raid her their products. You aren’t a sodding celeb. You have a small hobby blog online.

Get serious!

And to brands and PRs now shaking their heads and re considering blogger outreach programmes, please know we are far from all that graspy.

Some of us are lovely, in fact most of us are.

And please ignore idiots with porn site names or stats who clearly have ideas above their blogging station.

Is It Just Me: Who Wants The BBC To Rehire Tom Jones?

BBC WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU FOOLS!!!!

If you haven’t heard the news, Sir Tom of sexy Welshness and Name Dropping Jones has been sacked from the next series of The Voice.

Now, I’m not a massive fan of the programme itself. But I do watch it, purely because Tom is in it.

Tom Jones is a freaking legend. There is not a major celeb in the last 50 years the guy hasn’t met or been friends with. Elvis, The Rat Pack, The Beatles, you name them and Tom, has probably rasped in his sexy Welsh Tiger voice to them whilst casually removing the pile of pants thrown at him by women.

The BBC has denied actually sacking him for the fifth series, saying his contract ran out and wasn’t renewed. So, what did Tom do?

He acted just how a true professional and gent would in these modern times when fans started to ask why on earth he was being replaced by Boy George. He wrote a very calm post on his Facebook page.

Poor Tom. He had cleared his schedule ready for the series, he said. And then without even a discussion, they get Boy George in instead.

I have no issue with Boy George, I like Karma Chameleon. But that’s about all, other than Dads across the land not realising in the 80s he wasn’t a she and then getting weird feels when they found out they’d fancied a fella, he’s known for.

He’s flamboyant, I’ll give him that, but then, so is Paloma Faith, who they’ve also just signed (good call and she would have so interacted well with Tom), as is Will.I.Am too. Too much clashing personalities, is not going to end in what I think the BBC is hoping for- a mid era X Factor panel of opinionated water throwing, but a noisy wrangling of sequins and shrill voices.

The great thing about having Tom Jones on that panel was that he was an epic talent. Every era has a song of his which is still a great listen- from Delilah to the Reloaded albums. He appeals to every generation across the board, hence why he used to get a good cross section of people in his group.

He could listen to someone sing and point out every tiny little crack where it slipped. The guy is a class act.

tom

Not to mention he is still, as old as he is, a raspy voiced sex tiger.I have album covers from back in the day of Toms where the stare is so penetrating and hot that I’m half scared to hold it without some form of contraception lest I end up pregnant. Knicker elastic has been known to ping and snap as a result of Whats New Pussycat.

You would never have sacked Barry White (God rest him), and Tom is our UK Barry.

You’d think the BBC would be chuffed to find an old school act not caught up in Operation Yewtree and thus keep them in their employ.

Come on BBC, get Tom back, The Voice has had people come and go and no one cared half as much. Or here’s an idea- Simon, sack Grimmy and get Tom in instead.

Its not Unusual, but Tom really was the life and soul of that show.

How to Approach Brands Without Causing a Multi Platform Sh*t Storm

OK bitches. This is where I jump in a virtual rocking chair, grab a blanket and sit you mad ass mofos down, Granny style and impart my hard earned words of bloggy wisdom.

You are welcome.

Its the summer holidays, always a time when blog folk get bored and caught up with looking after our children ‘cos them god damn pesky and frankly inconsiderate teachers bugger off for six weeks down the pub. The bastards.

Its also a time when clearly the heat (or in this case, widespread rain and gales) makes us all go a little bit stir crazy.

Such is the norm in this situation, bloggers be bitching at other bloggers, then other bloggers join in on either side and it all kicks off, with me in the middle requesting peace and using words like shizzle in a vague and futile attempt to make everyone laugh and thus stop acting like nutters.

Today, one blogger in a rather ill advised newbie error, decided that, as it was her birthday next week, she would tie this in with brands.

Now, if she’d done this via email, I’d have to give Brownie points and think “why didn’t I think of this?”.

But she didn’t, and in a move not wholly uncommon for new folk, she used the much maligned #PRRequest hashtag on twitter, several times to every brand in the known universe (or so it felt).

This does have the effect of finger nails down a blackboard to some bloggers. Not to me personally, I don’t really hate on anyone who tries to get themselves out there to brands when there are flipping shitloads of bloggers these days. However, annoy people she did, and faced a backlash from some who didn’t decide to @ her in their bitchie comments.

Someone did though, publicly, finger waggling for her publicly contacting so many brands. It gives us a bad name she said.

Yes, it probably does. But there is a certain irony, not lost on me, for publicly bemoaning someone for publicly begging companies to work with them.

So, how do you go about approaching brands with a cracking tie in idea without causing the sort of multi platform social media shit storm that happened over these two and their tweets and Facebook passive aggressiveness?

Well, the best way is not to carpet bomb twitter.

The thing is, you can, and I have done myself, say hello to a brand on Twitter, have a little social chat, then say, “oh, are you looking to work with anyone at the moment?”

In fact, I would suggest that, if you put the work in and play the long game, you can happily build up a rapport with a brand are/or PR firm or individual and end up working with them. If you do chat with them, they will no doubt have a look at your Twitter bio, and they’ll know you’re a blogger. That way, if you are a friendly soul who sparks up a nice little chat routine with them, they’ll hopefully think of you when they are putting together a list for their next round of outreach.

If you aren’t in it for the long haul, or have a deadline to meet, say with Back to School or Christmas, then the best way to contact your desired brands is to make a list.

Once you’ve got your list, you need to fire up Google, and do your research. Attack it like you did your GCSEs.

This will take a while, but you now need to go to each of the brands, and scroll down the page, right to the small print.

Most brand’s websites will have a small Contact link, or, even better, one which says Press.

This is where you have to forget you are a lowly blog (cos we aren’t lowly. We rock) and click that press link. If the contact us link is there instead, you need to click it and find press inquiries instead. Take down the email.

I find with carpet emailing, the best bet is to write a standard email which I can insert the name of the contact in and the brand I want to work with. I also add my important stats, or my media pack with these in.

BE POLITE!

Do not be graspy, do not act like you are the best thing since sliced bread, but do say what you feel you can do for them and their brand. Explain that you can test an item out and will then insert a link to their chosen brand page, and that posts are then put out on all your social media channels. Got an instagram page? Make it known that you can show what you are currently testing and of course @ their instagram page.

You have to bear in mind that these people get lots of approaches, so you kind of have to sell yourself but without sounding too up yourself.

If you don’t get a reply, move on, try again next year. DO NOT DRIVE THEM CRAZY on Twitter. They will think you are nuts and they still, definitely will not work with you.

Most importantly, work on your blog, work on your social media output and gain a following first, If your blog is basically two three paragraph posts, and your twitter follower list is nearing on empty, that is not the time to hit up companies to work with you.

If you have a less than great DA (DA, this years PR for annoyance and smugness in equal measures and sure to be replaced by something else as before), but a good twitter following, mention that.

So, to recap, do not carpet bomb twitter in an epic style which will do nothing but offend.

Do build up relationships with brand, PRs, and other bloggers.

Do work on your blogging and social media output first.

And for Gods sake, please don’t be bitching at each other and causing fuckwittery. We were all new once upon a time and we all make epic faux pas. Just take it to private message, even if you have to ask said blogger to follow you first.

Elsewise your point about “making bloggers look bad via overuse of the PR hashtag” will result in “making bloggers look bad by causing epic who said what, she did this” anger and side taking. Which makes us look even worse.

And if you’d like any tips, send me a Tweet 🙂