"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 23 February 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Sit and Spin

To: Craig Marks                   
From: The Sucksters               
Date: 2.22.96                     
Re: Spin Cycle                    

[Spin Cycle]

So sad about your recent project.

Ever since you gave us a 30-word

blurb (Did calling us the "Ween

of the Web" reflect our

predilection for sniffing carpet

cleaner or yours?), we've been

keeping our packets in our

pants, awaiting your presence on

the "real" Web. Sure, you've got

an AOL presence - so does

American Woodworker.


[American Woodworker]

And American Woodworker's site

is actually pretty good compared

to Spin Cycle. Hey, there's

nothing wrong with skewing

young, but maybe you should have

thought twice before handing

over the project to your




The three-day event idea does

have some promise - as each

passing day adds another Suck

column to the burgeoning

archive, we grow more and more

convinced that the idea of

permanence on the Web is

overrated. And, is there a worse

idea than the virtual rock

concert? Creating your own

virtual rock concert is easy:

turn up your stereo and ask 4

strangers to press you against a

wall while you struggle to keep

hold of your coat.


[Bouncin' Balls]

But we're not here to pick, we're

here to help.



INTERFACE: What do the kids do

while they spin the latest NOFX

product? That's right, Battle

Arena Toshinden. The interface

rule-of-thumb: Never put more

buttons on your web page than

there are on a Sega controller.


[Vid Games]

* Nine sections? Don't be

ridiculous - if the results of

the Spin Reader's Poll are to be

trusted, the average Spin

enthusiast barely follows nine

artists. If the concept of

giving Trent his own section is

too hard to swallow, just take a

look at the traffic in



[Alanis Morissette]

* The "washing machine" metaphor

might sail over the

barrette-laden heads of many

pre-pubescent mini-Morissettes,

but cleanliness is next to rock

godliness. We even hear that the

boys in Rancid have graduated

from finishing school and now

bathe almost as frequently as

the tykes from Green Day.


[Charles Peterson]

DESIGN: You've invested in a

mammoth font library and a

filthload of Charles Peterson

photos. Don't be shy about using



[Tori Amos]

* It may be true that as long as

the kids dig bad poetry, Tori

Amos will never go broke, but

you've gotta admit that the lips

help. Grab those electronic

rights and plaster those pouts

up on click #1 - black clad

neo-goths like Trent and Marilyn

might even be compressible to 4



[Blur vs. Oasis]

* Blur vs. Oasis? Just between

us, let's admit it: they're all

idiots. Could their homophobic

call-and-response media feud

belie an obvious point? They're

as hot and bothered for each

other as the great tone-deaf

masses are for them - did we

ever say they weren't suave,

well-coiffed idiots? Shower them

with pixels.


[Today's Load]

CONTENT: Don't worry about

reproducing the music, it's not

what Spin readers are interested

in, anyway.



* You don't need the on-line

marketers of USA Today to tell

you that most people will gladly

fork over cash for yesterday's

news, but you can take a clue

from the Gannet Empire in

deciding the rates. Their logic

is simple, and translates well

to your pages: information

becomes more valuable with age.

Don't waste that gem of a story

about the Hair Bands of the 80s

as a one shot in the paper mag -

keep it available forever




* And while you really can't go

wrong taking the old reduce,

reuse and recycle route, here's

what not to do: Stay away from

old content that makes the fresh

stuff look bad. Obviously, this

still leaves a lot to play with,

but you can probably let those

Michael O'Donoghue columns

follow him to the grave. Or

maybe not: you could pass off

the stuff as recent material -

it works for Chuck Eddy! And

O'Donoghue was obviously

prescient when it came to

interactivity: "7 women. 6

bullets. 1 judge. The Beauty




Speaking of which, INTERACTIVITY:

Reader input doesn't have to be

multi-mediocrity. What's

important is the illusion of

being part of a cultural

movement. That's how we got our



[Mosh Pit]

* What's a "Virtual Mosh Pit"

without being able to kick

someone in the head? Maybe that

kind of gratuitous, adolescent

violence won't play on AOL, but

on the Web, it's only the truly

prurient that's regulated. Hack

up an avatar interface and let

the kids at it. Bonus points if

you can figure out a way to

charge four bucks for beer and a

dollar for water.



* Forget "chat rooms," think

"voting booths." Or, to continue

in a patriotic vein: "Run it up

a flag pole and see who

salutes." A glance at your mail

will prove that all debate boils

down to a sub-Beavis paradigm

wherein something either sucks

or rules. Go with this limited

range of thought and make it

work for you! The immediacy of

online interaction makes it a

perfect medium for charting (and

bowing to!) the whims of today's

capricious youths. Why wait for

an issue to hit the stands to

see on which side of the crucial

"credibility gap" your subject

falls on? An added bonus: the

illusion of voting should

alleviate any external pressure

to continue Spin's "political

coverage," which, as far as we

could tell, consisted mainly of

second-rate hack jobs on the

religious right, the only

lifestyle merchants whose ad

space isn't there to be pulled.


[Billy Corgan]

* If they can read, they may just

be able to write. When the

reader's comments page gets to

be bloated, garden those

"Smashing Pumpkins RULEZ" posts

into oblivion and tag a 9-rating

onto the longer rants. There's

no need to squander .75 per word

if you can fool the rabid

protopunks into thinking they've

reached the Maximum Rock 'n'

Roll free-for-all of their



[Mailing Label]

That's all for now, Craig. Though

living in the information

economy doesn't mean the

dollar's been devalued, we'd

accept payment for consultation

in our second favorite currency:

hype. It works out well, as it

plays to our mutual strengths -

yours to give, and ours to


courtesy of the Sucksters