there was a thread that was brought to my attention recently that i felt necessary to respond to. here is my rebuttal to the issues brought up. since i am no longer linking to the thread, i will paraphrase the issues that were brought up.
1) we consider artists to be anyone that meets certain minimum requirements in the following fields: film, music, fashion, sports, performing arts, and visual arts. while some may debate sports as being an art, we felt that a high level of skill at any sport qualifies (think michael jordon for basketball, david beckham for soccer, gymnastics, wushu, etc). as far as i know, racing is considered a sport.
also, if you've followed our site for a while, you'll see that we try to be more loose with the definition of artist rather than keep things too strict. we want to create an inclusive community, which is why we accept artists of all types, from all regions, of all races/nationalities, famous or not.
ISSUE: i have a company, so doesn't that make me an artist?
2) companies that we list as "official partners" are either ones that we have worked with, OR arts organizations, OR companies that official artists on our site are involved with. we're not just haphazardly adding companies. and down the road we will probably break out companies into "groups" once that feature is built.
ISSUE: all alivenotdead cares about is celebrities.
3) our site is not just about celebrities. if that were the case, we'd probably have less than 100 artists on the site, not 600+. and those artists would probably be concentrated in the actor, singer/band, and model categories and very little else. if all you pay attention to and fan are the celebrities, then of course you'd think that we're just about celebrities. try doing what i'm doing and fan every artist and read all of their blogs/photo albums/videos/music ... you'll see very quickly and clearly that our site is much more than celebrities.
ISSUE: alivenotdead is just trying to bring celebrities on, get a lot of users, and sell and make money.
4) i don't feel there is anything wrong with trying to build value in something that you are working on. but our goal isn't just to build up the site and sell it off. we're trying to build something that we feel has a positive benefit on society, and at the same time we're happy working with good friends, having fun doing it, building something cool, and watching it grow.
if you're doing something for the sole purpose of making a quick buck, that's a recipe for failure. if you build something good, that will have value. and that remains whether or not it's eventually sold. i'm obviously biased, but i think rotten tomatoes is a good example of this. or youtube. or skype. or too many examples to list. and when we were doing rotten tomatoes, because of the dotcom crash, there was a long period of time when we thought we'd never sell the company and we were fine with that for the same reasons i listed above.
ISSUE: alivenotdead is just making their friends into artists.
5) our site is also not just about friends. most of the artists on our site i have never met; and i have probably met more artists on our site than almost anyone else. the reason why it seems like it's all friends is because: 1) artists can refer other artists (and they often do); 2) artists will interact with the artists they know; and 3) if you can't tell, it's a friendly site!
No, I don't see where those posters are “coming from”. I don’t care who anyone is, the fact of the matter is that being spiteful and disrespectful is simply being spiteful and disrespectful. This is a free site where anyone is welcome to join and interact with professionals in the entertainment industry. This is not a site about semantics, if you want to define who is an artiste and who isn’t with your own set of criteria, feel free to create your own website because this is Patrick Lee’s project and he and his crew sets the criteria. None of us here are getting paid, and many of us are doing this to better educate the audience about what we do and to demystify any misconceptions people may have towards “celebrities” by sharing a bit of our lives and even interacting with the audience. Not all the artistes participate on the same level, but no one is forcing anyone to read every single blog. And yes, alivenotdead.com is a way to bring awareness to our work so more people can appreciate it, but believe me when I say this is the most guilt-free and honest method of promotion that I have ever experienced in my time spent working in this industry thus far. I have made good friends in the industry through this site that I might have never become friends with if not for our mutual trust in Patrick, his crew, and the spirit of what this site is about. And if the people in question bother to learn more about each artiste, they would know for example that Gobi Ng is not only the most skillful drift artiste in HK (able to etch calligraphy-like characters onto the ground using the tread marks left behind by the careful control of his drifting car), he is also a car stunt driver/director for many films in HK and beyond. Since he makes movies, does that make him an artiste now? I guess it depends on who’s setting the criteria, and according to those set up by Patrick and his crew, he is.
The thing that bothered me the most is not the details of who is an artist or not -- is the cynical tone and what they were implying -- that we are just trying to throw something together to sell off and make a quick buck...
We have all put our careers, personal finances and, in some cases, family lives on the line for this website -- so its really disappointing to hear people talk about those of us in the AnD team like this.
Everything else - i think Phil's comment touched on it best.
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