@rumandmonkey We're off to obliterate a village. See you soon.

No, I’m serious. Who the hell are you people and what do I do with you?

by Benjamin

At Rum & Monkey, we love our audience. You’ve been here with us since the beginning; on January 30, 2002, when we pulled the giant “on” switch and the city lights all flickered out – we like to think with joy – you were ready and waiting for the products of our fecund finger-tappings.

The Internet, however, has moved on. It used to be enough to tack up a page and leave it sitting there, winningly smelling up its corner of the web while people stopped by to copy embed codes into their MovableType weblogs. These days, you’ve got to throw up – literally throw up, projectile-style – brand pages on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, RedTube and Grindr, and ideally track the hell out of your visitors and sell inferred knowledge about the HIV status of their children to the dazed, pockmarked remnants of the KGB, operating (as everyone knows they are) from a warehouse loft in Sunnyvale.

With this in mind, some time ago, we added a Facebook “like” button to all of our pages. Most people don’t know this, but in exchange for doing so, Facebook provides detailed demographic information to site owners, using the profile details of people who didn’t log out of their site and happen to stop by our site. (Seems legit to us.) Our visits and pageviews are pretty awesome, but we’ve been stabbing in the dark – now, for the first time ever, we could analyze the demographics of our site and better serve you, the user.

This is absolutely true: the key demographic for Rum & Monkey is 14-year-old Indonesian teenage girls.

“No way,” we said.

As it turned out: way.

Shit.

We’ve been running this site for nine years, people. We’ve run articles about Sarah Palin, Robert Mugabe and George W Bush. We’ve called Ariel Sharon an evil criminal, we’ve discussed the finer points of New Labour politics in Britain, we’ve made web toys about the looting in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina (all in the best possible taste, of course). Our hope – nay, our plan – was to attract a disaffected audience with the same disjointed sense of humor.

Now, it could be that Indonesian teenage girls have a particularly adept understanding of global sociopolitical current events, and have been attracted by our intelligent but irreverent coverage of same. More likely, though, they don’t give a shit, and have been skipping right past all that stuff to the Name Generator Generator, rendering our tears, sweat and that time we locked a team-member in his room for three days entirely pointless.

Which is not to undervalue Indonesian teenage girls. I’m sure you’re all great, and you’re in an up-and-coming part of the world that’s rising beyond its troubled past and is sure to blossom in your lifetime. That’s awesome. We just don’t know how the shit to write for you.

So, girls, answer us this: what can we do better? How? Why?

Everyone else out there who’s tried to run a website: how do we pivot from this?

And finally, to the three people who have actually been reading for the LolPalins and the SeƱor Peegs and all the rest of it: thanks. It means a lot.

14 Responses to “No, I’m serious. Who the hell are you people and what do I do with you?”

  1. Scott Says:

    Still waiting for a new daily peeg.

  2. Nicole Says:

    I pick up articles on the LiveJournal feed these days, but I’ll go “like” some stuff right now. :D

  3. Nicole Says:

    Also, if the Weapons of Mass Destruction Donation System was a Facebook app… ohboy.

  4. anon Says:

    Ok 1st off, I’m not a regular reader (and also not a 14-yr old Indonesian girl, lol)…just giving my 1st impression and 2 cents

    Needs more mainstream funny/relevant stuff. Not everyone knows who Palin is..like, I live in the other side of the globe— I do know Palin, but since I’m not living in USA,its not as funny to me since I’m not exposed to her retardness 1st hand. More lulzy pictures,make main webpage more interesting/polished, jazz it up. Write about something with popularity,you could troll fans for views as well. ”X reasons y Lady Gaga is a no talent hack” etc, idk..depends and what direction you guys want..the internet is gigantic and people have short attention spans.Make use of social media to advertise yourselves..people read about article,finds it outrageous/funny/offensively funny,forwards to friends, links on facebook, etc etc, more people read it, more articles on sidebar!! they browse more articles = profit. You need a layout so people can see like, the rest of the articles. The average internet user is lazy and will not press ‘previous entries’ to sift for stuff to read.

  5. Oranjepan Says:

    If you plan was to attract related primates with the same funky taste in hard liquor you succeeded beyond your wildest dreams with me, but if it was actually “to attract a disaffected audience with the same disjointed sense of humor” then I’m really sorry, but you’ve failed miserably.

    I read this post and couldn’t tell for sure, so I’m trying to be polite and ask. It’s simple courtesy, what the *@#! more do you want???

  6. Gwen Says:

    “the key demographic for Rum & Monkey is 14-year-old Indonesian teenage girls”

    As opposed to 14-year old Indonesian toddler girls, or what?

    Yeah, I’m your actual target demographic, but I have nothing of value to add, just being a redundancy-nazi. Sorry!

  7. Benjamin Says:

    Our preferred term is “redundazi”.

  8. Miya Says:

    The name “Daily Peeg” has become a lie. It should not be a lie. That Senor Peeg is one of the things I love about this website. And yes, I read them! The Name Genereator Generator has become lame in my eyes, so all I really do now is check the articles and hope beyond hope that you updated Senor Peeg. Look at him. He languishes. It’s tragic. Release the Peeg from his mundane, repetitive, bland life. Please.

  9. the enigma Says:

    I used to be a member of the forums way back in the day (Starting in about 2005), but the site lost it’s relevance and started becoming a personal rant page for admins. The forums were only any good because of certain people who posted regularly, whether it was their incite or humor that we looked for…but when the site just became angry dudes making jokes out of big words because they thought it made them look smart, and the forum became the same twenty people just talking to each other, it was time to move on.

    If it makes you feel any better, I still haven’t found a forum that gave me the same satisfaction Rum & Monkey used to. When the humor was there, damn it was good. The conversation was stimulating, and the admins seemed genuinely interested.

  10. kirei Says:

    Ok the Weapons of Mass Destruction is cool

  11. Kerri Says:

    Just wanna say I’m not indonesian but I absolutley love this site! AND I didn’t need Facebook to find this site O_O …Though I admit it was the name generator that brought me here (and was blessed with the name Terrible Toast) I guess since I’m from the US I get the full force of rum and monkey’s humor but I find this site freaking hilarious! Like I said though, I’m already getting the full force of your genioussness so I can’t think of anyway to improve the site… It’s perfect for US kids so I guess if you really want to make people from around the world happy, see what’s going on over there and make it funny. Yeah I know it… that’s an obvious solution and you’re looking for more. Well I can tell you this, I will definatley spread the news of your websites brilliant existence. That way you’ll have more innocent new people to read your posts and get addicted to Rum and Monkey.

  12. Georginorx Says:

    I appreciate the weirdness, that’s pretty much all I’m looking for. You’re good with consistently writing this way, but the erratic update schedule means I can forget about the site for years at a time.
    Would love to see a long Dirk Gently style story, and you just post a page or so every week. Or you could try writing for Cracked.
    Also thanks for your free stuff. I don’t hate you for your small and tasteful banner ads (just please no “secret of eliminating tummy fat” or “look 20 years younger with this one trick” spam ads)
    :)

  13. Sujatmi, the 14 year old Indonesian girl Says:

    Hello!
    Yesterday was my birthday. In Indonesia when a girl turns 14 there is always a ceremonial dance performed by rum-drunk monkeys. My family is quite poor, we drank the rum ourselves and plucked the monkeys from their trees. These monkeys were untrained dancers and did very poorly. We then retired to our home for an initiation to the hashtags both rum and monkey, and their many splendors, particularly http://www.rumandmonkey.com, a tradition among all Indonesian families. Mr. Senior Peeg and Mrs. lolPalin are like my family now.
    Thanks for writing.
    Sujatmi

    PS. I love your blog.
    PPS. While I am an Indonesian girl, I am in fact 19 years old. Yeah, I don’t know what I’m doing here either.

  14. phorque Says:

    when did the forums die? lol?

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