THE VALUE OF TRASH

Wanye
August 01 2013 10:32PM

 

It's still the summertime doldrums here at the Nation. With little news expected in the next few weeks before things heat up prior to the season starting articles involve projections, speculation, rumours and British people bombing down hills after a wheel of cheese. 

And today we present an article on the new trash button and what it means to society. If you want an article about EV/60 or something else substantiative keep on truckin soldier. If you want to know why we created a trash button that will probably lead to fist fights in the comments section for all eternity read on.

This is an article about the business of the Nation and nothing more. You have been warned.

BACKSTORY

Back in 2011 the Nation Network signed a landmark advertising partnership with Post Media and OilersNation.com. Under the terms of this agreement the Edmonton Journal sold OilersNation advertising inventory along with it's own EJ inventory to companies all over Northern Alberta and beyond. They are far and away the industry leaders of monetizing news sites so it made perfect sense to try and make something work. 

It was a negotiation that dwarfed the Treaty of Versailles in it's complexity, term of negotiation and number of soldiers in attendance. But we got a deal done and it worked pretty darn well.

Until the lockout.

GOD BLESS THE LOCKOUT

 

The 2013 lockout was an absolute bitch for any business involved with Professional Hockey to any degree. Bars and restaurants lost money. People who sold hockey apparel lost their shirts* both literally and figuritively. Media folks tasked with covering the NHL sat about twiddling their thumbs and cursing their luck.

And here at the Nation we took it right in the beans. Not so much in terms of traffic - somehow that remained miraculously steady. But more in terms of trying to build our revenues which in turn allows us to continue to lead the league in bloggers under payroll.

We can't count the number of times we heard potential advertisers say "I really like what you guys have to offer here but I want nothing to do with the NHL at all during the lockout. Frankly they can go (words deleted to protect the children.)"

And so we struggled along. We did a wage rollback across the board but didn't let any writers go. We scrambled and sold off organs to fund the burn until the season came back and then we waited for our advertising partnership to start ramping up again.

In our subsequent chats with the EJ they made the very rational observation. "The local market for hockey related advertising is still in the doldrums. We will continue to do our best to move units for you guys but it is going to take some time for things to recover."

NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

"Time for things to recover?" That's all very well and good for a publicly traded media congolomerate with private planes, private executive washrooms and DVDs of Howard Stern's "Private Parts" on every table in the building. But for the Nation Network - a double dog dare turned into a blog turned into a beer - we have no such luxuries.

And so we took the massive gamble of ending our advertising partnership with Post Media back on June 1. That is kind of like quitting your job in Green energy investments to do hockey blogging and other internet jiggery and throwing your entire future down the toilet.**

We rolled the dice and undertook the very risky play to sell our own advertising in house and set about looking for a sales executive. In the meantime your ol' pal Wanye and Co set about selling advertising ourselves and hitting the mean streets of Edmonton advertising proposals in hand.

What makes us think we can do a better job than a building full of sales professionals at Post Media? Passion we suppose. Passion and determination and a lack of brains. While we combed the internets, retained head hunters and offered everyone wearing a suit within 100 miles an interview we were able to land 5 new advertisers and kickstart growth again.

We are very grateful to these advertisers for their support.

AND THIS BRINGS US TO TRASH

You may have noticed that we now have a "negative props" or a trash button on the site now allowing everyone to give the big ol thumbs down to any comment they see fit. This was something we long held off on doing for fear that it will turn into a 24/7 flame war with everyone trashing everyone and calling for permanent bans on the biggest offenders.

Yet "branding a trash button" remained on our list of things we could do to run cool advertising campaigns for advertisers. So one day we sat down and made a list of commercial waste disposal companies we could approach with the idea and got to steppin.

And amazingly the first company we approached thought it was a great idea. The guys over at Construction Waste Disposal saw the value of the concept straight away. "As a company that operates commercial trash bins there are few opportunities to brand ourselves in a memorable way to Albertans. The idea of a trash button - people trashing something and seeing the CWD logo afterwards - is a hilarious idea and reinforces the connection between our company and trash. It's our business and we take it very seriously. Will this campaign result in more awareness for our company and more revenue down the road? Only time will tell. We are thrilled to give it a shot."

AND SO HERE WE ARE

 

The 2013-14 NHL season approaches and it is a make it or break it time for the Nation Network. Coming off a lost season that saw more money lost than Blockbuster Video in its final years we are fully in control of our own destiny. We have finally found the Sales Executive to take us to the next level and he starts on Tuesday. NationHQ is ramping up on the back end with Kent Wilson, Thom Drance and Jon Willis leading the way and getting our content ready to be the top of the pops in the coming season.

We have some deals on the table to add some amazing writers to the other sites and some opportunties in radio and podcasting are back on the table. We are finalizing a deal to buy a website and nearly double our traffic overall. And who knows you may even hear your ol' pal Wanye chitty chatting away in our squeaky pre-pubescent voice in the near future.

Anything and everything will get a good look in our quest to make the Nation into a powerhouse business. This means 100 writers under contract, 100 million pageviews a year and $200k to Edmonton charities annually. Rather than allowing things to recover naturally we are going all in and publicly stating our goals on a website that now gives people the ability to trash what we are saying and will remember our words for all eternity.

We can't overstate how much appreciate everyone reading our sites, buying our gear and paying 1% attention to our ads. 

We here at the Nation Network are ready to go.

*Zing

**See Gretz, Wanye circa 2009.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 Rindog
August 01 2013, 10:55PM
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Love the trash button, but think you got the name wrong...

From here on in let the trash button be known as the "DSF" button...

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#2 David S
August 01 2013, 11:09PM
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Glad to see you guys made it through the lockout. I was really worried about that.

Also, I'm somewhat surprised you don't ad Trash/Props buttons to the articles themselves.

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#3 The_CWD_GarbageMan
August 02 2013, 01:00PM
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The boys over at CWD want to say thanks to ON for allowing a lowly garbage company to be welcomed into the ON family with such open arms. We can't wait to TRASH IT up ourselves.

Long live trash.

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#4 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
August 01 2013, 10:41PM
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This FIST is for you Sir Wanye Von Gretz

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#5 Young Oil
August 02 2013, 12:21AM
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First of all, thanks for having one of the best blogs in Edmonton, and all the work that you do. But honestly, I can't say I'm a fan of the negative props button. Before it was implemented, I thought it would be a good idea, but after seeing the results, with about 95% of comments receiving more 'trash' than 'props', I personally think it could do more harm than good to the website.

I completely respect and understand the choice, and doing it for revenue and advertising opportunities is a good reason, but from another perspective, it could really affect how readers view the website.

While the idea of negative props is a good one, people who automatically trash a comment seems to already be becoming a problem. I'm not sure if it's because they do it for their own amusement, because their own comment got trashed, or simply because they think any opinion except their own is garbage, but the fact of the matter is, it is consistently happening. I don't know if it will change in the days and weeks to come, but early signs show the odds are against it.

For me, the main problem is that people comment to get their opinion out there, and naturally want to get a positive reaction. However, seeing people trash everything may make people hesitant about putting their opinion out there, or saying something controversial. It discourages intelligent debate and discussion, which for me is one of the main reasons I visit the site on a regular basis.

Now, I know I'm just one reader, with one opinion, and if I'm in the vast minority, I know this single opinion won't change anything. I completely understand wanting to do what you think is best for the website. But I just wanted to share my opinion, that the 'trash' option makes me less likely to visit the site and comment.

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#6 Devolution
August 01 2013, 10:46PM
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It takes some courage to stand back and admit that what you are doing just isn't allowing you to reach the full potential of your original idea.

To paraphrase... behind every great fortune is at least one great gamble.

Good luck to you.

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#7 vetinari
August 02 2013, 07:39AM
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Can we trash the Flames????

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#8 bwar
August 02 2013, 12:55AM
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Love the trash button but why on earth do we have a thumbs up instead of a fist up?

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#9 Young Oil
August 02 2013, 12:49AM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

I really can appreciate what you are saying. Who doesn't want to engage in scintillating debate without being subject to derision? Still, I have to trash your comment and suggest you grow thicker skin.

It's actually the complete opposite for me! Before the 'trash' button, people used to comment to debate points, which created interesting conversations. Now all they do (it seems) is trash the comment, without stating why they disagree with it. I have no problem with people disagreeing with what I say, and the possibility of getting trashed to hell won't deter me from commenting, but all I was saying is it might intimidate new potential commenters, and discourage intelligent conversation and debate like this website had before, which does lower my interest in visiting the site and commenting. Only time will tell, I hope I'm wrong, because this is a great website!

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#10 kgo
August 01 2013, 10:43PM
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please let me be fist trashed!

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#11 Where's Your Towel
August 01 2013, 10:43PM
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Well, it takes a lot of hutzpah to your goals, dreams, and assorted other personal things out in the public forum. Nothing like having it all out there for your success to be judged by strangers.

Good on you. ON is my most visited website on a per-day basis with the exception of possibly Google.

By the way, does the owner of this website know that there's a someone writing this garbage on here? This Wanye guy outta be fired!*

*Get it out of the way early in this comment section.

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#12 beloch
August 02 2013, 03:13PM
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Since we're a bit off the usual topic, let's talk about advertising.

I've got nothing against T&A, but I like to keep it off my mobile devices and certainly don't want it at work. The old tilted-kilt banner (that was there *forever*) crossed the line for work, so I adblocked it. A week or so ago I started getting occasional porn pop-ups from this site (and no other) on my android tablet, so I finally installed an adblocker on it too. You guys need ad revenue and I respect that. However, please keep an eye on your ad providers because some of us view this site in environments where sports are okay but jiggling silicone isn't. You can't make money off your ads if everyone is blocking them!

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#13 wiseguy
August 01 2013, 11:05PM
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Good luck to ON and CWD.

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#14 Where's Your Towel
August 01 2013, 10:45PM
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Also, speaking of advertising:

Why do you keep trying to sell me lightsabers?

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#15 Rindog
August 01 2013, 11:24PM
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Now the question is:

Which stats guy will come up with a Corsi, Fenwick, etc type stat to quantify the difference between trashes and props?

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#16 Mantastic
August 02 2013, 11:51AM
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for canucks army they should have it called the Riot It! button instead of trash.

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#17 Craig1981
August 01 2013, 11:58PM
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From the headline I thought you were talking about us having Linus Omark's rights

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#18 Reidja
August 02 2013, 12:50PM
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What this site needed was a way to be negative AND anonymous! Like a basement dwelling unemployed general studies major.

Kudos! And Eat SH!T.

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#19 offthebandwagon
August 01 2013, 11:08PM
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Chris Pronger AND Sheldon Souray

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#20 gongshow
August 01 2013, 11:09PM
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You still need link to add links so that we can effortlesslesly repost and forward links for all of these life changjng articles to our buddies. I can't believe that you haven't leveraged the power of social media and the crowd yet. I can sound all smartish drinking beers after beer league hockey by quoting Mr. Wanye or LT or JW or TD but my googly eyed Dman isn't going to remember what I told him tomorrow so he'll mss out on a great afternoon at work of pretending to work. Add link buttons or email or Facebook buttons and with one click and adding an email address I, we, all of us can tell the world. Who knows, if we invite enuf citizens to come and join the Nation maybe Wanye manor will become reality and DSF may find love.

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#21 Crispy
August 01 2013, 11:08PM
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Can't wait to see how many trashes some if the more infamous posters will get. Can we bring back New Age System for a while?

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#22 tom.MTL
August 02 2013, 06:05AM
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Princess Diana

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#23 Buttonpusher
August 03 2013, 09:28AM
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I can trash AND props a single comment?!? Wow that's hilariously stupid! This is going to be a gong show!!

Great marketing idea though! Well done Nation Network, well done.

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#24 KetchupKid
August 02 2013, 10:55AM
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In the hopes of making this thread even more trashtacular, I would like to say, "eat sh!t Oilers," and, "GO FLAMES."

Thank you and goodnight.

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#25 Rocket
August 02 2013, 12:26PM
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@Young Oil

Totally. I've been a fan of this site for years but in the last 6 or so months it has got a little to troll friendly for my liking. This new trash button, while a good idea, seems to exacerbate the problem.

You're right though, this is a good site for (somewhat) intelligent conversation about The Oilers so I hope we all keep the site classy.

This isn't about having thin skin and not being able to take criticism. Most people here are pretty awesome. I just don't want this site to turn into the TSN comment section where nothing intelligent seems to happen.

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#26 Kent Wilson
August 02 2013, 01:13PM
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@Rocket

We try to remain on top of commenting as much as possible, but it can be a 24-hour, 7-day a week job sometimes. If you have any specific concerns at any time, feel free to email me and we'll look into it.

kent.wilson@gmail.com

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#27 BorisMironov2
August 02 2013, 12:59AM
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How many ON readers read the readable readings of this blog on their Iphone? For me, I double tap to zoom in on the text and all adds are blocked out. Maybe it would be good for the site (aka good for potential advertisers) if you threw in a small, tasteful banner add (similar to the one at the end of each article) in between paragraphs every once in a while, just to augment exposure and provide a new option for advertisers.

Because iphone's zoom option blocks out the side adds, I had to stop and think for a bit when I first started reading this article, because I totally forgot OilersNation even had adds. Just a thought.

Oh, and Wayne, if you're looking to hire a marketing genius (aka struggling science student) I'm all yours.

Also now you totally need to find either a boat "prop" store or a movie "prop" store to sponsor the prop button. AMIRITE AMIRITE???

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#28 D
August 02 2013, 01:47AM
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Peter Pocklington.

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#29 Reg Dunlop
August 02 2013, 12:34AM
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@Young Oil

I really can appreciate what you are saying. Who doesn't want to engage in scintillating debate without being subject to derision? Still, I have to trash your comment and suggest you grow thicker skin.

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#30 Joy S. Lee
August 02 2013, 03:42AM
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BorisMironov2 wrote:

People are trashing every comment to an excessive degree because the button is brand new, idiot. Not because they actually disagree with what people are saying. Give it 3 more articles and then complain about people trashing too many comments.

Hey, Marketing....Genius!??!

Uh, aren't you "marketing" yourself here? And doing a mighty fine job of it, you genius, you! Though, the fact that you're "struggling" doesn't exactly cast an image of success, I'm quite sure Wanye will be convinced, nevertheless.

Guess you already know, then, that a big part of marketing is the ability to create an emotional connection with your target demographic.

And I can think of no better way to do it than to grind some innocent, well-meaning prick into the ground, can't you?

I mean, that last "idiot" sure must have been some sort of dolt for not realizing that people were pushing the trash button because it's a novelty. In fact, they should be degraded for lack of intelligence! That would be a masterful piece of marketing, wouldn't it? Yeah, insult the clients, keep 'em comin' back, and fill your pockets beyond belief. Great strategy, but then, you're a genius, so I guess we should have expected it.

AMIRITE AMIRITE???

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#31 Kent Wilson
August 02 2013, 01:39PM
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@Rocket

Any honest feedback is always appreciated. Or, mean, negative, unfair feedback is fine too, as long as it is directed exclusively at Wanye.

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#32 BigE91
August 02 2013, 02:36PM
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When I saw the headline I thought this article might be about the potential trade of Linus Omark.....

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#33 BorisMironov2
August 02 2013, 01:01AM
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@Young Oil

People are trashing every comment to an excessive degree because the button is brand new, idiot. Not because they actually disagree with what people are saying. Give it 3 more articles and then complain about people trashing too many comments.

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#34 match16
August 02 2013, 11:51AM
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Has everyone forgotten about Dany Heatley?

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#35 Taylor Gang
August 02 2013, 01:27AM
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Nobody here knows hockey except me and DSF.

Let the games begin

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#36 Aitch
August 02 2013, 05:18AM
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Leave Bobo alone. He was probably out wandering around all night. He'll make more sense once he gets a few hours of sleep.

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#37 rubbertrout
August 02 2013, 01:46PM
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@Rocket

While I miss the Enders of yesteryear and am nostalgic for the way things used to be when there weren't that many of us posting, by the same toke I'm happy that the site has grown into the success that it is.

It took real stones for these guys to evolve this into the place that it is and if the downside to their success is having a few more trolls online then so be it. Whenever a site gets bigger the level of discourse goes downhill to some extent. It is inevitable.

Just remember the good days and when you see someone trolling then trash the ever loving hell out of them.

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#38 Citizen Alpha
August 01 2013, 11:22PM
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gongshow wrote:

You still need link to add links so that we can effortlesslesly repost and forward links for all of these life changjng articles to our buddies. I can't believe that you haven't leveraged the power of social media and the crowd yet. I can sound all smartish drinking beers after beer league hockey by quoting Mr. Wanye or LT or JW or TD but my googly eyed Dman isn't going to remember what I told him tomorrow so he'll mss out on a great afternoon at work of pretending to work. Add link buttons or email or Facebook buttons and with one click and adding an email address I, we, all of us can tell the world. Who knows, if we invite enuf citizens to come and join the Nation maybe Wanye manor will become reality and DSF may find love.

There's FB and twitter (and even G+) buttons at the bottom of each article.

Maybe I should make them big like the TRASH IT button.

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#39 freeze
August 01 2013, 11:40PM
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Haha, the google ads that came up for me in the banner were NHL stats and Plastic Trash Cans.

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#40 pelhem grenville
August 02 2013, 03:32AM
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... so much trash !

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#41 @Oilanderp
August 02 2013, 09:46AM
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TRASH THE PLAAAACE!

*picks up end table and throws it through the TV*

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#42 SmellOfVictory
August 02 2013, 11:31AM
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Somewhat unrelated (and unwarranted, since I'm an evil Flames fan) but you're an awesome dude, Wayne. I mean that in the most sexually intimate way possible.

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Trash it!
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Love the Trash button

You good sir are a genius*

trash nicely now kids

*Thats what she said

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#44 BaconWrapped
August 02 2013, 08:07AM
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This site is nothing short of inspiring!

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#45 baggedmilk
August 02 2013, 08:40AM
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Let the trashing and hurt feelings begin!

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#46 ubermiguel
August 02 2013, 02:05PM
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What a creative idea in micro-advertising.

Beware the trolls that will try to get as many Trashes as possible as a twisted badge of honour.

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#47 rubbertrout
August 02 2013, 07:25AM
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I still want a hoodie.

*sigh

Also I want some random Twitter person to recognize ME the next time Wanye and I hang out late at night at an Oodle Noodle.

Baby steps trouty. Baby steps.

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#48 doilookwasted
August 02 2013, 08:12AM
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If you're serious about being a powerhouse let's see the Nationgear flow, godammit! Enough of this leaving us hanging like heroin junkies for a dang hoodie or YAKCITY tee!

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#49 Oilbaron
August 02 2013, 08:20AM
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no comment

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#50 5inatrailer
August 02 2013, 08:24AM
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Long time lurker (stalker too) on this site. Love the idea, glad it keeps u alfoat, it's going to be easier to recognize a dsf article as it will have 300 thumbs down after it and not 300 replies (wasting all our time...which actually is why I visit the site...)

What ideas for a thumbs up button? Smilling steve tambi? Kruger Motivational Speaking Company? a thumb amputee holding up his fist*?

*I just copyrighted that idea, so obtain, please forward oilersnation hoodie to me down at the trailer park.

Comments are closed for this article.