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The End of YesButNoButYes - Goodbye from Big Picture Big Sound

(Note from Scaramouch: As part of our final celebrations, I reached out to past and present writers and asked them all to contribute a final story. This one's is from "Big Picture Big Sound". Enjoy)

My relationship with YesButNoButYes started at a time when I worked for the Ad Agency JWT (née J Walter Thompson). It's the oldest agency in the world; real "Mad Men" stuff. I was part of their burgeoning digital arm, "digital@jwt". This handle was one of five names we adopted during my six-year tenure there, the "@" symbol being at the time what the "i" is today

It was here that I met Scaramouch, who ran Creative and I ran Tech. As often happens between those two capabilities, we had our share of run-ins. But we also shared a similar sense of humor, and a recognition of the absurdity of, well, everything. To survive in the Ad world, you either adopt this suit of armor or become completely insufferable. We were digital knights in an analog kingdom.

After describing a particularly raunchy skit from the British series "Little Britain", Scara loaned me a copy of the DVD. I was hooked (it's from this exceedingly over-the-top series that YBNBY gets its moniker). So when he asked me to contribute my movie reviews to his young blog, it was a no-brainer for me. My own site, BigPictureBigSound, was just getting off the ground, so it seemed a good example of that over-used and happily defunct term "synergy" (though fellow fans of The Police may prefer "synchronicity").

A community quickly formed at YBNBY around a mutual love of all things snarky. At the time, the netizens were out in full force; blogs and forums were at their peak. The internet was no longer for posting - as "The Simpsons" brilliantly noted - "what some nerd thinks about 'Star Trek'".

Sites were sprouting up all over, and someone needed to keep them in line. This was YBNBY. From the latest Subservient Chicken knock-off or "Phantom Menace" mash-up to Top 10 lists of Top 10 lists, writers (or "contradictors") with handles like Evil Richard, Jellio and, of course, Scaramouch were there to provide. Some of these folks I knew, some were new friends. In the era before facebook (those were the days), this is how it happened. I was simply bigpicturebigsound, the movie guy. While I never really contributed much beyond film reviews, I was happy to be part of the team.

Today, every site has commenting, rating, or even that new-fangled and oddly-familiar "like" button. Today it's a cost of entry. But at the time, it was called "user-generated content", and it used to be a "killer feature". No one wanted to hear from the so-called "pros" anymore, they wanted to hear from the voices they trust. And to me, it never mattered if I reached an audience of or one million. If I can stop just one person from seeing "Repo Men", I've done my job.

But it's hard to be heard among the ever-increasing din in the netosphere. And so YBNBY is now going the way of Kozmo, Geocities and the pets.com sock puppet. Just another site that was too beautiful to last.

If I seem wistful, looking back with reverence on events of only a few years ago, well, I am. When Scara asked if I would participate in eulogizing the site, it was with mixed emotions that I agreed. It's hard to let go. The Net is a different place now. And I know that's not necessarily a bad thing. But in our effort to become more social, more digitally-connected, perhaps we lose a bit of the personality that made YBNBY great (discuss!).

Movie reviews from Big Picture Big Sound can be found, naturally, at Big Picture Big Sound.

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Are you suggesting YBNBY has lost it's "Vicky Pollard" roots?

said Sheriff Pablo on May 20, 2010 7:13 PM.

You certainly kept me from watching Repo Man, and a few other turkeys!

said Miss Cellania on May 20, 2010 9:00 PM.
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