Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Metromix Memories, Part 2

I have come to love Google Alerts. Every time someone posts something on-line about certain subjects, I get an email alert with a link to the post. It doesn't matter where it was posted, Google finds it for me and lets me know about it. I use it to track everything from some of my favorite celebrities, such as Keira Knightley, to some of the groups that I'm a part of, such as Detroit Synergy.

It was my Detroit Synergy alert that made me cringe the other day. Along with all of the expected references to their Shop Detroit project was a reference to the group on Metromix.

I cringed. Oh, yes, I did.

I remembered all of the problems that Metromix had caused for me in the past. I also remembered Michael Higdon's commentary from this past August about how Metromix is a detriment to society.

I braced myself for the worst as I clicked the link to see how the kids at Metromix were making my life difficult now.

It actually turned to not be that bad at all. Google simply found some photos of an event at Gator Jake's in Sterling Heights. An alert was triggered because the kids put a link to the ill-fated pub crawl that I reluctantly allowed Metromix to show up at.

The thing is, once I was on the Metromix site, I noticed a couple of things that were different. It took a moment for me to put my finger on it, but Metromix has changed many of the things that I've complained about since their debut in Detroit almost a year ago.

They have toned down their emphasis on photos with lots of cleavage in them. They still have photos from various parties - and cleavage always abounds there. However, Metromix no longer highlights events like Girls Gone Wild and the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Contest on their front page.

Those events are still on their site. However, you have to search for them. Metromix no longer gives them prominent coverage on their main page.

More importantly, Metromix seems to have gotten rid of their mantra of "FREE! FREE! FREE!" They now put at least some emphasis on the event itself and not on any discounts that might be available at it. I looked at a few of the articles on their site. I didn't see "FREE" mentioned even once.

This might not seem important to most people. However, from my experience, when one combines an emphasis on events like Girls Gone Wild with a mantra of "FREE! FREE! FREE!" the end result is that the crowd that shows up tend to be a rather unique demographic.

Oh, I'll just say it.

When one combines those two things, it tends to attract the folks who put the "trash" in trailer trash. I don't mean it attracts blue collar vs. white collar people. I don't mean it attracts lower income individuals. I mean it attracts those who put the "trash" in trailer trash.

As an example, Detroit Synergy had hosted nine pub crawls that had no connection or involvement with Metromix over the past several year. The one that did have said involvement was the only one where bouncers had to remove people from the bar for disorderly conduct.

Coincidence? I think not.

I talked with the folks who got bounced later, outside the bars. Each of them had found out about the event from Metromix.

Anyway, the good news is that Metromix has gotten rid of those elements on their site that were trailer trash magnets. I'll celebrate that for a moment.

I'm not sure if Metromix is still staging photo galleries with professional models like they did at their Launch Party in May. I also don't know if they're still photographing people who weren't a part of a certain event and implying that they were.

The important thing is that Metromix is finally putting a long-overdue end to some of the trashier elements of their site. This is an improvement. This is good news. It means that there's hope for them after all.

I no longer think that Metromix is a significant detriment to the Detroit area. As a start to plan my next round of special events, I will no longer make a deliberate effort to make sure that they happen without Metromix even finding out about them.

I'm not going to use Metromix to promote an event. However, I will no longer try to keep them away from it either. In short, my opinion of Metromix has gone from strongly negative to only slightly negative; bordering on neutral.

There might be hope for Metromix after all.

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