Chart Rigger's 10-Year Anniversary Round Table: 15 Writers On How Blogging Changed Music Consumption & Created A Community (+ What The Hell Ever Happened To Pop Poster Girl?)
This space on the Internet sparked into being a decade ago (on January 22, 2005) in Los Angeles, after I was driving home in the evening from my job at Instinct Magazine and had the notion to create a forum to talk about pop music in everyday, Average Joe speak — none of this referring to my singular self as "we," calling my fucking couch "Chart Rigger HQ" or acting like a pompous know-it-all. Reading sites that employed that type of lingo always made me want to power-drill my dick to a tree.
I stopped at a Ralph's grocery store on the way home that evening, and, by the time I hit the parking lot to leave, decided that I'd head straigiht back to my apartment and create a blog. The name "Chart Rigger" just popped into my head as I climbed into my car.
One thing I remember clearly from very early on, once I had a fair amount of posts up here, is e-mailing a nice British girl named Jessica and asking her to pretty-please include Chart Rigger in the list of "ace pop blogs" on her own site, Dirrrty Pop. She did so, and I have never forgotten it. The second week of January 2006, local L.A. publication Frontiers included Chart Rigger in its list of "11 Essential Gay Blogs" (thanks, Alex!). Sometime also in early 2006, another blogger out of the UK named Paul Reynolds (then doing The Zapping) and a guy out of Washington D.C. named Stephen Sears (The Middle Eight) began commenting here regularly.
Through Paul and Stephen's own sites, I began to interact with an array of commentators possessing the same nerdy passion for pop. Music was all of our common ground in those days before Twitter, Facebook an Instagram. As the years have rolled by, I've even met several of these once-faceless online entities in person here and there, in cities far and wide. Hell, I work side-by-side with two of them today at Idolator, while a few others are in my pool of freelancers.
And then there's one of my very best friends for the past 20 years, John Hamilton (you know him as Moogaboo) — I've dragged the poor guy over to Chart Rigger to take part in countless gems such as Madonna: Banterview With The Vampyre, best lists, worst lists and even our infamous Hillary Clinton Mixtape. For that he deserves to be sainted.
So this brings us back to the original question: How exactly do you sum up ten years? In this case, I'm doing so with a little help from my friends.
To commemorate this classy milestone, I asked the below online personalities, all of whom I first connected with a decade or nearly a decade ago (save for John...see above), to give their unfiltered answers to a short set of specific questions. Some of them have gone on to actually work in the music business since the previous decade, or pursue writing professionally, or seek out an entirely different path altogether. But they are people I myself, and maybe you, remember as the champions of good pop in a thing that, not so long ago, was called the "blogosphere."
In alphabetical order:
Adem Ali (Audio Out, @AdemWithAnE)
Bobby Pop (Don't Stop The Pop, @Bobbypop)
Bradley Stern (MuuMuse / Idolator, @MuuMuse)
Dan Cullinan (This Man's World, @dancpharmd)
Jason Brady (Olga Loves Yuri, @olgalovesyuri)
Jessica Poptastic (This Must Be Pop, @Poptastic)
John Hamilton (Chart Rigger, @foreverhamilton)
John Hill (Pop Music Notes, @ConstantLearnin)
Mike Sturm (Mobius News Blog, @SAWPWL)
Mike Wass (Pop Trash Addicts / Idolator, @mikewassmusic)
Paul Reynolds (My Fizzy Pop, @myfizzypop)
Phil Robinson (Worrapolava, @phileastend)
Richard Chapman (RichardPchapman.com, @richardpchapman)
Stephen Sears (The Middle Eight, @xolondon)
...and, of course, yours truly: Robbie Daw (Chart Rigger / Idolator, @chartrigger)
So pull up a chair, pour a glass (or, if you're like me on any given night, the entire bottle) and settle in for Chart Rigger's 10-Year Anniversary Round Table!