Don’t freak out - very little is actually changing… besides our name and the entire layout of our website. But the bones of it - the writers, and the content, and the attitude and the mission - remain exactly the same. It’s not a reboot, it’s an upgrade.
Why change the name of the site five years in and after it had developed a pretty reasonable following and footprint? Great question, one that will likely keep me up at night over the next few weeks as I wait to see how this change has impacted our traffic. But I’ll tell you something - this is a change I have wanted to make for a long time, a change we started talking about over a year ago.
The name Badass Digest came because we couldn’t get the URL badassness.com. That was supposed to be the name of the site, spinning off the Alamo Drafthouse’s Badass Cinema brand. At the time we had dreams of being more of a nerd GQ, and we didn’t want to weigh the site down with a name that was specifically about movies. While we’ve maintained some diverse content, we simply never quite fulfilled that vision - this has become, more or less, a movie site… with digressions.
We rolled along as Badass Digest for a while, but we soon became very aware of something: our site name was unprintable in some places. I was quoted in the New York Times, but they couldn’t print my site name. We often couldn’t be quoted in TV or newspaper ads. It was a bummer.
But something else happened that was more important - it became clear that the tone of the site didn’t quite match up with the Badass Digest name. That name calls to mind B action movies (which we certainly cover) and dudebro chugging games. That just isn’t our tone. The name of our site simply didn’t reflect the philosophy of the site.
While all this was happening we launched a print magazine called BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, a name that came out of a great company-wide brainstorming session. So here we had this website with one name and a magazine with another name, even though they shared content and staff. It didn’t make a lot of sense - we had too many brands.
We decided to merge them. That came on the heels of a decision to redesign the site. I love the old design, but I love this one too. I like how clean and spiffy it is, how readable it is, and I’ll be honest - I like that it offers more space for ads. I’m not going to lie to you guys - we would like to have more valuable ad space on our site because I want to make more money so I can pay my staff more and bring on new staff.
I want to do that because I want this site to continue growing and evolving, to not be caught in the mud. I have seen other sites settle for what they are, and I don’t understand how the people running them aren’t dissatisfied, don’t want to keep tinkering and playing with what they have, trying to improve it. I guess I can’t imagine ever thinking ANYTHING is ‘good enough.’ You can always make it better. And I think we’re making this site better.
Change is scary, and getting used to this new site might take a minute for some of you guys. Please feel free to leave feedback letting us know what you do and don’t like, ,and we’ll take that into consideration as we move forward. I can already tell you that I miss the hell out of ‘Would You Like To Know More?’ and that the next time we’re tinkering with the site I’ll be fighting to get that back. But in the meantime, don’t freak out - this is still the same site, it just has a slightly less goofy name. But it’s still a very goofy name.
What does that name mean? It means you’re born, you die and in the middle you go to the movies. It’s a name that reflects the centrality of movies in our experience, in our lives. And it reflects the fact that the movies contain and comment on everything about life itself. We’re movie lovers, and while our name has changed to reflect that, our mission statement hasn’t: we’re here to talk about all the things movie lovers love.