Bubbawheat back again with another edition of Interview with a LAMBpyre. I wanted to showcase some of the Lamb members and what better way than to ask them a few questions about themselves and their sites? I’m starting out by going through some of this year’s Lammy winners and hope to bring back some less active Lambs in the future. Also, if you’re a Lammy winner from this year and would like to participate, E-Mail me and I’ll get back to you. This week I’m talking with Kai Parker of Man I Love Films who won this year’s big Lammy for best blog.
Bubbawheat: First off, tell me a little bit about yourselves, your site, and how you decided to join forces to create a collaborative blog?
Kai Parker: My name is Kai (aka: Kaiderman). I joined the LAMB with my first blog (THE LIST) in 2009 as LAMB #501. I’m a 34 year old husband and father of two. I collect action figures, host the MILFcast and write a movie blog. Overall, I’m really just a big proud geek!
MILF is essentially our attempt to contend with some of the bigger sites out there on the internet. We try to offer everything a film lover would hope to find in a movie site from reviews, news, lists, games, podcasts, etc.
The idea of joining forces and doing a collaborative effort had been brewing in me for some time. I had seen how hard it is to sustain a blog on your own. I work 40+ hours a week and commute two to four hours a day on top of having a family, podcast and other responsibilities so keeping content up was difficult for me. I had come to realize, at best, I could commit to putting up a post every other day. Which meant the site was often stagnant. On top of that, I was only happy with the quality of half of it. The rest just felt like filler that I was posting just to post which I wasn’t proud of.
I had just gotten back from driving to Arizona where we had spent the weekend with Dylan and his awesome family. We were messaging back and forth on Facebook one night and I just threw it out there. I said something to the effect of “You know, we know a lot of bloggers and if we were smart we would get a bunch of them together, start a mega-site and make a run at some of the bigger film sites out there like Ain’t It Cool or /Film.” He said he had been thinking something similar recently. It all snowballed from there and we were up and running three months later.
BW: Do you think you’re writing style has changed much since being part of a larger site? Does it feel different writing for your own site than it does writing for a collaborative site?
KP: My writing style hasn’t changed at all. If anything, I think the quality of my stuff has gotten better. As I said before, I was struggling to put out quantity when I had my own site and not quality. That’s kind of the beauty of a collaborative site because most of our writers only post once or twice a week so there’s less commitment and we can all focus on the quality of our pieces. At the same time, there’s so many writers that the site is updating constantly and there’s always something fresh going up for the readers. I like that we can offer that.
On top of that, Dylan and I have a disturbingly healthy partnership. We never argue and we never put restrictions on each other.
That’s another thing I like is that we’ve tried very hard to set up (sort of) an artist’s community. We NEVER edit any of our writers and we encourage them to put familiar, specific tags or even their own names on their posts to maintain their identity amongst the collection of content that is swirling. I don’t want to speak for them but I think I can say that we’ve set up an environment where all of our writers can maintain their individual voices.
BW: How do you go about recruiting new writers for MILF, or do writers tend to come to you asking to join?
KP: We don’t really do much recruiting any more. In the beginning, we figured out what we wanted the site to offer and approached writers we respected and thought could cover any of those areas. In some cases, we made spots for people whose writing we admired. The initial reaction was surprising and overwhelming with people responding positively to the idea.
Now, we get regular e-mails from people asking if we have openings. The only areas we seem to run light in at times is the News department. It’s the underappreciated and most difficult position on the site. At one point, we had up to three people doing it. Lately, Justin Gott has been running it solely and doing a great job. Still, when an opening pops up, we usually just post the opening on Facebook or Twitter and typically get a handful of offers pretty quick.
BW: Your site won the big Lammy this year for the best blog, do you have any long term goals for MILF?
KP: Awards are great and we are grateful for the recognition but we’re more concerned with putting out a great product. Then, even if we win or lose, we can feel proud of what we’re doing.
My goal when I started was simple and I alluded to it earlier. I wanted to put together a site that could contend with the big boys. We have sort of a multi-year goal in that regard and we’re not there yet but we’re working at it.
I’d also like to see the listnership for the MILFcast increase and try to get more actors and directors on the show which we are starting to do so that’s very cool!
BW: What is the favorite feature you have on your site?
KP: Not touching that with a ten foot pole. I’ll just say that we assembled a group of writers that we like to read and who all offer something different for the reader. I like that I can go to the site at any given time and find several things in the slider that I want to read more about.
BW: What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently?
KP: The last really good movie I saw was The Amazing Spider-Man which should have failed hard but managed to succeed even amidst all the backlash against that film even existing.
BW: And what movies are you looking forward to seeing the most?
KP: This year? Off the top of my head? I’d have to go with these:
The Dark Knight Rises which I hope to have seen and loved by the time this interview posts.
Killing Them Softly (even though it used to have a better title) because it’s Brad Pitt playing a hitman and reteaming with his Assasination of Jesse James director.
Argo because Ben Affleck has not disappointed as a director yet and I am all in until he does.
Django Unchained because it’s Tarantino and, finally…
Looper because I think Rian Johnson is brilliant and I’m curious to see what he can do with a bigger budget and a more high profile star.
OH! And Step Up 4 but that’s because I’m weird.
Kai B. Parker
Thanks for your time, it was great hearing from you and good luck with the future of your site. I’ll be back again next week with another Lamb member to interview.