3 Things I Learned From Serving As Reaxxion’s Editor

As most of you already know, Return of Kings’ sister site Reaxxion is closing down this week. Back in March, Roosh selected me to be the site’s editor after I retired as a weekly columnist; I didn’t have enough time to juggle all the sites I was writing for at the time and I wasn’t on top of gaming news enough to consistently write new articles on the topic. Managing Reaxxion’s other writers was better suited to my schedule and temperament.

While I’ve edited online magazines before (most notably my old blog, In Mala Fide) as well as worked as an editor on various books, this is the first time I’ve been paid to edit a website. While I’ve made my living solely off the Internet for over a year now, editing Reaxxion taught me a number of things about web publishing and making money online that I didn’t know. Here are a few…

1. You need to balance your employees’ autonomy with quality control

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While Roosh gave me a set of directives when he took me on as Reaxxion’s editor, he also gave me a huge amount of freedom to run the site. It’s this autonomy that made it easy to do my job. Publishers and editors who insist on micromanaging their underlings usually end up driving their websites into the ground. For example, a close friend of mine was driven out of her position as editor at one magazine because her boss couldn’t resist the urge to keep pissing in the soup.

At the same time, editors need to be willing to tell those under them to get their act together. When I first started out, Roosh took a hands-on role in acclimating me to Reaxxion, showing me how to write article titles and tighten up otherwise weak posts. I in turn had to take a firm line with the site’s writers in order to help them improve; in fact, I had been compiling a dossier of mistakes each writer kept making in their articles and was planning to present it to them when Roosh announced the site’s closure. The main reason In Mala Fide declined in quality was because I couldn’t effectively implement quality control.

2. Editing is more time-consuming than you think

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I offered to become Reaxxion’s editor because I figured that fixing typos in other peoples’ articles would require less work than writing my own. This was a huge mistake. Given the varying writing abilities and skill levels of Reaxxion’s writers, editing articles took more time out of my schedule than I thought it would, leaving me less time to devote to my own projects. Fact-checking articles also took a sizable bite out of my free time.

Additionally, as the editor, I was essentially required to be on call at all times in the event of breaking news. For example, when a bomb threat was famously called in to the Washington, D.C. GamerGate meetup back in May, I had to interrupt my Friday night and get home so I could edit and publish a pair of Reaxxion articles on the story. Fortunately, I was drinking at the bar across the street from my apartment, so I was able to get home quickly. It’s things like this that took some of the shine out of being the site’s editor.

3. You need a more in-depth knowledge of a site’s subject matter in order to be a truly effective editor

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As Reaxxion’s editor, I bear some of the blame for the site’s demise. While I’m an accomplished writer and editor, I’ll freely admit that I was tuned out of gaming news—and gaming in general—before GamerGate happened. Indeed, it was my lack of knowledge of modern gaming—and the lack of time I had to dedicate to learning more about it—that led to me resigning as a weekly columnist from the site to begin with. All I could really write were game reviews and retrospectives of classic PC titles, neither of which moved the needle in regards to traffic.

Because I wasn’t as plugged into gaming culture as I would have liked, I wasn’t able to steer Reaxxion as effectively as someone with a deeper knowledge of the subject matter. I was reliant on the site’s writers to generate article ideas, and while Reaxxion’s staff were good at what they did, I wasn’t able to give them the knowledgeable nudging that an editor is supposed to.

Nothing in this article is meant to disparage Roosh’s or Reaxxion’s writers: it was a pleasure working with all of them and I wish that the site could have continued. But assuming the editor’s mantle came with a set of responsibilities that I didn’t expect. If you’re looking to create a website in this day and age, you need to be prepared for all the trials and issues that come alongside it.

Read More: 7 Things I’ve Learned From Tuthmosis’ Viral Article

35 thoughts on “3 Things I Learned From Serving As Reaxxion’s Editor”

  1. “As Reaxxion’s editor, I bear some of the blame for the site’s demise.”
    Most of the gamergate stuff I see is way over my head. I really think it’s a fight for the younger guys, in their 20s perhaps. Our generation had the carrot on the stick, the NAWALTs or the last of them were around in my younger days.
    But the younger guys, under 30, there is no carrot on the stick. The carrot is being worn like a dildo by some fat lesbian and she’s trying to stick it up the young guys’ asses while beating him with the stick.
    For that reason alone, I think a older fellow, even with editing experience, covering subject matter appealing to younger fellows, is already starting out at a disadvantage. Gamergate especially.
    I liked Reaxxion but most of that stuff was outside of my range of interests. I’m over 40 and been through the mill already, and it just didn’t resonate with me. Between guys my age and the guys half my age are two entirely different planets. One would be hard pressed to keep the interest of the other in articles and other works.
    (The best we can do for the younger fellows is warn them)
    BTW it takes some bawls to take some of the blame for the demise of the site, regardless of the severity. It’s a big difference from the “nothing is my fault” track that is taken when an endeavor fails.
    If the manosphere can find those younger writers and the crème of the crop who can be editors as early as possible, that would be the foundation of something great that can carry that generation through decades.

    1. “The carrot is being worn like a dildo by some fat lesbian and she’s
      trying to stick it up the young guys’ asses while beating him with the
      stick.”
      I think you just gave Zoe Quinn an idea for “Depression Quest 2”
      Yeah, shame the site is closing. I imagine there’s probably still a market out there for red pill gamergate friendly game journalism, so hopefully this is just the first attempt of many. For myself though I agree about the age thing – I would have been more interested 10 years ago than now though – gaming is kind of intensive even when its ‘casual’

      1. Well there has been something of a divide. A lot of guys, especially the older ones, have a disdain for gamers and gaming. I like a good video game and have played Eve Online since 2006, but that’s only a few times a week and I don’t know a thing about any other games out there.
        I watch and GamerGate timeline on Twitter or other social media and it makes me feel old.
        The notion that “gamers are beta/omega/grass feeder losers” I think is not helpful in the big picture. The reason is that while a gamer might be seen as a nerd of sorts, when all is said and done, I cannot blame gamers and in the light of why I cannot blame gamers, I can understand why GamerGate happened.
        I had my first boat when I was 13 years old. I used to take it out on the harbor back then. Try that today. Almost everything I did as a teenager (and we have video games back then) is illegal now if not by letter of law, then by color of law (nanny state).
        With a slew of laws and cops ready to spring at young men for the crime of being young men, who can blame them for resorting to video games? I cannot. I try to, but all things considered, everything else is illegal or subject to some “zero tolerance” now. Plus now they want to make it so that any girl can say anything and have any guy hauled off. I spent time away from the house at parties in my youth – trying to meet girls. But back then if you were not a rapist or scumbag you had nothing to fear. But the young fellows today are dealing with women drunk on absolute power not only of the one with the pussy but she can, for all effects, literally clap her hands and say “Guards! Take him away!” and have a man arrested.
        If I were a teenager today, or even under 25, I’d be one gaming mofo because damn it, everything else has a liability that boils down to getting raped in prison or spending your life paying off legal bills.
        Fuck that. And they all have the right to say “fuck this” and play video games.
        And this is the fuel behind GamerGate. You’d think that the feminists and other degenerates could survey the land, arms folded or hands on hips, and see all the gamers and declare victory.
        But no. That was not enough. They reduced almost an entire generation of men to introversion, porn, and gaming, through lawfare and shaming but that was not enough. The games just had to become some vehicle for their social(ist) justice bullshit and it just had to be shoved down the throats of all those gamers through hijacking of the game journalism business.
        You can back a dog into a corner after kicking it all day, it’s going to bite back eventually.

        1. “… are you counting down,
          the days till your schooling is finally done,
          and the gravy train pulls into town?
          Or are you somehow thinking,
          that the smart ones HAVE to care,
          and learn and think their whole lives long
          and take dare after dare after dare?
          Then come with us;
          we are here for you.”
          (BB) You 15:2-10

        2. good analysis. Agree with every word. I occasionally buy a game and usually enjoy it, but that’s a pretty rare event compared to ten years ago. Boating, damn it, forget aged 13 – I’d like to have a boat now (yeah I know there’s nothing stopping me from getting one except apathy). I don’t think it has to be either / or though. There’s no reason why gaming can’t be ‘part of a healthy diet’ of entertainment / self-improvement, but I agree a lot of the time it isn’t that, and certainly the environment in which many young men have retreated into gaming as a substitute for everything else they’re being marginalised from is a bad reason for being a gamer, even if it doesn’t make it less worthy a pastime in itself. In view of that, and the unrelenting nature of the attacks on young men, its a pretty good thing that gamergate happened. Its the first of many lines that will be drawn in the sand, and the first of many battles. Despite the fact that many young men have retreated into games, gaming is still an important arena for the future, which of course is why the Sarkesians of this world want it for themselves. Gaming can only get bigger, and more central to people’s lives, and its highly likely that with virtual reality headsets and google glass interfaces making their debuts that gaming may well leave the bedroom ‘boudoir’ so to speak and enter the outside world.

        3. my father told me a story he heard from an older guy in america:
          a school teacher was showing his pupils how to use dynamite outdoors. a police car drove by and asked what they were doing. the teacher told him. the police man asked if he could come by later to check if there were some left overs for his own use.
          you gotta hear these stories to know what you are really missing.

        4. This summer, I was messing around with some mild explosives at a youth group I run. Next year, the law is being changed and this will be illegal. Everything fun is being banned.

        5. Europeans? HAHAHAHAHAHA.
          They’re even MORE wussified and beta than American men are! Just look at the UK, France and Sweden if you want classic examples of how feminism destroys countries.
          And that doesn’t even include the Islamization of Europe being heralded by Europe’s Leftist elites.

    2. yeah i have no idea about gamer-gate (not being a video-game player), but i can only imagine. ::shudder::

    3. To be honest, I think Reaxxion was overloaded with articles about GamerGate. There wasn’t enough stuff about actual games.

  2. Most important lesson I’ve learned from following gaming media: If a guy is seriously passionate about something, he’ll be seriously passionate about not having that thing taken away / become destroyed / become overmoderated / become feminized. Even the most beta guy would rise up if, for example, WoW would only allow female characters having friendly, constructive discussions or dress-offs, Not even if it would get them pussy.
    That’s also where the victory for the manosphere lies: get guys to passionately believe in, and follow something, and the feminazis trying to destroy that will face the full wrath of the beta. And if anybody can spend more time trolling and flaming on the internet than a TumblBeast, it’s an angry beta.
    I suggest we start the campaign by complaining about “men” thought-raping female ponies…

  3. The site didn’t meet your audience or financial expectations and that’s just probably because the niche was too small and like Roosh said, you did this out of passion rather than sound business strategy, so that’s a lesson learned.
    This said, even though I am a busy guy running a business, I want to take a few minutes to commend you for the high quality of the articles you posted. This is the kind of material that you don’t even find in the written press anymore. You have definitely furthered your own personal brand as well as Roosh’s and the returnofkings network of sites.
    It seems that you have experienced tremendous personal growth by stepping up to be the editor of Reaxxion as well. I look forward to seeing how you channel your talent into new content on returnofkings and new personal projects.

  4. I really enjoyed my time at Reaxxion, I wish I could still be writing for them but it was fun while it lasted and you did a good job and learned some valuable stuff from it.

  5. Look, feminists and SJWs suck, and we hate to see them win anything. But they will sometimes.
    Video games are a monumental waste of time, and something that should be discarded after high school. The ‘journalism’ covering them is equally as pointless. Thus, campaigning against the feminist/SJW invasion of video game journalism was even more pointless. Pick your battles, lads. I’d said that Reaxxion was a silly idea from the beginning, and I guess this settles it.

  6. Nice to see a man be a man and carry the cans that are his. However, it seemed a task fraught with pitfalls and unforseeable difficulties from the start.

  7. I said it there and I’ll say it here. This happened because there was too little actual gaming journalism on reaxxion, and too many anti-SJW rants, which were pretty much just repeating the same message in slightly different terms and using slightly different examples.
    It’s one thing to want to consume gaming journalism free from liberal-SJW bias and/or the corrupting influence of the incestuous relationship between gaming industry and media. That’s something there’s certainly demand for. Wanting such gaming journalism doesn’t however mean you want to read anti-SJW rants, or even quality social commentaries on the gaming scene, day in and day out. If the site content had been about 5-10% that, and the rest actual articles about games and gaming, Reaxxion could have succeeded. And, that 5-10% of social commentary had a far larger total impact than Reaxxion has ever had.

  8. For those who are interested in communities that support Gamergate… There is the Ralph Retort and kotakuinaction. Also there are forums on 8chan.

  9. not going to lie, some of their writers over there were better than many of the ones here. Although it could be Forney’s touch as editor. I spend minimal time gaming but still would go over there for a read. Often times not having a fucking clue what game they were talking about

  10. Depending on mere profitability is an obvious weakness. Many information sources have a limited number of visitors, yet succeed in making the news through other sources or word of mouth – or even sheer continuous existence. In France, the wealthy gay activist Pierre Bergé maintained a magazine called Têtu (Stubborn) alive during fifteen years of non-profitability. Bergé spent millions of euros there, but as he earned a lot of money from other sources and the State, he had no problem maintaining Têtu alive. This magazine helped to shape a LGBT community.
    Roosh and other dissident executives should consider expanding their sources of income in order to create and maintain non-profitable but influential sites like Reaxxion. Money is not a god and neither is the so-called free market. Both are merely tools for heading towards a long-term victory.

  11. Holy shit, i only just now realised that you matt were Ferdinand of IMF fame.
    The early stuff was pretty awesome, it went a bit weird towards the end, but i remember reading that site quite a fair bit.
    Always wondered what happened to ‘ferdinand’ lol 🙂

  12. Great forthright & honest analysis Matthew.
    I’ll definitely agree with one point made. When I’ve had to conduct a lecture or a public speaking engagement, even though I’m not a natural at public speaking & much prefer written word.
    The more familiar I was with the material; the more at ease I was with being able to disseminate the required information.
    Plus there were less unexpected pauses & fewer mental blanks.

  13. Brother, I thought you did a fine job. Never had an issue with any of your edits and found you very reasonable to work with.
    The reasons Reaxxion didn’t make it are bigger than you could have solved. Roosh enumerated them to some extent, but the biggest issue in my opinion is that the site simply didn’t have enough content. A couple of posts a day is fine for a site like ROK, where the community is more patient between posts and more willing to engage in debate and commenting.
    But gamers are largely conditioned for immediate feedback and reward by virtue of their hobby (I know I’m guilty). Any site that simply isn’t posting enough will not remain foremost in their mind. If anything, this experience taught me that a gaming website is an all-or-nothing proposition – people writing in their time off between their jobs, education, etc., aren’t going to be able to garner enough of an audience to make a gaming site financially viable. Ten posts a day is probably the minimum level of viability, and we weren’t hitting anywhere near that.
    I am glad for the small part I was allowed to play, however. I wished I could have seen it through to the end, but I am a better writer for the experience and got to collaborate with some great people. Time well spent.

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