I'm not sure how many of you
actually realize how far back Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka goes with the
Gaming Community. . . . but he has been around forever, in some shape or
form. Right now, Rich has his hands full with Something Awful, and hosting
sites like JeffK's masterpiece.
As I say with all my
interviews, there is a funny story behind every Hypothermia interview, and
true to my word, there is a funny story here too. Most of he fun I have
had has been just GETTING the interview outta Lowtax, especially since our
conversations usually go like this:
Steve: Your making me
angry. . . .
Lowtax: When I
get angry, I turn into a hat.
Steve: Dammit. . . . .
I'm a hat.
So you can imagine how hard it
was to get this interview out of him.....
As funny as it sounds, I have
had a lot of fun B.S.ing with Lowtax over the last few weeks. Behind all
the wit / sarcasm and humor is a pretty damn cool guy. That say's a lot
about a guy who calls me "Hey Fruity" on a regular basis
(A little background on this picture. . . That is a bad orange that Rich found on his counter.
That IS the whole OUTSIDE of the orange. . . which would explain the look. What it doesn't
explain is how it got there, who left it and why. Good God, Rich...it's a trick.. don't eat it.)
Give me some Background on Rich Kyanka:
Went to Rockhurst High School in Kansas City Missouri. Moved to Nashville,
Tennessee and went to Vanderbilt University for Engineering Science. Moved to Costa Mesa, California to begin the wonderful world of gamesite-related activities. As far as I know, that's where I am still currently at.
Give me some background on LowTax. . . . let say, from around the time you split the sheets with
After that, I did some brief work for Gamers.com / GX Networks, which is run by Dennis "Dennis" Fong. My job included something related to their network, but I can't seem to remember exactly what. I think a vending machine was involved.
Please explain JeffK?? People seem amazed that recently you've admitted the alter ego / JeffK thing. . . . many of us loyal fans and readers have been clued in ( some of your ICQ pranks were a dead giveaway ) but what was the whole inspiration behind
Alter ego? I don't understand. You'll have to email Jeff K. yourself and ask him, I've given up speaking for him a long time ago. Jeff K.'s email address is email@example.com . Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org . As you can tell, we're completely separate people. I don't think I need any more evidence than that.
What's up with CliffyB??? Has he ever expressed a dislike for the whole "Clifry B si a FAGOT!!" thing???
Cliffy B. is a very nice young man with a heart of gold and a designer jacket to match.
Richard "Levelord" Gray is a friend of mine, and seems to be pretty damn popular ( in some shape or form ) on Something Awful.... what kind of relationship do you really have with him?
Jason "King of teh Monstrars" Hall is another guy that is cooler than hell once you meet him. . . . what's Jace think of all the funny ass stuff you say about him??
He sends me letters of encouragement every day. For example, today he sent me the "Q", "F", and "R".
So how did everything evolve into Something Awful?:
Got me. When I first started doing the site, I only wrote and posted things I myself found funny. That's what I still do, even though some people feel the need to write in and tell me what I *should* be doing. Unfortunately, I can't cater to other people or do everything certain people want. I can only write for myself and my own entertainment, else the little quality my site has will suffer.
ICQ pranks. . . . how is it that no one else has tapped the goldmine of doing ICQ pranks??? That is some of the funniest stuff I have ever read.
Nobody else has the patience to go through hundreds of people looking for the right idiot to prank. For every one prank I post, there's about 50 I don't because they either really suck or I got busted.
Your an extremely intelligent guy ( even if you try to hide it ;^) so how does a guy as smart as you wind up doing the "Webmaster thing"??
Being a webmaster in itself should prove that I am not "extremely intelligent". I rank this mistake up there with the time I bought all that stock in 3DFX and Intel.
What makes the networks different?? You know like GameSpy ( and all the "Planets" ) or GameFan or the UGO Network. . . .
The biggest things are the CPMs (how much they pay you). For example, some networks offer $2.50 per 1,000 hits. Some offer $1.00 per 1,000 hits. Gamefan offers $0 per 1,000 hits. If you have a particularly successful month, they might increase your payout to $0 per 500 hits, but that's a
(**inserting stupid layman's explanation here** ) A network basically functions like the yellowpages does. . . really.
BIG COMPANIES go to these "Networks" and buy advertisement... the Network guarantees said BIG COMPANY "8 million visual exposures a day across 4,500 sites". Now BIG COMPANY see's what a great deal this is, and forks over the cash. The Network takes their big fat ass cut from it, then dispenses what is left to the hardworking sites that are actually hosting these ad banners. The more popular the site, the more visitors. The more visitors, the more exposure BIG COMPANY gets. So through some pretty non-sophisticated tracking embedded in the HTML ( or banner code ) they track which sites are offering the best exposure and therefore making sure the AD REVENUE is getting where it needs to go..... just like the yellow pages.
Knowing how "Networks" work now. . . . How it is GameFan can get away with not paying any of it's hosted sites?
Who knows. Nick Fisher is part of the company, so that probably adds a good greasy layer of scum to get their busted wheels turning. Nobody at Gamefan can explain why they haven't paid any of their hosted sites or give a date as to when they will be paid, so I've had to seek legal representation to get the money they owe me.
I don't think people actually understand the amount of money that you are owed.... some people think you might be acting "petty" or should "move on with life". Please explain to me and everyone else what kind of dollar
amount we are talking here, and put this stupid "move on with life" crap to rest.
Enough to buy a nice car or a very large amount of cocaine.
What about Voodoo Extreme.... I know you can't speak for them... but aren't they GameFan too??
Actually, I just found out VE hasn't been getting paid either. The sites on Gamefan are under a contract that says, "okay, you serve up our ads and we'll give you 50% of the ad revenue from the ad banners you show on your page". It's a standard deal. Unfortunately, while the hosted sites have been serving up Gamefan's banner ads and holding up their part of the contract, Gamefan hasn't. They haven't paid anybody for the last three months, despite claiming to be a "professional" company.
Does the fact that these "Networks" are Internet based companies help them hide from the law?? I mean lets face it, if this was Burger King here, your ass would have a wage and hour Labor Board claim that would make their head spin.... does the fact that this is an Internet Company help it hide from it's responsibility to its sites??
Because, for the most part, the sites hosted on Gamefan are run by kids in school / college as a part time gig and they don't have the resources for it. Being broke thanks to Gamefan probably doesn't help much either. One can't complain to the labor board because hosted sites are treated as contract workers, not fulltime employees. As a result, Gamefan thinks it can take advantage of all their hosted sites and do whatever they please. Plus they just don't give a damn and think they can walk over whomever they want.
( moving on to cooler things )
Where is Something Awful going now???
Got me. I don't even know where it is, much less where it's going. I just do what I find to be entertaining and hope people enjoy it as well.
What can we do as your fans to help you get back on track??? I mean, if I was a big fan, and lets say. . . an attorney.... how could I help???
Visiting my site and clicking the banner ads occasionally is help enough. I don't solicit donations because it goes against the entire principle of the Internet - that sites like mine should be free for everybody to view and read.
You may have noticed, but Hypothermia is pretty big on the "Girlfriends of Computer Dudes" thing. . . . what are the chances of an interview with the lady friend??? ( I'll hold off on the requests for bikini pictures...for now ;^)
Probably good, but I'd have to "check it for factual errors" first.
How does she put up with you being a "Very Internet Person" ????
Being a webmaster drives the ladies crazy, just like being a male nurse or cartographer.
Where is LowTax and Something awful going to be in a year?? Five??
I don't know. Why do you always use so many question marks??????????????????
You’ve been in this game awhile, you’ve had ups and downs. . . . any advice to
Unless you have a distinctive style, something that nobody else offers, and are willing to sacrifice your entire life to your site, don't bother. Running and maintaining a good content website will literally steal all your time from you. Don't even bother with a humor website because your readers will expect you to be funny and amusing every day... even if you're broke, in the middle of a lawsuit, and miserable. But that's just the negative side of things. On the flip side, you do get to read very interesting and colorful emails from people who compare you to certain strains of bacteria, and that's always a wonderful thing.
If given the platform ( like, say. . . . an interview. . . . ) what would you say to the world if you were totally unaccountable for what you said.
"I'm totally unaccountable for what I say."
I want to personally thank
Rich for helping me out, and putting up with all the questions!!! Go
see what Rich has going over there at: