1) Recently THE FAUXRUMORS Group was contacted to do an interview. Last week we received a rough draft of the question/answers from that interview. Here is that rough draft:
"This past summer before a group of men had an idea to do a hockey rumors blog – just as blogs seemed to be inundating the Internet. The founder and brains behind the operation (who wishes to remain anonymous) had a job with endless travel and a wife and 3 children he didn't see enough of. Ten months later, the men known to thousands of hockey fans on http://newfaux.blogspot.com/ as FAUXRUMORS had become so successful that SportsNet in Canada mentioned them on their trade deadline show. "
I'm fascinated by FAUXRUMORS. I don't believe they have broken even a fraction of the stories they are given credit for by their legion of followers. Faux tells me I'm being unfair, but I believe they have also taken some credit for scoops they didn't break. They also come up with some real goofy stuff that could endanger their cred. Regardless, I marvel at FAUXRUMOR'S success story and they has always come off as such a decent chaps that I can't help but be happy for them. I asked the founder if he was up for a little email Q & A. Faux told me to bring it on.
AH: For starters, where is the "Batcave" where these hockey rumors emerge? Where do you work out of and do you have a staff? Faux: The "Fauxcave" is in a rural suburb, west of D.C When I get up I pull a copy of a Stan Fischler book in my library and a spinning door whisks me to a foggy room with computers and various flashing lights. In all seriousness, we do have a small staff, but we all work out of our homes and thanks to E-mail/IM we communicate throughout the day.
AH: How did you get started? Faux: My friends in and around hockey and I had a chatroom during the lockout where we talked about our frustration of missing hockey, ESPECIALLY the foolishness going on with all these pseudo rumor whores like Eklund saying they seem to know whats going to happen. Meanwhile they know diddly. One day I suggested we create a blog on blogspot where we could put our own thoughts out. We would have to do it anonymously of course because some of the folks were literally risking their lives by telling the truth. I suggested we use the anonymous name "FAUXRUMORS." I had been posting on and off on a HOCKEY message boards for a few years with that name and I thought it would be the perfect guise for the group. They decided that since I had interviewing experience that I would become the voice of FAUXRUMORS here. It was a crazy time last summer, but it was a real testament to the power of hope in times of darkness. We never publicized it but within a few weeks we had hundreds of people reading it, and more and more of hockey's "good people" started coming out of the wood works asking to become 'sources'. What started as 3, grew to 5, then 10, then almost 30 solid league wide sources. That is where many of the contacts we have today were born.
AH: Do you have other jobs? Do you make a living off being FAUXRUMORS? FAUXRUMORS: We all do have other jobs, although sometimes it doesn't feel that way...:) Most of us are financially secure enough that we don't HAVE to work. In fact, the one who calls himself FAUXRUMORS2 is a multi millionaire! We are approaching two hundred thousand unique people who have visited the site, and get thousands of page views per week. So we COULD be making money they tell me, lol. But we didn't get into this for the money. We are a free site and always will be!
AH: Rumors about you include that you are tight with high level people at the Islanders and you have the backing of a major player in the NHL offices in New York. Care to confirm or deny? FAUXRUMORS: We never name names or specific franchises. That is just our "thing" and it continues to enable us to get some better rumors and therefore get some better discussions going. If you knew who we were or who we were talking to you we wouldn't get these quality/accurate rumors. There are people who have a problem with that, and we had our site hacked and disabled by one disgruntled/jealous person(s). This temporarily had us off the air for 2 weeks in late February at the trade deadline. We are now back with increased safe guards against further attacks. Also, blogging is still finding its legs and the rules are hazy, so we have had to sort of set our own rules. To not use a source or our real names and claim that a guy is rumored to be gay is very wrong in our book. The only times we have outed a player/coach was after it was done and we just happened to be the first to report it. We are close with quite a few people at quite a few teams, and the NHL has been amazing to us and the site, probably because they can see that we try and not take the easy way out in sports which is through something negative out there people can complain about.
AH: How do you balance the line of getting good scoops and feeling like maybe you are being used? FAUXRUMORS: With the exception of very few sources, we don't FEEL we are used. We KNOW when we're being used. LOL And it doesn't bother us, because it is guys doing their jobs. Why would someone tell someone else anything that isn't widely known unless they wanted something from us? You hear something and you have to then go and figure out the agenda. Some people are more agenda-driven than others. We're not naive.
AH: Your star rose when you broke many of the late summer signings and trades before almost any other site. You folks have also been lauded for your unique commentary about the game. FAUXRUMORS: The nature of what we do is rumors. We did "break" a few here and there, but that is easier to do on days that aren't trade deadline days. We broke several trades before anyone, Zhitnik to the Flyers for one. We were feeling a bit cocky going into deadline day about breaking trades.When the actual deadline day hit, the hijacking of the site also hit. It was a very dark time for all of us, but we feel we have rebounded and the site is even better than before!
AH: Was that a step back for you? Don't you feel it hurt your credibility by not being there the most inportant day of all rumor days? FAUXRUMORS: It allowed us to re-focus on just rumors and other aspects of the game we may have been overlooking and try to play our game again. We said, And in hunting down what went wrong we solved problems that may have crept up anyway.
AH: You are an amazing success story. What's "the next level" for you guys? FAUXRUMORS: Thanks. That's very kind for you, but WE feel as if we can do much better. We have some fun ideas. But as a wise man once said to me, "You never run out of ideas, you only run out of time and money." : )