How to win friends and influence people – Len Brown style

It’s not part of the no8-wire-All-Black-stoic-bastard-she’ll-be-right-mate ethos to continuously toot your own horn, but in our case, if we don’t do it, nobody will.  Whaleoil suffers the usual tall poppy backlash – critics hate us even more because we are successful, and supporters – well, they’ve seen it all before and they would be correct in going “yeah, yeah… number 1, blah blah…”

But to not mark this occasion with some comment would be ridiculous.  Whaleoil’s biggest media moments this year have been (in ascending order)

  • Paul “Weiner” Findlay
  • Aaron “Don’t you know who I am” Gilmore
  • “Lusty” Len Brown

Until yesterday, Whaleoil’s biggest day was serving 98,000 pages.

Yesterday, due to the Len Brown exclusive, the web site served 263,000 pages.

Today, as I write this at 4:30pm update this at 6pm, we’re already up to 280,000 pages – it could easily has set a new record today.

We’re not the only ones to look over the numbers.  Regan Cunliffe at Throng has done some number crunching of his own, comparing On-Demand viewing with the number of visits Whaleoil received.  


He notes

Campbell Live’s deep sea drilling story with Simon Bridges had an average audience of 325,890 viewers.  Not an unusual number and only slightly higher than the previous week.  Up until midnight last night, an additional 30,125 streams of the interview had been made.

Len Brown’s only interview since confessing to an extramarital affair had a slightly lower audience than Monday with 316,730 viewers.  At midnight last night, an additional 8,369 streams had been played.

While many of these stories have ended up spread across all other forms of media, what I find interesting is that the original content producers haven’t really seemed to benefit from it.

However, there is one other element to this that is even more fascinating and that is the number of visitors to WhaleOil since the Len Brown story broke.

More than 200,000 visitors yesterday and almost that already today.  When it comes to having exclusive content, it appears the TV networks aren’t the biggest winners on the day.

Some people love to hate Whaleoil, and others hate to love Whaleoil, but as the numbers show, what can’t be done is ignore Whaleoil.

We work hard at bringing you news, opinion and entertainment that is suitable for this medium.  And although Whaleoil is less squeamish about breaking news about the seedy side of political life, accusations Whaleoil only muck rakes is selective.  We’ve covered financial scandals (Unions breaking the law), we’ve covered employment relation scandals (Ports of Auckland), we’ve covered business scandals (a company passing off as Google to scam money from unsuspecting customers) and we’ve covered consumer scandals.

People are starting to realise two things.  One, that some stories that Old Media won’t touch are still stories that need a platform.  We don’t accept all of them, but for some causes we are their last resort.  Two, that even though Whaleoil utilises a “blog” to publish its content, it is the content itself that makes this collection of people and their work so valuable to follow and keep up to date with.  Cameron Slater and his team are genuinely competing for “viewers” and “readers” against the big two newspapers and big two TV news producers.

And judging by this year’s results, we’re doing it well.


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  • Pissedoffyouth

    Explains why I have to force refresh the page constantly and half the time it uses the mobile website on Firefox….

    • It’s insane. Clear the browser cache to fix the problem – but it doesn’t last long :(

      The storm will abate in a while…

      • Pissedoffyouth

        I’ve decided to use the mobile theme permanently – 1440p screen and can view article and comments in only a couple scrolls.

        keep up the good work!

      • metalnwood

        I am using the shift+refresh to force a refesh. A lot of the time I am being given back the site as it was hours ago if I dont.

      • Agent BallSack

        Hopefully a lot of the traffic is new hits. I am guessing most media outlets now have WOBH bookmarked and surf continuously to figure out how a non journalist (trained and skilled) does it.

        • He IS a journalist, Winston Peters says so in a quote today :)

          • Mr Sackunkrak

            Yes he is, and the MSM hate it, ain’t life sweet.

      • CheesyEarWax

        If we can clear the mayoral office like we clear our browser caches. No need for costly elections.

        • Tom

          Len wishes he could delete his root directory har har har

          • DLNZ

            Only takes two minutes to defrag his hard drive lol

      • Orange

        Pressing shift while hitting the refresh button works for me

  • Reow

    What about Cameron Slater’s own extra-marital affairs???

    And Cameron says he’s a ratepayer…. Last time I heard he was on the dole.

    • Timboh

      Meow, Cameron Slater is not the author of this post. If your post is an attempt to do a kiss and tell I suggest give TV3 a call.

    • Agent BallSack

      So what? Cameron is not mayor of Suckland and didnt fuck his paramour on your dime. Fuck off troll.

      Edited to say: And that was over 2 years ago so if you have a problem with it, will you still hate Len Brown in 2 years? Thought not DUMBASS.

    • sheppy

      The difference is we’re PAYING Len Brown to run Auckland and as part if that to not turn Auckland into a laughing stock on the world stage.
      If Len did this away from work, outside work hours, not using work equipment, and didn’t abuse his power in the first place to pull her it would be a different matter.

      • Bad__Cat

        I agree.
        Also, while I believe consensual sex between adults is fine, and fun, lying and cheating on a partner of 20 years stinks like month old garbage.

    • Sidey

      Do you frequently stroll into strangers’ houses, pull down your daks & take a dump before scurrying off again?

      The Standard must be running out of numbers for the random draw for heroes to pop around, lots of newbies who have gone to all the trouble of creating a profile just to fire a blank.

    • Pissedoffyouth

      If Cameron had some sex while in the town hall that would be bad…

      But he didn’t

    • andrew carrot

      “Reow” – are you an emasculated kitten with a lisp? Thought so…

    • Pantsdown Brown was doing his “work” during office hours, putting in extra strokes while sitting in the big chair

    • Wrong, right and wrong again.

      • Hazards001

        You ARE the BEST!

        • Orange


        • Orange


  • Whafe

    Fantastic work to all the Whaleoil Team. Keep up the fantastic work and burn those that need copious amounts of sunshine… Along with all the other daily fixes you give us

  • Timboh

    Pete, I really enjoyed this post. Was just going to scan, but your first sentence made me keep reading. Congratulations to you guys for doing the drudge and emerging as a new player in NZ MSM. The media attributions you guys have finally achieved has broken their back. The Clemens quote “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” maybe should also include “and people who have a very popular blog”.

    • Bad__Cat

      And NFWAB.
      Well done people!
      Also, I suspect that many newcomers to the blog will be back and become regulars. Hopefully the trolls will get the message and either fuck off, or keep providing us with entertainment and giving us more reasons for disliking lefties.

  • Agent BallSack

    Yeehaa Cam et al good work. I am picking 10 million hits this month is in order.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    There seems to be a problem with the page not loading going by the comments.
    A while back there was another problem with Internet Explorer, but those using other browsers were fine.
    I am using IE 10 and do not have this problem (yet) I also have about 6 other websites open as well as email
    Internet Explorer rules! but I guess the problem is just overloading. WhaleOil has never ever been this active – especially the visitors.
    Come on – register, and the leftie media can fuck off!

    • P1LL

      “Internet Explorer rules!”
      Oh Steve, I hope you were joking when you posted that .

      • CheesyEarWax

        He loves the pop-ups telling him how to enlarge his penis and meet women from Auckland.
        Real men use Chrome!

        • Steve (North Shore)

          Chrome plated – but yeah I was fucked off with Chrome when I discovered some hidden places.
 and see how chrome treats your W32 with chrome

        • GregM

          Yep, chrome on Mac, it’s idiot proof. ( I can work it )

  • Phar Lap

    There was a “friend” called Edwards in NBR putting the boot into Whaleoil and Bevan.Couldnt help but wonder what the convicted druggie was smoking when he was writing the article.

  • Bunswalla

    The Horrid and Stuff both attributed the story to WO, however TV One News simply referred to it as a “popular website”. Same on TV3 they will never mention WO by name, which is surely a sign of how powerful this blog has become. When the MSM see you as a genuine, serious competitive threat, you know you’re doing your job – and if you excuse my language, you’re doing it fucking well.

    Even PM John Key said the first he heard of it was when he read it on Whale Oil – love it.

    • The funniest thing was the number of Right wing people speculating on who he was going to expose. A number were worried that it just might be them LOL
      I just laugh when they say that Wo is in the pay of the National Party and does their bidding. WHAT A JOKE. He had to fight to even be allowed to be a member a while back.

  • GregM

    Well if the numb nuts at the MSM don’t start taking notice now….
    Top work, all of you. Cheers, Greg.

  • ozbob68

    O 4 awesome, Whale Oil! When I “broke” the news about Len to my office in the CBD, I linked to your website cos Stuff hadn’t caught up yet. Big fan, keep it up!

  • philbest

    Quite frankly, some of the stuff I get on Whaleoil, like Policy Parrot and Property Parrot commentary on dodgy council bureaucrats and vested interests in urban planning, I simply don’t get anywhere else. This is top quality analysis that SHOULD be in the NZ Herald and it is a disgrace it is not.

    One of new media’s most valuable roles is breaking in on vested interest rackets and corrupt bureaucracies and so on where the old media is too heavily vested ideologically or financially (advertising revenue). There might have been a time when civil servants could be relied upon to act in the public interest, but certainly not now.

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