Reddit vs SighFi

by Sci-Fi Man on June 18, 2010

I really thought I was inventing a new and clever word. Alas! It is not to be.

Some clever git beat me to it, AND managed to add it to Urban Dictionary.  SighFi is defined as:

A exasterbated “sigh”, could pertain to anything related to science fiction.

That has to be the most appropriate definition of a previously loved and respected channel that has recently been maimed by corporate marketing. It seems that the rename had something to do with creating a “uniquely ownable trademark” .

I am a massive fan of the Scifi subreddit and am forever lurking on there. Well it was revealed that Craig Engler, the SVP & GM of Digital at Syfy had joined Reddit as CraigatSyFy. Not a bad move right? Well maybe…

From a recent Reddit Post:

It’s pretty obvious from his posts that he’s either completely prohibited from admitting that Syfy might not actually serve the fanbase it purports to, or he actually believes that the network does a good job of it. Every response he’s given so far has had the tone of “No, Syfy isn’t wrong. Your perception of our programming is wrong.” Syfy will not hear your words, and when they acknowledge that you’ve spoken, they’ll try to change your mind rather than changing their programming.

His appearance here is not a gesture of goodwill, or an olive branch to the geek community: It’s just another shameless attempt for a corporate mindset to leverage the social media paradigm.

Well I decided to pick out some of the, ahem, most interesting tidbits of that post:

How about admitting that showing Wrestling as a large part of the programming was the dumbest fucking move ever made by any media outlet in the history of television? How about letting people know that you’re going to communicate what you are hearing to people at the network INSTEAD of telling people that what you are hearing is wrong, and you’re just going to tell the people at the network they’re doing fine?  otakucode

We’re tired of being handed shit now that we pretty much have an on demand selection of scifi from all around the world at our fingertips. I suspect the shows you guys do make are intentionally aiming for mediocrity. RobotBuddha

I’m assuming people know we run wrestling in prime-time .[This one is by Craig, I add it here for context for the next one] Yes, we know. The real question is why is wrestling part of the line-up on a freakin’ science fiction channel? jrandom

Sorry Mr. Craig, but you must be on some really awesome meds. The “See-Fee” channel is a joke. br0wer

I don’t want to quote  Captain_Midnight word for word, but he batted CryFy (my new nicknname for Craig) well in these exchanges:

Webdivemaster got in a decent shot at the following misnomer:

Paranormal means “Any event or object that defies scientific explanation or knowledge.” That includes UFOs, cryptids, etc.

Craig, unless the complaints result in an increased emphasis on Science Fiction programming (and not simply justifications of “but we’re already showing X Y and Z, which are unarguably Scifi!”), it’s all just lip service.

You want to show some goodwill to the Science Fiction geeks? Change the programming. Start generating original Science Fiction content, like you did back with Seeing Ear Theatre (Hell, even making SET available again would be a show of goodwill). It’s all well and good to say “Syfy wants to hear your opinions!”, but it seems that the network isn’t willing to take any meaningful action in response to those opinions. PSBlake (OP)

Not to discount the rest of the comments, but I may end up rehashing the whole comment section, am going to end my coverage there, on the OP’s very intelligent note. Personally I think I ought to give CryFy a bit of credit for the following tweet:

I dont think we have seen the end of the reaction to Syfy and its programming policies, and it does make me a little sad to see that there are obviously thousands of pationate passionate (sorry about the crappy spelling!) scifi fans who still believe there is some hope for the corporate giant to ignore the ad dollars and return to SciFis true calling. I do hope that it does happen, one day. Although I doubt it. For all intents and purposes, Syfy is no longer the home of SciFi – and hence the SighFi.

Other Readworthy Posts on Syfy:

On this note I leave you (from one of the links above):

The SciFi Channel’s “text-friendly” new name is a slang word for syphilis

{ 1 trackback }

Syzygy Network – Independent Scifi Channel — SciFi Blog : Science Fiction to Scifi Reality
August 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig June 19, 2010 at 2:37 am

I understand you might not like Syfy, but what’s wrong with “Craig”? It’s a perfectly good name, from the Gaelic word “creag” or “carraig,” meaning “rock.” You should also check out the other thread where I ask what kind of sci-fi people would like to see. Loads of good replies there :)

Craig June 19, 2010 at 2:39 am

PS The syfy being short for syphilis thing was debunked long ago. Although Syfy is a very unflattering word in Polish.

scifigeeks June 19, 2010 at 3:25 am

SCI-FI Man,

Great blog post. It’s interesting to see you also quoted Webdivemaster, as he just did a guest post on my scifi blog a week ago regarding the same topic – Syfy’s departure from science fiction. I’ve been trying to gather some support on my end for this debate.
http://www.sciencefictiongeeks.com

I even started a Twibbon campaign to highlight it on twitter. http://twibbon.com/join/SyFy-needs-Scifi-2

Check either out if your interested! :) It’s great to see others focal about this too.
-Jon @Scifigeeks

Webdivemaster June 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

One note….

Craig has been pretty good at shouldering the massive flak coming at him from that post line and his other one at http://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/cg0v7/so_rscifi_what_kind_of_new_scifi_tv_show_do_you/

He has been professional, even if not good at debating his losing side.

For people with Twitter, get the ‘SyFy needs Sci-Fi” twibbon at http://twb.ly/9TBTVE

And as for the meaning of SyFy, we have also concluded that they are the channel showing us starving anorexics (as anorexic as their sched is for real SF) bad and nauseating food shows. Or better yet, SyFy means “We take the Sci-Fi out of more than just the name” or “SyFy, were the SyssiFyed are in control of our Sci-Fi”.

Sci-Fi Man June 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

Lol Sorry Craig. I guess I am not immune to a bit of silliness. Re: syphilis – probably – but i liked the quote…

Will definately check out the other thread.

Sci-Fi Man June 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

Hey Jon – thanks for the comments – will have a gander….

Aerik June 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

I stand by my comment that shows like “ghost hunters” are sold to the public as real professionals who find real ghosts. They know that’s what their hardcore fans belief, and as far as I’m concerned that’s fraud. Everybody at SyFy is an accomplice to fraud.

And just syndicating star trek and stargate? That’s an insult to our intellect on another level. That stuff is better described as “futurism.” Amazingly, I saw the perfect 3 line dialog about futurism vs. science fiction vs. fantasy on a show that is well known for distorting forensic science for drama: CSI — Hodgins vs. unknown lab tech who disappears for seasons at a time

“Oh sure, I like sci fi. I liked Mr. Ed.”

“-.. mr ed is fantasy, not sci fi”

“Sure it is. It posits an alternative universe in which the horse evolved a larynx. Fantasy is anything traveling faster than the sped of light. If Einstein were alive, he’d slap yer face.”

Reminds me of this time I was looking for a scifi book in my library that had won a Nebula award. When I found it just in “fiction,” I pointed out the error to the closet librarian I could find. She gave me an attitude that insisted that if it’s not rockets or unicorns, it’s just fiction. I think it was “the speed of dark” by elizabeth moon.

The prededing comment’s nuances are completely lost on SyFy. And shame on them for it.

notsi June 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

“pationate” I agree with what you wrote but have never seen such a bad spelling of passionate before this

Sci-Fi Man June 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Hey @notsi – thanks. I must admit that is the worst spelling mistake I have made. Damn. Corrected!

Craig June 19, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I think of it as a conversation, not as debating or having winners/losers. Everyone has an opinion about TV, and everyone’s opinion is right to them. Many people passionately love Ghost Hunters, some passionately dislike it, most probably don’t care. Same is true for every TV show out there to varying degrees. No one is wrong.

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