As most of you are aware, Yahoo! News has been following James McGibney and his Internet conquests over the past year. He launched Cheaterville.com on Valentine's Day of 2011 and hasn't looked back since. For those of you who haven't heard of Cheaterville, it's a salacious, and to many critics, a polarizing website where you can put someone who broke your heart on front street - for millions of people to see.
Yahoo! research estimates that the amount of free PR and media exposure Cheaterville and McGibney have received over the past year alone is worth well north of $3,000,000. You heard us correctly, three million dollars. They have over 445,000 Facebook fans and show no signs of slowing down. This past summer, he launched Cupidville.com , and in December launched KarmaVille.com , which explores good and bad karma within our society. His latest creation, BullyVille.com , had over 2,000,000 hits within its first week of launch. During that same week, McGibney appointed the lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses, Dj ASHBA, as the company's spokesman and shut down the wildly popular and very controversial website, Isanyoneup.com . He hosts his own show on CBS radio in Las Vegas, "VocalVille" and has been featured on every major TV network countless times. If there's one point no one can argue with, he's quickly becoming a powerhouse within the social media arena. How powerful is Cheaterville? Go to their website and search for anyone's name that's been posted on CheaterVille within any search engine. Their CheaterVille profile will usually show up as the first or second search result, regardless of how many other references exist. Their SEO rankings are off the charts and they're the 94,000 most popular website in the world. On July 4, 2012, they surpassed 1,000,000 posts and comments'; the anti-cheating movement is a booming business for CheaterVille.
Yahoo! decided to sit down with Mr. McGibney for a no holds barred interview. Love him or hate him, the former Marine doesn't hold back any punches. Here's our interview with him:
Yahoo: James, how did you come up with the idea of CheaterVille, was it hatched after watching numerous episodes of Jersey Shore and/or Maury Povich? JM: Ha, ha I can honestly say that I've only watched the Jersey Shore twice. I literally felt myself becoming dumber after watching it for five minutes. Having said that, they've most certainly hit a gold mine, supply and demand at its finest. I actually had the idea for CheaterVille while in the Marines serving on an overseas deployment with one of my good buddies. We came back and found out that his wife had been cheating during our entire deployment. I thought to myself "doesn't everyone have the right to know if someone is cheating on them?" He literally was the last person to find out about her numerous affairs. Hence our tagline, "don't be the last to know."
Yahoo: Your critics, who are many, have accused CheaterVille of being a revenge website, how do you respond to them? JM: I have critics? Honestly, I could care less about what 95% of my "critics" think. All they do is motivate me, it's because of those critics that I continue to launch websites and constantly improve CheaterVille. They belittle the millions of people who use CheaterVille as a dating resource tool, or those who have been cheated on that want to warn others. The alleged cheater becomes the victim because they land on CheaterVille and it's those critics who love to point that out. They never point out the true victim, the person whose life was turned upside down by the cheaters selfish ways. I've earned the right to exercise my freedom of speech, apparently so have they. The 5% of critics whose opinions I do respect know who they are. I've made it a point to reach out to almost every one of them; and to those critics all I can say is "thank you!"
Yahoo: Within a year, you've launched five companies and acquired two. Forbes and ABC Nightline were quick to point out that you're latest acquisition of Isanyoneup.com was nothing more than a PR stunt. How do you respond to those claims?
JM: I've consistently responded with the truth. I shut down that website because I was in a unique position to do so. I tied it into BullyVille because it made business sense but more importantly we made a point. BullyVille is an anti-bullying website and Isanyoneup.com was known as one of the worst cyber-bullying websites on the Internet. They no longer are, we bullied back, end of story. Facebook attempted to shut them down, the Government wanted to shut them down, parades of lawyers tried to shut them down. We stepped in and made it happen. The media can spin it any way they'd like, what I care about are the opinions of the mothers and daughters' who were grateful that we shut it down and most likely saved a life or two.
Yahoo: You're a Life Changer on Dr. Drew's daytime talk show; do you feel you've earned that title?
JM: If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that all of our Villes have had a major impact on society and lives in general. When you accumulate over 500,000 subscribers and tens of millions of hits within your first year of launch, there's little doubt that a life or two has been changed along the way. When BullyVille shut down Isanyoneup.com we changed and saved a few lives. Especially the young women who's completely naked and unedited photo landed on that site. If that's what the definition of a "pr stunt" is then so be it, I'm guilty as charged and would do it again in a New York minute.
Yahoo: Who is your biggest influence, many have speculated that it's Mark Zuckerberg?
JM: There is really only one person who has influenced me in a major way, Howard Stern. I grew up listening to him every single day in New York. So many people disagreed with his radio show and hated him for whatever reason. He always tackled his critics head-on and never backed down and more importantly, never gave in to them. The more people dislike something, the better it will become. Howard is certainly having the last laugh now. He's the very definition of what BullyVille is all about, never back down, and take the "bull" by the horns! He took Don Imus by the horns and put him in the pasture to graze.
Yahoo: Any final comments?
JM: In the end my ambition will far exceed my talent and I wouldn't want it any other way. The second you lose your ambition you might as well be dead. Yes I stole part of that line from Johnny Depp in the movie "Blow", one of the best movies ever made, besides GoodFellas of course.