What Is FamousDC?
FamousDC is a place where you’ll find the story of a behind the scenes DC – one that doesn’t sit at the biggest desk in the office. Read us for the people you should meet, where you should go, what’s up in DC and the next awesome party we’re throwing.
Who are we?
No one knew who was behind FamousDC at first – and that was by design. The high fives and occasional disses that often appear on FamousDC were even more fun coming from anonymous contributors. Then, four years ago, founders Amos Snead and Josh Shultz outed themselves in the Washingtonian (see below). Friends and generally kickass dudes, they recruited a team of contributors that include current and former Capitol Hill, Administration, and K Street staffers to write for us. Even now, most of our writers are anonymous. The latest article on FamousDC could be written by your boss or your cube neighbor.
Who reads us?
Our audience is made up of Capitol Hill staffers, policymakers, reporters, lobbyists, communicators and other DC influencers constantly on the move and in the know. Since our launch in 2007 we’ve received millions of visitors and page views. Our core audience is the concentrated coolest in the DC area. From K Street to King Street and from East Falls Church to Eastern Market, we’re a must-read for the Beltway’s movers and shakers.
Who likes us?
Washingtonian Magazine named us a “can’t miss click” and one of the Best Blogs in Washington in 2009, and we’ve been featured in some of the Beltway’s most popular news outlets, including the Drudge Report, POLITICO, Fox News, Express, MediaBistro, CNN, Washington Examiner, Fark, Deadspin, Daily Kos, and Gizmodo.
“That” Washingtonian Story
For three years, the politics-and-media blog FamousDC has carved out a niche by ignoring the political celebrities that most gossip sites adore and by embracing the press flacks, Hill schedulers, midlevel reporters, and K Street climbers who stand behind—and sometimes are crushed beneath—their famous bosses.
Their workaday exploits and off-hours shenanigans feed a blog devoted to congratulatory profiles, zippy interviews with up-and-comers, and birthday shout-outs. But as satisfying as the dispatches are to FamousDC’s fans, trying to guess who writes them has often been even more fun.
Attempts to out the authors of the group project have been fruitless. But recently, FamousDC’s founders decided to end their self-imposed anonymity: Amos Snead, a principal at the public-relations firm Story Partners, and Josh Shultz, a partner at the digital-communications agency NJI Media, turn out to be the affable scribes behind the chatty site.
They’re a pair of thirtysomething Southern transplants—Snead is from Alabama, Shultz from Texas—who seem never to have lost their twentysomething wonder at all the esoteric awesomeness of life inside the Beltway.
The duo began writing during their off-hours, when Snead was a Capitol Hill press secretary and Shultz was the director of new media at the National Republican Congressional Committee. In their day jobs, they were courting bloggers. At night, they were bloggers.
Ever since, FamousDC has succeeded by never losing sight of its audience.
“We started writing about people who we wanted to read the site,” Snead says. He and Shultz also validated notoriety on a smaller scale. “Joe Biden is a big deal,” Shultz explains, “but so is Doris, the cashier at the Longworth House cafeteria.”
FamousDC isn’t all about pats on the back—it got a lot of attention for posting a foul-mouthed and cutting spoof of what’s inside Rahm Emanuel’s in box. But, Snead says, although tipsters have frequently offered potentially damaging revelations about third parties, “we never carry anyone’s dirty water.”
Acknowledging that the mystery of FamousDC was part of its allure, Snead and Shultz are uncertain about what will happen now that they’re coming out of the blogging closet.
“If I had an answer, it probably would mean we’re overthinking what we’re doing,” Shultz says. He and Snead plan to continue managing a team of a dozen or so volunteer bloggers, who, for now, shall remain nameless.
This article first appeared in the January 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.