More Billion-Dollar Social Media Start-Ups

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Facebook bought Instagram for a BILLION dollars. I think the math works out to thirty bucks a user or something similar, so it’s not that insane, given that the only product worth anything these days is one with free, user-generated content that shoves ads into those users’ eyeballs.

But I’m not anti-advertising. Those unseemly shill-bucks pay for great TV, and even subsidize what I do. I just want MY billion dollars. I really need a fleet of yachts with shark faces painted on the bows.

Potential SOPA/PIPA Revisions

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Since SOPA and PIPA were shelved following last Wednesday’s blackouts, this comic is kind of late to the discussion, but the bills’ backers will attempt to trot out a revised version sooner rather than later. I also wanted to draw Chris Dodd’s man-boobs. You’ll notice that since this was for the New York Times, I avoided coloring his nipples and going crazy with veins and hair. Because I am RESPONSIBLE.

Anyone who thinks it’s just Republicans who cravenly do their donors’ bidding should have been enlightened by who continued to support these bills following the widespread online opposition. Sure, supporting Hollywood’s mad grab for extending copyright privileges isn’t as bad destroying the economy, environment, and everything else, but it’s still shitty.

As for reducing (you can never stop it) online piracy, the solution’s simple: Price your shit fairly, and make it easy to use. I pay $8 a month to both Hulu and Netflix instead of a pricey cable package, and that keeps me pretty much up-to-date with pop culture. As for sports, that’s why bars were invented. Paying more than $10 a month for any content-related thing is obscene. It generally costs $30-$50 to get internet access, so if you think your one thing is worth more than a third of the Internet, you have seriously overvalued your product. And yes, that also applies to a certain newspaper with a soft paywall.

Own Your Own Content Farm

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Today’s Sunday Review cartoon is about content farms. I’ve always thought they were garbage, but didn’t know how awful working conditions are for the “creators” until I read this article.

I’m almost recovered from moving, so hopefully things will get back on track this week. If you’re placing bets on a fight between me and queen-sized mattress, bet on the mattress.

A Public Service Announcement

Are you also named Brian McFadden, or know someone who is?

If so, you might want to make sure you’re using the right email address. I hopped on the Gmail train early, and therefore don’t have any numbers or wacky shit in my address. I get dozens of emails for all these other Brian McFaddens (including this douche) every month. I ignore them, but felt guilty about it after mentioning it on Twitter this morning. (Thanks, Blake!)

Obviously, I’m not a fan of the religiousy parts of Xmas, but in the winter-solstice spirit, I feel like these two shouldn’t go ignored.

The first is presumably for some Brian McFadden who can either play the piano or lead singers by some other means. Mind control?

Dear Brian,
I learned today we have no piano player for the 4:15 Mass in the school hall on Christmas Eve.
Would you be interested in leading the singing?  The parish will pay $50 – the amount they would play the piano player.

If you are interested, please let me know.  I have another possibility so, please do not feel pressured.

Thank you so much,

Suzanne J****

I wouldn’t want a case of mistaken identity to cheat this song-and-dancin’ Brian McFadden out of the $50 he has coming to him. And in Brian McFadden solidarity, fuck that other possibility!

The second one is the latest from the man who’s been sending me emails for months under the impression that I am his son.

Santa detail this weekend, sign up at the firehouse.

This is kinda bossy. Seriously, not even a “please,” fake dad? But they might need a Santa for Toys for Tots or some other charity, and his real son might be a dick who’s worthy of such curtness. I don’t know.

Finally, to all those Brian McFaddens who deliberately put my email on mailing lists and shit, screw you guys. You’re why I don’t bother replying to the real fuck-ups.

Lifestyles of the Internet Famous

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The internet fame cycle is a speedy and predictable beast. This is based on a lot of recent memes, but the character is mostly a fusion of “You Done Goofed” Dad and Le Pétomane, who would surely have millions of subscribers to his YouTube channel and a lucrative underpants endorsement deal if he were alive today.

Next Week: Genetically Awesome-ified

Server Migration

A quick service note, I’ll be changing server locations sometime this weekend. The site will be down for a bit, and if you have problems viewing it after that try clearing your cache.

My apologies to all of you weekend internetters.


In an interview with the Russian kid who created Chatroulette, he said he named it after this famous scene in The Deer Hunter. I am dubious about his claim. How could a Russian be unaware of Russian Roulette until he saw it in an American movie? They even play it at weddings over there. If he really wanted to pay homage to this fine film, he would’ve named his website “Shoot Yourself in the Head with Christopher Walken.”

The Web’s Worst Ads

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Jen Sorensen‘s been covering this territory on her blog for months, and the New York Times recently followed her lead. I felt the subject could use a few dick jokes, so I gave it a go.

The reason why the web is populated with low-rent, sometimes scammy ads is because online advertising is cheap. I don’t know if it’s a fair price or undervalued by out-of-touch advertisers who still think a full page in Cat Fancy reaches more eyeballs than an ad running next to the most recent viral cat video.

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t mind sitting through the occasional ad if it means I can watch or read something useful for free. Producing cool shit takes time and money, and unless you want to buy everyone’s merchandise or wait for a Kickstarter campaign to fund something, ads are a necessary means to entertaining your goldbricking ass.

Next Week: Weelight