Wired and Fast Company Writers Aren’t Very Funny

I like to eat cow testiclesWired Magazine writer Meghan Keane isn’t very funny at all. Neither is the author of the article she echoed by Fast Company Writer Carlye Adler.

You know what? I’ll save you the trouble of reading these sobering articles. Comedy sites aren’t attracting sufficient advertising online. Except for College Humor, which is niche enough and maintains an exclusivity period before dumping stuff on YouTube (hey, The Onion… wake up… why should I go out to dinner/theonion.com if I can have your steakat home/youtube?)

  • “Viewers may flock to funny videos on the Internet, but for advertisers it’s not always a laughing matter. The questionable content that so often accompanies user-generated video can cause problems for brands looking to broaden — not damage — their image.
  • Ricky Van Veen, CEO of College Humor, says “We’ve found that a lot of our pieces have gotten a second life on YouTube.” “In the world of infinite ad inventory, quantity doesn’t matter,” says Van Veen. “It’s a tough ad market – you really have to bend over backwards and do something special for advertisers.”

Listen, Meghan and Caryle (if those are your real names). My MBA marketing professor was an expert (that’s why he taught instead of basking in a $750K SVP job). And he used to say three things sell.

  1. Cows
  2. The word free
  3. And funny

Okay he didn’t say that at all. I made it up. But it needed some attribution to credentialize it. And the reality is that my marketing professor spent the entire semmester boasting about his big idea in his briefcase. Finally one day he opened the case and revealed “the future of polling.” It replaced clip board surveys for the people that chase you in front of supermarkets, and it looked like a giant calculator.

Excuse me a second. I have to go punch someone who’s not funny. There. I’m back and feel better. What was I saying?

Oh- The articles should highlight two important points (and maybe they did, but we scan): First, the reality is that people are looking for content THEY find funny. Not another humor humor website they forget about 10 minutes after they visit it (vloggerheads, cough cough). Second, keep the costs down. The monetization model is still an infant. She can’t afford to pay a mortgage yet, the poor dear.