Category Archives: Culture
Google Plus gave us hangouts, and a meme was born.
Here’s the template if you want to make your own. Right-click, save as. It should be editable in Fireworks.
The poster’s image thumbnail is 48×48. The hangout members are 32×32. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
Some of my examples:
Italy’s courts convicted 3 Google execs in absentia for a video posted by a user using their service showing bullies beating up an autistic boy. Thanks to the video, the bullies were caught and justice was served. However, Italy’s criminal justice system also prosecuted Google who hosted the video until the investigators asked them to take it down.
The term Banana Republic is a pejorative term originally used to refer to a country that is politically unstable, dependent on limited agriculture (e.g. bananas), and ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, and corrupt clique. (via Wikipedia)
I’d like to introduce the term Ostrich Republic to describe countries like Italy who bury their heads in the sand* when faced with freedom of information. The more we restrict access to information, the more we are likely to stay ignorant.
The prosecution of an Internet host for posting evidence of a crime has a deep chilling effect on the people of Italy. Some have argued that Google should monitor all content posted to its sites and make sure that material like this doesn’t get posted and that it’s just a matter of money that Google doesn’t’ want to spend.
Well, they’re absolutely right. Google could spend lots of money and screen all content that comes in, but freedom of expression should not only be available for those with the funds. This ruling affects everyone, including individual bloggers, universities, non-profits. Will they have the resources to screen every user comment? Or will this ruling just shut down public discourse on Italian websites for the fear of possible liability?
Unfortunately, Italy is not the only Ostrich Republic to apply the laws of the last century to a new world. The fundamental belief in the freedom of expression on the Internet assumes that the user, and therefore society, is made better by it and that we do not need to be protected from information.
(* I know that that’s a myth about ostriches. But work with me here.)
We posted 2 jobs recently: 1 for an office Admin, and 1 for a Jr. Designer. Both are contract positions (no benefits and short-term) at 40 hours per week. The candidate must send in a resume and fill out a detailed questionnaire to be considered.
To top it off, the postings clearly lists $8.55 to $10 per hour for these jobs. So far, I’ve received more than 4 applications, out of more than 180, suggesting that I kiss the candidate’s derriere. One applicant wrote: “I don’t even wipe my ass for $10 an hour” and then wrote about how great he’d be for the job.
We advertise lower wages for entry-level positions because the worst candidates focus on money the most. Believe it or not, advertising lower-than-market wages actually helped us yield better candidates. Higher advertised wages resulted in much higher level of noise from candidates who really didn’t care about the job. (FYI: Advertised pay and actual pay are two different things.)
It’s become clear to me that bad candidates focus on money like that’s the only thing they’ll get out of the job. The best candidates just want to do the job that’ll make them happy. In fact, for our entry-level positions, I believe that our biggest selling points as a company are our shared vision of making our users happy for 5 minutes a day and the huge opportunity for growth.
Every manager and CEO has a story about the lazy-ass, unqualified pisser who demanded a top salary and a raise every 3 months. But those same mangers and CEOs will also tell you about the butt-busting, entry-level employee who never complained and eventually rose to become the team lead or an executive. Guess which of the two they recruited away to their next company? And the next…
If you’re a hiring manager or CEO and you’re reading this, I encourage you to summarily reject a candidate if they bring up compensation (unless you prompt the topic) in the first interview. To me, it’s an indication of the following:
- The candidate’s inability to control their personal expenses, which inevitably leads to drama and demands at work.
- The candidate’s lack of belief in his or her ability to succeed and grow within the ranks.
- The candidate’s inability control the diarrhea of the mouth, the leading symptom of the disease called poor judgment.
So what should a job seeker do?
If the economy has dealt you a bad hand, I am truly sorry to hear that. I know what it’s like because I’ve been there. If you have high financial requirements in order to absolutely survive, I don’t really know what to say than go get a job at a bank (you know what I mean). But if you really want to have a great career, don’t worry about how much you’ll be paid now. Instead, focus on finding a company you’d love to work for and a job you’ll enjoy doing, then find a way to live within your means. That’s the recipe for growth both financially and personally.
This is the advice I took when I shut down my first start-up at the age of 23 and found myself $40,000 in debt. I went from being a CEO to minimum wage “consultant” working for another start-up. It was less than a year before I found myself back on my feet.
I am not what I earn. I am not the balance in my bank account. I am not even my title. I am what I accomplish and that makes me happy.
If this makes you want to work with the like-minded, talented and passionate people at the Cheezburger Network, our jobs can be found at
Rob Walker, the guy behind Murketing, asks the question if the Sour video (after the jump) qualified as crowdsourced:
If the crowd’s job is basically to follow orders from well-funded visionary authorities… and kinda look all crowdy-like while doing so — then what, exactly, does crowdsourcing mean?
I love Rob’s question. I think most other people miss the big underlying reason why the video was so amazing and enjoyable to watch. There’s been a trend and pattern among viral videos that leverages “Obsessive Houdinism”. (I’m going to call it that.) “Obsessive Houdinism” is the theory that by using technology and a big helping of obsessive coordination, we can transform what appears to be an impossible feat into an entertaining event.
The Sour music video almost maximizes this theory by using amateurs and hence people’s awe of “amateur aesthetic”. I say almost because if the video had been performed by the users’ puppies and kittens, the Houdini act would have been more impressive.
That video is not crowdsourced. Just massively awesome.
Turning the question upside down also raises an interesting question. Consider Hollywood, where millions of struggling amateur writers are creating new shows and some get made, is that crowdsourcing? If not, what about American Idol?
I’m headed to NY to appear as a guest on It’s on with Alexa Chung (Tuesday at noon). I’m told that there will be stunts where I may fail. Dear Lord, what have I brought on myself?
I’m on my way to LA to be the first guest on my friend Christian Lander’s show PC Hookup. Check it out live on Wednesday at 9:30 pacific at justin.tv/pchookup
Watch the promo video where Christian dresses up for the first time in his life:
Watch live video from PC Hookup on Justin.tv
And next Tuesday at noon eastern, I’ll be on MTV’s It’s On with Alexis Chung.
These people have the MAD skillz: Masashi Kawamura + Hal Kirkland + Magico Nakamura + Masayoshi Nakamura