Rule #1: Don’t Mess with The Oatmeal

The limits of Internet research

Stuef’s target this time was Matthew Inman, the man behind the wildly successful cartoon website The Oatmeal. Inman’s ability to create shareable, viral content is not unlike that of Buzzfeed, and Inman’s big moment in the sun this year came after his rabid fanbase helped him raise over $200,000 for charity in response to a defamation suit filed against him. “Rule number one of the Web: You don’t mess with The Oatmeal,” Mashable’s Lauren Hockenson wrote.

For all of Stuef’s Internet research, it seems he didn’t read that article. When Inman drew criticism for putting a rape joke in a recent cartoon, Stuef used it as the peg for a profile of Inman and his business model, arguing that the cartoonist’s funny little comics were actually keenly targeted marketing ploys designed to maximize traffic, power, and profit:

Unlike that of most successful webcomic artists, Inman’s work was not originally a labor of love, a slow process of honing one’s voice, developing an original perspective and take on the art form, and eventually building an audience. It was always a business, always a play to known sources of Web traffic, whether for clients or for himself.

via The limits of Internet research | Columbia Journalism Review


Dear YouTube & Google…

what tha hell?!? You just change it all one day…sure things are similar, but not giving the user control over elements (like sidebars) is really bad UI. Now I have a “guide” and “more from…” NEW crap on the side…ugh. This is not the future of video watching on the web…it just isn’t

Regulation, Smegulation

When someone tells you “less regulation” is a good thing for business — remind them of the meningitis outbreak, as they are now finally introducing legislation to address the unregulated pharmacies…

True size of Africa

Kai Krause True Size of Africa Map with legends

If you look at the world map on Google, for example, Africa doesn’t look that much bigger compared to China or the United States. In reality though, it’s a lot bigger. Kai Krause scales countries by their area in square kilometers and then fits them into a Africa’s borders for some perspective.

via True size of Africa | FlowingData