Wasting Others Time Takes Guess Work
One of the highlights of PSFK Conference New York 08 was Ricky Van Veen’s talk on how he created CollegeHumor.com – a site that distracts millions each month by collecting and making viral comedy. In the New York Times, Streeter Seidell, a front-page editor for the site, talks about how difficult it is to decide what’s funny:
So we sure seem to know what we’re doing, huh? To be honest, though, we don’t. Nobody in the online content business truly does. The taste of the Internet user is as idiosyncratic as it is fickle. What is popular and funny one day could be clichéd and boring the next… There are certain common traits of viral content that loosely guide our selections — it should be short, easily understood, universal, nostalgic — but for every hit sharing those qualities there are millions of similar failures, not to mention stuff that simply defies explanation.