Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Housekeeping: How To Succeed In Business

MONEYOh hello! In keeping with our tradition of transparency, we wanted to let you, valued reader, know about a few things going on here. For starters! During October, you'll see two different kinds of sponsored posts very rarely appearing on the website. The first is a straight-up advertisement. Unlike some other web sites, that sort of sponsored post on The Awl is not written by the editorial staff. These sponsored posts will clearly be visually marked as such; you will not find it confusing in the slightest. The second variety is an editorial feature, of the kind we publish every day here, with a specific sponsorship-those posts are advertiser-supported (you know, like programs on the TV! Or like small TV show segments, such as the Daily Show's "Moment of Zen"!). So the advertiser is sponsoring the feature, and is recognized for that-but that has no relation to or bearing on its editorial component. Does that make sense? (Questions? Do ask!) We're happy to be doing this, and I will tell you about why that is so! And also about how you might be interested in an exciting investment opportunity that does not involve transferring money to a UK bank account to retrieve a lost Nigerian fortune.

As you may or may not know, or care, The Awl is a business! We began this website both for our own entertainment and to fill our lonely unemployed days-and also because it's a good business, we think: bringing smart, culture-loving, informed people of all sorts together in one place. Look at you! Yes, you. You're a smart, sexy critter!

To date, we have not paid ourselves. We'd like this to change in the near future. (So would my landlord.) We'd also like to begin paying our fine, wonderful, intelligent contributors. Tom Scocca's baby isn't going to feed itself, people. And think of Mary Choi's shoe habit! This is, it turns out, completely possible. As we grow-and we are growing, according to Alex and David, who are the ones who check our Google Analytics traffic-advertisers are discovering that we have a fantastic, loyal audience.

There are two paths before us now, and we will take one of them. One is to remain D.I.Y. and self-supporting, growing somewhat slowly as advertising income increases, and beginning to pay ourselves and contributors, and then hiring as we grow further.

The other is to partner with a smart investor, or a small group of smart investors. For a rather impressively low price, this website can, basically, skip a year of school-it can beef up and jump right into the next income bracket.

And now, for the only advertorial I will ever write-since it is advertorial for myself!-if you are interested in either advertising or investment, please do email David Cho. He has a rather lovely business plan to show you.

What else? In other news, we are mostly likely changing servers this weekend, which should be painless and invisible to you. Ha, I know, right? But that also brings good news, in that a new host should have a much-improved mass-mail service, which means that our daily newsletter would have the technology to begin again.

Questions? Thoughts? Complaints? Operators are standing by. Thanks!

112 Comments / Post A Comment

toadvine (#1,698)

I support all of your effort to making money. And look very much forward to "Dov Charney's 'A Pubic Apology'" and the like!

toadvine (#1,698)

omitted "start" from first sentence.

ljnd (#86)

Agreed. Anything that keeps you guys in business is a good thing.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

You forgot to mention the exorbitant cost of cat pills.

Man. THOSE PILLS. When did cats get so expensive?

slinkimalinki (#182)

they have always been that expensive. there's some kind of complicated algorithm that basically boils down to: cats=more than you can really afford.

HiredGoons (#603)

covered bridge + burlap sack = financial security

mirnanda (#1,776)

Is there a Webby for Best Tags 2009?

Abe Sauer (#148)

There is a Webby for EVERYTING

jolie (#16)


I'm sure we can work something out!


lululemming (#409)

These Nigerians you speak of? Would they be amenable to a *Canadian* bank account? Futhermore, can they help me to tell the difference between a pizza bagel and doughnut?

Matt (#26)

Awl Select Premium Content?

jolie (#16)

I would pay to have hidden headlines back.

BoHan (#29)

I have $5 in my Paypal account, just waiting for a "Donate Now" button.

carpetblogger (#306)

I heart the awl and will support wholeheartedly all its efforts to increase its profile up to, but not including, raping 13 year olds. But I have a 30 year statue of limitations.

lululemming (#409)

I have myself for this, but "statue" of limitations was a typo, right? I'm sure it was. Carry on.

GiovanniGF (#224)

Um, I presume that was a typo on "hate"?

lululemming (#409)

Sure was. I wasn't trying to be a pedant, just helpful in my own way. I'm just the kind of person who will tell you if you have something stuck in your teeth is all.

carpetblogger (#306)

It wasn't.

narnio (#38)

you can have my two cents.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Look for my forthcoming 2000-word look into the fascinating JC Pennies brand.

lululemming (#409)

I hope all off those 2000 words are chipschips chipschipschipschipschips!.

Abe Sauer (#148)

That would be chipschipschipschipschipschipschips, which chipschipschipschipschips (for chipschipschipschipschips), chipschipschipschipschips, which chipschipschipschipschips-, chipschipschipschipschips.

lululemming (#409)

I'm appalled at your incorrect usage of a comma following what I assume you meant to be an em dash. Still, it's just advertorial for fatties, so you're hired.

Abe Sauer (#148)


lululemming (#409)

Chip on your shoulder!

Abe Sauer (#148)

You have no idea.

This is a fine thing. And all advertising need not be worthless; there a lot of interesting, useful businesses out there which might benefit from your readers' eyeballs. Wacky eyeglass shops for example.

atipofthehat (#797)
Abe Sauer (#148)

I love that The Who lived to actually sell out and make that album highly ironic.

HiredGoons (#603)

Does this business plan include a sex hotline?

Before investing, I'm will have to send my womanservant over to assess the current state of The Awl's "office."

Bittersweet (#765)

She didn't screw you over by going back to her village for the holidays?

Baboleen (#1,430)

What if I really want to contribute, but can't afford to contribute much? No, seriously though.

Do y'all have layaway?

atipofthehat (#797)

I would buy The Awl commemorative plates, tea-towels, cozies, and ribald statuettes. But of course that goes without saying.

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

MAH SHOES HAVE SHOES GIMME MONIES. Also, I am so gay for you guys. Love.

Do you mean gay in the lame way?

HiredGoons (#603)

that's retarded.

You. Me. Louboutin. Now.

Mindpowered (#948)

Doesn't Sequoia do these sorts of things?

Or would you be offering an AwlPO, whereby readers can purchase a small part of the company for a nominal sum, but do it KIVA style?

Mindpowered (#948)

Actually you should totally go see the Dragons

Mindpowered (#948)

Moreover, I might be more receptive if I got those EMAILS I signed up for.

(wants to hang with The Awl)

AWLPO. You are hired, David Cho is fired.

Aatom (#74)

I'm running short on venture capital, but you may continue to benefit from my daily visits at no charge!

I will GLADLY take that!

NicFit (#616)

That's cool, I'm going to have my comments sponsored too.

That was pretty complicated. I'd appreciate it if you'd just lie to me, simple little lies. Or don't even tell me. I probably won't notice.

Two words: SHARK TANK.

Kataphraktos (#226)

You know, good causes need PG-rated calendars. Preferably Awl owners and contributors, not AARP Hampton housewives.

Could you guys put a cap on commenters – say 2000 or so? When you get popular, this'll become Gothamist or the NYPost down here, and seriously, the comments are a meaningful piece of your content.

It's a free alternative to comment moderating. The cool kids are mostly here, anyways. (I sneaked in)

Mindpowered (#948)

Or you could sell commenting rights after the first 2000….

I will invite all my NYPost and KCStar buddies and it will be a hootenanny.

(Note: I have no NYPost or KCStar buddies)

slinkimalinki (#182)

ooooh, sponsored posts! take that, nick denton!
i actually am really happy for you guys if you're geting more advertisythingywhatsits.

brent_cox (#40)

Maybe if we turn the barn into a theater we can raise enough cabbage to keep 'em from foreclosing on the old family home…

HiredGoons (#603)

let's put on a show y'all!

Baboleen (#1,430)

I'll make costumes out of drapes and sheets.

brent_cox (#40)

It's either that or a car wash.

HiredGoons (#603)

bake sale!!!

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Just curious – what kind of minimum investment are you looking for. $5,000? $50,000? $500,000?

fek (#93)

I'd suggest Bank of America for all of your small business needs! With thousands! Of locations in the Upper East Side ALONE and no overdraft fees ever! Bank of America's perfect for the kind of internet users and places who both read AND write The Owl, and located conveniently where they all live. Did you know Nora Ephron banks with them! Yes? She does!

That was an awesome call-back.

Steve (#1,777)

Oh, this is getting legit? Best stop lurking and register a commenter name in the low quadruple digits.

Heh. Not too legit, don't worry. Our charm is our mess! Or so I like to think.

itskristina (#1,779)

I'll invest whatever I would've spent on subscriptions to things like magazines and newspapers.

iwantyrskull (#1,706)

those sweaters don't fold & stack themselves.

Hez (#147)


Now this is some checkbook journalism worth supporting.

brad (#1,678)

just to be transparent- pantless, i am.

Br. Seamus (#217)

I enjoy this product and/or service.

Rod T (#33)

I've got to get The Pride back on its feet so I can get some of this Awl money. WHY ARE YOU SO HARD TO WRITE DEVIN?!? Tomorrow is my birthday. Awlites get birthday bonuses? Personal days?

brent_cox (#40)

Tomorrow is also my birthday.

ADRIAN (#1,676)

Today's episode of "The Awl" is brought to you by Vegemite. Vegemite: The yeast paste for the rest of us.

Well, you said you were going to bring back the graphic of the little awl, butcha didn't. So I will be investing in Tom Oatmeal.

Alex Balk (#4)

This is a battle I fight EVERY DAY.

Awl Staff (#6)

Oh god, please don't encourage him*.


A Balk *and* a crypto-Choire reply? I've got the giddies.

I am still waiting to hear who won the logo contest.

toadvine (#1,698)

I'm pretty sure Choire wins all of the Logos contests.

I miss the lil Awlie. He's like that unhelpful MS word paper clip dude without the googly-eyes and intrusive nature.

Yes, but they kept the date at the top of the page, which I like. I come here all the time when I forget what day it is.

See? There is is: Thursday, October 1, 2009. So that takes care of today. I'll probably forget tomorrow, and then I'll be back here again.

Really, I'd just be cast adrift in the sea of time without that feature.

jaimealyse (#647)

I think the only thing worse than posting a YouTube clip in reply is posting a YouTube clip that is just audio from Wait Wait Don't Tell me, but it is pertinent and the best thing ever, so.

slinkimalinki (#182)

@hippity. yeah, but for me, whatever date it says up top is not the date it really is. i still get confused sometimes.

Flashman (#418)

Without it, a lot of people probably think that 'AWL' is an acronym.
Although with it, those same people would probably think this is a blog about scrimshaw.

Away with language?

Dave Bry (#422)

Ants With Lasers?

sigerson (#179)

Alt-Wiccan Literature?

But it is an apt acronym, among other things. Also an anagram.

Alex Balk (#4)

Alex wants loot.

Turboslut (#1,036)

This isn't a blog about scrimshaw? I thought all the posts so far were in fact convoluted allegories about the scrimshaw trade…

Hez (#147)

Agog, While Laughing

I would like you guys to know – especially David Cho – that I think this "sponsored post" thing is a marvelous idea.

I have nothing but GOOD THINGS to say about it.


Good luck you guys.

Will we be able to comment on them? These sponsored posts things?

Ha ha. Mall Cop sucks!!!

Patrick M (#404)

That made me laugh. I'm glad I read to the bottom.

BoHan (#29)

15 Minutes of Fart Jokes! Hurrah!

mathnet (#27)

I would totally buy Butt Awl diapers.

FeyBoohoozer (#410)

damn! I wish I'd read this before I sent all my money to England to collect my Nigerian fortune. But don't worry, once the money's in my greeeeedy little palm, I'll send you some. thanks Awl!

cherrispryte (#444)

Is this gonna be like the time Jezebel talked shit about Janice Dickerson while The Janice Dickerson Show was running ads all over the site? Cause that was hilarious. Also tragic.

I did not know you guys weren't making any money from this site. You should fix that! I do not much care how.

cherrispryte (#444)

Or, um, Dickinson. oops. And since I've just outed myself as an idiot, how the fuck do you upload avatars? I can't figure it out …..

slinkimalinki (#182)

Abe Sauer (#148)

Vampire Blog.

Dan Kois (#646)

*And* Missy Elliott!

Still pulling for Krugmanic Depressive's suggested Awl T-shirt slogan:
"In your face, outraged citizenry!"

mrschem (#1,757)

id wear that shirt!
mazeltov, people.

sigerson (#179)

have you talked to any angel investors or VC funds? Lots of pitch meetings for those kinds of guys who sit around listening to business plans all day.

You know, I'm not too keen on the idea of wooing a bunch of viral video-slobbering morons. The Awl needs investors who understand it's one-offness, and are willing to allow AB/CS to do their magic unfettered. Also maybe not on Yom Kippur. (Sorry!!)

also how to use possessive apostrophes.

brent_cox (#40)

Sponsored Post! I'm visiting that sponsor once every five minutes starting now.

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