Full Credits

Stats & Data

May 28, 2015

If you write for a website, then your job is to get your website clicks. If I can write an article that gets 3.6 million views, there will be enough ad revenue generated to justify my salary for the summer, which I think would warrant me being able to take the summer off. I need your help internet. Please look at this article.

Updates (scroll down for original post):

1,112,766 views as of August 25th 2016 - 2 million views to go!


May 28th, 2015 - article is published
May 29th, 2:00 p.m. - article updated to include actual photos of bikini girls rather than just mentioning them in the abstract, per suggestion from FOD writer Pat O'Brien
May 29th, 8:16 p.m. - 10,000 views
May 30th, 1:05 a.m. - 100,000 views
May 30th, 2:37 p.m. - 200,000 views
May 30th, 3:38 p.m. - article updated to include cute cats per Facebook comment from Kelly Weasel for “people who aren’t very interested boobs.”
May 30th, 5:02 p.m. - my mom comments on Facebook that “this looks like Porn”
May 31st, 3:03 a.m. - 300,000 views
May 31st, 12:37 p.m. - article updated per hot Facebook tip from Brad Seward with a photo of a cat wearing a bikini
May 31st, 12:55 p.m. - my mom sends me an email saying “Nathan, I don’t understand the boob things on Funny or Die! Love mom”
May 31st - rate of new clicks begins to slow:

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 12.54.45 PM.png

June 1st, 2:30 p.m. - updated to include something crafty per Amanda Gilliam Facebook comment to do something to appeal to the Pinterest crowd
June 2nd, 1:01 p.m. - 375,000 views, and views are coming in slower now. This should be enough views to trade in for 9.85 days off. Not the whole summer like I hoped, but still pretty good.
June 2nd, 1:11 p.m. - my boss just told me that evidently I can’t just trade in “doing my job” for days off. Going to go back to the drawing board and rethink my strategy. I’ve lost the battle but not the war.
June 8th, 2:43 p.m. - just checked on this article after a week of “doing my job” and “not thinking about taking the summer off."It broke 400,000 views, which isn’t bad, but also not quite enough to take the summer off. With this amount I could take 9.9 days off. That’s pretty good. Or I could take a half day 20 days. I’m thinking I take summer Fridays where I leave at lunch, and maybe a few summer Mondays where I come in after I sleep off my Sunday brunch Brass Monkey hangover.

June 17th 4:54 p.m. - Over 450,000 views. I check the view count from time to time, close my eyes, and imagine that I broke 3.6 million and I’m checking the view count not from the laptop of my desk station in our open office layout, but rather from my smartphone on a beach in Thailand.
July 1st 4:08 p.m. - I notice that at some point we broke 500,000 views. Half a million. The summer slips by as this article crawls toward 3.6 milly. Perhaps if it reaches it by the end of the summer I could get NEXT summer off? Or maybe even get the fall off so I could go bob the shit out of some apples or something. Saying "bob the shit out of some apples” sounds gross now that I think about it.
August 17th 2:05 p.m. - Hadn’t checked article in a while. I’ve been working all summer like a chump. 645,000 views. Not bad, but not enough to have taken the entire summer off.
December 14th 12:26 p.m. - 883,939 views. Still not there.

A year passes

August 1st, 2016 - 1,112,768 views. Dang. Even a full year later, this article still hasn’t reached my goal of getting enough views to take the summer off. And I also haven’t had any better ideas since then about how to get my work to let me take the summer off. Also, as of this moment, the article has 666 “Die” votes which is the best possible number of die votes:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 11.16.14 AM.png

Original post from May 28th 2015:

Hi Internet,

Nate Dern here. I’m a writer for the humor website Funny Or Die. Here’s the deal: if this article gets 3,600,000 views, I think that I can make a pretty compelling argument to my boss that I should get the summer off.

Let me explain.

So, the website business works like this: people click on the articles and videos we make and those page views mean that the companies that advertise on our site give us money. So although technically my title is “writer,” really my job title should be something like “getting people to click.” I usually try to write funny things as a sort of roundabout way of getting people to click, but now I’m trying to go with a more direct route. Please click on this. Click on this and share it. It doesn’t even have to be unique views. You can refresh a bunch and that would be super helpful.

If you’re here because you saw the thumbnail of the girls in bikinis and were expecting more of the same, I’ll post some more photos throughout so you don’t leave here upset after seeing all this bullshit prose. Here’s another:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 5.14.55 PM.png

I don’t know what’s going on here. I found this out of context after doing a Google search for “clickbait thumbnail.” It appears to be a screen capture from a video. My guess is that it is some sort of YouTube video where a guy tries to accelerate fast enough in a fast car that it makes a boob pop out of a bikini. Questions: Why is the driver’s face blurred? Is the implication that this is illegal? Or that seeing a male face would take away from the sexual pleasure of watching the two women on the left? Whoever made this video is a “content creator” (getter of views) in the same way that I’m a “writer” (getter of clicks).

Okay, where were we? Ah yes, clicks. Now, I’m not talking CPC (costs per click), meaning I’m not asking you to click on the ads that are embedded on this page. You totally can if you see something that interests you. I’m talking about CPM (costs per thousand impressions). CPM means that we get a small amount of money just for an ad showing up on a page that people look at, even though they don’t click through.

It’s pretty difficult to find a standard rate for CPM since it varies so much, but this article I found estimates that the 2014 average CPM was $2.80 per thousand impressions. So for the sake of argument, let’s go with that.

Let’s define some terms. When I say summer, I mean the months of June, July and August. So 92 days total, or about 25.2% of the year. Assuming I took no unpaid days off during this period, we can call the amount that Funny Or Die would pay me during these three months my assumed Employee Valued Added (EVA), which we can estimate as about 10 grand.

Funny Or Die pays that amount of money assuming that I’ll bring in at least that amount of value to the company, primarily in the form of ad revenue from articles I create. I also do things like work on branded campaigns, pitch jokes to group projects, etc, but for the sake of simplicity let’s say my EVA is solely based on articles I write.

Here is where we’re getting to the crux of things. Rather than space out my EVA with the creation of many articles over 92 days, I’d rather just create a single article today (this article that you’re reading) and achieve that entire EVA all at once. From a business standpoint, it shouldn’t matter to the company either way. In fact, if I was able to do it all at once, this would conceivably benefit the company more since I’d be using less resources from being in the office during that time (I drink a large percentage of the free seltzer water we get in in the NYC office kitchen).

So bringing it all home after doing the calculations: if this article gets 3,600,000 views, then I can take the rest of the summer off.

Okay. Probably a good time to break for another girl-in-a-bikini-in-a-car photo.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 5.55.03 PM.png

This apparently is a whole genre of video. I haven’t watched this video either. It is a screen capture that came up in a Google image search. But the file name of this image is “sizzling-babe-has-trouble-keeping-girls-covered-while-riding-in-a-rally-car-thumb.jpg” so I think my original theory is correct. I’m in the exact same business as the people who created these videos.

Now, some possible quibbles with my calculations:

  • 1) As a capitalist enterprise, the company pays me less than the actual value of the work that I do. That’s how companies accrue capital to reinvest and expand and pay the higher ups higher salaries, etc, thus my exact 1:1 ratio of 1:1 for my EVA and my salary isn’t quite accurate. The resulting effect is that this will underestimate how many views I need.
  • 2) Only taking into account ad revenue from CPM fails to take into account CPC as well as other ad campaigns we might have. So this will overestimate how much I need.
  • 3) Although it’s difficult to calculate (or at least beyond my skill set to calculate) the exact deviations above, I’m going to say that the under / over of each of the above might somewhat cancel each other out.

Other thoughts:

  • The content of this article is somewhat superfluous, since the title is what will determine if you click on it or not. That being said, presumably strong content within the article would make you more likely to share the content on your personal social media networks, which in turn would lead to more clicks (presuming your social media followers are interested in the article title), etc
  • I guess that I could just ask someone in marketing and find the actual amount of ad revenue we get per page view, but I’m afraid that if I find out the actual answer then it might become clear that I’m grossly overpaid for what I do here, so I’d rather just keep this in the hypothetical.
  • Another concern is that I haven’t, like, gotten this plan approved by my boss or anything. So I might need to trick him into agreeing to this somehow post hoc. Please comment with any ideas to help me out in this regard.
  • If any of you are computer wizards who can program a bot or something to artificially juice the view count of this article, I wouldn’t be opposed to that. In fact, I’d use some of my newly found summer off time to send you a postcard saying “Thank you!”
  • One of my coworkers suggested that I could add some photos of sexy ladies and such to help get the numbers up. Hence the photos of girls in bikinis. This article didn’t start out this way. I just wanted it to be a straightforward explanation of wanting to get clicks. That didn’t work. Perhaps you noticed the thumbnail of the ladies with the bikinis. I Googled “Clickbait Thumbnail” and this is what came up. Seems like it will get the job done. I mean, if you’re reading this, it did get the job done).
  • Have you noticed the keywords to this article? To start out with, I’m just going to add stuff like “sex” and “xxx” to the keywords, but will add more if need be. When it comes to taking the summer off, I have no principles.
  • I obviously don’t have the right to these videos. I think though that since they are screen captures and this is a satirical article, I could argue fair use. I’m just Richarding Princing them.

Finally, and I don’t want to get greedy here, but if this article gets 14,400,000 views I can take the rest of the year off, which would be great.

What will I do with my summer off? Well, I’m not sure. I’m currently trying to get JetBlue to pay for me and my friend Mike to fly to Cuba in exchange for writing an article about it. So maybe I could just do that? I dunno. That seems like fun.

If just 3,000 of you share this with 1,000 of your friends, we can make this thing happen.

Thank you internet.



p.s. - after I finished writing this I went back and searched for those videos. 951,000 views for this first one. If this article gets that many views, that would be enough for me to take one month off. I think I’d pick July. Doing something fun for the 4th. I’d be okay with just one month off. Please internet? Please?

Two millions views for this next one. I could take like six weeks off with that. Maybe I’d go to Prague. Or Florida! Florida is the Prague of America.

Holy cow, thirteen million views for this last one. Man, if this article got 13 million views, I could basically take the rest of the year off. Maybe I’d finally write that Great American Novel I’ve been dreaming of all these years. It’s the classic American tale: a coming of age story about a young boy who works hard, perseveres over obstacles, and then supes up his ‘98 Nissan so it has enough horsepower to get girls’ boobies to pop out of their bikinis while he puts the pedal to the floor and just drives out into the sunset. Hashtag America.

Cute animal addendum per Facebook comment suggestion for those “not interested in boobs”: cute cats jumping in and out of boxes

Thanks to Miranda Erokan for bringing this to my attention. Original source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2jVB9OGRo

Cat wearing a bikini addendum:

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 11.54.19 AM.png

This photo combines both bikinis and cats, everything that this post stands for. Thanks for the hot tip from a Facebook comment from Brad Seward.

Crafty addendum to appeal to the Pinterest crowd:

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.32.33 PM.png

Want to knit your own sexy bikini? Do you, Pinterest user? Well if you do, check out this Vogue article about this kit that lets you do just that.