Research across the Chartbeat network has shown that if you can hold a visitor’s attention for just three minutes they are twice as likely to return than if you only hold them for one minute. The most valuable audience is the one that comes back. Those linkbait writers are having to start from scratch every day trying to find new ways to trick clicks from hicks with the ‘Top Richest Fictional Public Companies’. Those writers living in the Attention Web are creating real stories and building an audience that comes back.
Nearly three years ago, over drinks at the Brooklyn bar Hotel Delmano, I asked (now-Vimeo CTO) Andrew Pile, “Why don’t we start a dev blog?” He responded with, “Great idea.”
Then we went about our usual business of making Vimeo better. Turns out it’s much easier to conceptualize a blog over drinks than to actually make one.
The reason this blog was put off for three years is the reason the blog has to exist: we have a lot of talented people making amazing things. And not just developers, but everyone who has a hand in making Vimeo.
This blog is an outlet for us to show how we do things — how we think, communicate, collaborate, and mess around. Often it’ll be technical, sometimes it won’t. We’ll keep bad jokes to a minimum and make it entertaining for you and ourselves.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. I said to Project Manager Nikki Wiles, “What should our intro post be?” Our mercurial company culture? What it means to power the world’s most beautiful video player and support one of the greatest online communities? Our approach to problem-solving? How the company is growing like a wild beanstalk? Pixels? Aspect ratios? The answer, it turned out, was obvious. We would just be ourselves.
Dig in, this is going to be good. After all, it’s three years in the making.
Besides being an incredible, hilarious sketch that is able to tell a complete story with both pathos and dense punch line concentration, it instantly became a phenomenon. Very early in the days of social media — Facebook was weeks old — people shared the sketch any way they could, whether it was through MySpace, AIM away messages, or just shouting “I’m Rick James, bitch” so often that people had to go home and see what they were talking about. For a sketch with plenty of great lines (“Fuck yo’ couch”), “I’m Rick James, bitch” possessed a level of quotability that wasn’t duplicated, on college campuses especially, until Borat had a wife.