Quick summary to catch you up if you have not been following along: I recently launched Reddit’s First Ever Self-Proclaimed Sponsored Novelty Account and named it IMadeYouATeeShirt. You can read all about it in this blog post.
After a little more than one week, we have good news and bad news. The good: we turned a few heads, made some people smile, and averaged over 50 upvotes per comment. The bad: we got hellbanned.
The hellbanning was actually quite a shock, because early in the week we had received one month of gold and a message of encouragement from someone at reddit HQ. It was a private message, so I’d rather not go into the details other than to say it was a brief note, and I took it to mean that they were cool with the concept and curious to see how it played out.
My current hope is that there is a discussion happening at reddit HQ right now, and it will eventually lead to the un-banning of my account. Perhaps they will also set more concrete rules on how exactly a sponsored novelty account could be implemented, which would be perfectly cool with me. If they decided that they needed to kill my account until this could be sorted out, I would understand completely and would harbor no ill will. Fingers crossed that this is the case.
One of the nicest things that happened as a result of this whole experiment was hearing from a couple of the moderators of /r/InternetAMA. They requested that I come and talk about the sponsored novelty account concept, so I will make a post at 2PM EST today. In preparation for that post, I will list out all of IMadeYouATeeShirt’s comments below (because, unfortunately, those comments currently show up as [deleted] on reddit.)
The Future of Teaching…
In this thread, someone posted a screenshot of an email their friend sent to a professor. It’s a somewhat clever, but not at all relevant email for the professor. The top comment thread goes like this:
- Thus begins the period of Reddit history in which Redditors sent useless messages to busy professors.
- The great karma rush of 2012.
- I hear they have karma out cally-phona-way.
- I responded with:
IMadeYouATeeShirt is reddit’s First Ever Self-Proclaimed Sponsored Novelty Account. This is how it works.
This comment resulted in a $5 donation to DonorsChoose.org, via RedditDonate.com, in the name of reddit. Transaction ID: ch_0RdrQ1hL6hiDuM.
This comment also resulted in a direct contribution to reddit via one month of reddit gold for user Sqk7700.
(All of my comments had a footer like this. Again, I tried to be as transparent as possible.) This was the shirt design:
Afraid of Where This Might Lead…
Later in the same thread, I start to get dozens of responses. Most of them are very encouraging, including:
- I can safely say this is the best novelty account ever.
- That’s actually pretty damn funny. I could get used to this novelty.
- Whoa, awesome.
There are many others, but I’ll leave it at that. Some people still don’t quite get it, so I feel like I need to take action. That’s when I see CoCo26’s comment:
- So, if you reply to my comment. You will spend 9 dollars?
- I respond with: Afraid where this might lead, but…
Chin Up, Friend
Still in the same thread, CoCo26 replies:
That was never a condition of our agreement!
In this thread, someone posts a rather hilarious gif of Han and Leia about to walk through a door in Cloud City. When the doors slide open, instead of Vader you see the guys from the Gangnam video dancing like crazy. Khdutton comments:
- Psy is altering the deal. Pray he does not alter it any further.
- I respond: That was never a condition of our agreement!
SHIT JUST GOT META
Personally, this is my favorite post though also the least successful. In an AskReddit thread about marketing gimmicks I, as Reddit’s First Ever Self-Proclaimed Sponsored Novely Account, respond with a simple, elegant, one line comment:
Goodyear? No, the worst.
This scene is like a grilled cheese sandwich: a classic from my childhood that I appreciate more and more with age.
I respond: RIP Leslie Nielsen. My favorite quote…
- Frank: It’s the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.
- Jane: Goodyear?
- Frank: No, the worst.
In r/HarryPotter, a post appears hypothesizing that Santa is actually a wizard from the Harry Potter universe, and that his “elves” are really “house elves”. This is pretty cool, except for one problem. I comment:
- Once Hermione gets into a high level position at the Ministry of Magic and starts filing propositions, we could really be in trouble…
Someone posts an FB screenshot to r/funny describing a conversation with their Botany classmate named Stan. Stan is only taking Botany to get better at growing weed. DrKomeil sees the fallacy in this, and responds thusly:
- And of course, the funny thing is, Botany doesn’t necessarily have anything to planting plants. It’s studying, identifying, and otherwise researching plants. Horticulture is what you want to grow plants.
- I reply: I imagine a mustachioed Stan, reading your comment right now.
(Note the dead marijuana leaves contrasted against the green design. I was particularly pleased with that touch.)
Paul is Dead
David Corn, the Mother Jones journalist who had just released the infamous Romney “47% Video”, was cool enough to do an AMA on reddit. One of the threads goes like this:
- Is there anything about the leaked Romney fundraising video that the media did not tell us about that you can reveal to reddit?
- David Corn replies: During the brief gap, Romney said, “I buried Paul.”
- I respond: To help clarify what he means here (just look at those dead, evil eyes). … Unless he is serious and talking about RON PAUL, in which case that would be a pretty interesting revelation…
Points: 5 (It was quickly buried in the crush of questions and responses).
In total, we raised $45 for DonorsChoose.org and gave out a month of gold to nine different reddit users. We’d love nothing more than to keep going, keep donating, and keep paying reddit. I hope they let us.