It's all about the cover letter
I've been poring over the Craigslist jobs postings for the tri-state area and beyond, applying to anything that seems like it could fit. A week or so ago, an ad popped up for I Can Has Cheezburger, creators of the ever-popular LOLCats and the FAIL Blog. They were looking for an editor for a new site and – despite being dangerously under-qualified – I decided to apply.
In addition to the standard resumé, they also were looking for a commentary on what constituted Internet culture. Always interested in tackling a challenge, I attached my resumé and sent them this cover letter:
Oh hai! I herd u was looking for an online editor with managerial skills that don't make people scream, "you're doing it wrong!" I may not have the devilish good looks of Domo-kun, but if there's on thing I do know it's how to navigate this vast series of tubes we live and dream in.
Fresh-faced, eager and straight out of college, I've spent the last two years as an editor of The Daily Evergreen, the student n00bzpaper at Washington State University. I've been evaluating and selecting writing talent for that entire span, the last year of which was spent at the top, overseeing daily production as well as the editorial staff. Though I don't have three years managing an editorial staff online, I do have more than two years experience working in an online-only environment, as a freelance editor, web designer and independent contractor.
The question of what Internet culture is requires two answers - what netizens know it to be, and how it's perceived by the outside world. While it's easy to festoon any Web site with gratuitous "Chuck Norris doesn't sleep, he waits" quotes and whatever quasi-meme happened to hit 4chan in the last week, the true Internet culture requires referencing those means in a meaningful way. The best, most recent example was using the Konami code in the search bar on ESPN's redesign, which resulted in unicorns popping up all over the page. It was an Easter Egg - you had to know the Konami Code, it required a bit of looking around or just guessing in order to find it, and it had a cute result that didn't really affect anything materially. In addition to cohesion, the other requirement for Internet culture is honesty.
The Internet, with its freewheeling band of private investigators who have nothing better to do than hunt down frauds, requires a brutal engagement with the material. Unless someone's willing to commit wholeheartedly, there will be some mistakes (allowing people to call "shopped!" or "fake!") that come through. I think it's why people find the Internet so fascinating - a medium that allows for the most anonymity of any publishing model ever created still allows us to see people at their weakest, their most vulnerable and (by virtue of the first two things) their funniest.
I don't have a whole lot else left to say, other than to wish you luck in your search and if you have any questions feel free to e-mail back at this address or call me at (425)299-4683. Though I'm currently living in Pullman, I'm more than willing to move back to Seattle.
I have no ending for this, so I'll just hope you'll click this link to have Keyboard Cat play me off - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI.
They were extremely nice and responded back with a personal note that let me down gently, but also mentioned a position as a moderator they had open. And though I was sorely tempted to be able to put "I Can Has Cheezburger" on my resumé, I ultimately had to disqualify myself from consideration, since I'm still looking for something in journalism.
Regardless though, most fun I've had writing a cover letter in a long time. Plus, I got confirmation that I did in fact RickRoll the editor of the FAIL Blog and I Can Has Cheezburger. That's gotta count for something, right?