741: Blogging

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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I'm looking to virally monetize your eyeballs by selling them for transplants.
Title text: I'm looking to virally monetize your eyeballs by selling them for transplants.


This comic is a satire of the conflict between consumers who expect quality results and creators who just want to make easy money by pandering to their audience. Cueball says the key to making a successful blog is to build a relationship with your readers. While this may be a good way to ensure you are delivering content that is relevant to your audience, if a blogger keeps the audience's interests as the foremost priority, the blog may become focused on making their core audience happy rather than quality. When an audience member raises the concern that quality should be a paramount concern if you want to impress people, Cueball responds that content (the quality of the blog's content) will be addressed later in the speech. This quickly placates the audience member, illustrating how the audience (for example, readers) of a service can be easily satisfied by telling them what they want to hear. This validates Cueball's point that the audience does not want quality as much as they want to hear their own ideas repeated back to them.

Alternative explanation: This comic is a shot at all the typical blogging and social media instruction that is given. Cueball indicates he believes great content is not the highest priority when writing a blog, relegating it to at least part three of the coverage. The person in the audience, who is representing the "normal people", shows that people actually go to blogs for good content and couldn't care less about the other "strategies" the person on the stage is talking about. "Awesome! I love content," is probably highly sarcastic, implying that Cueball's talk is rather devoid of it. It could imply that the speaker thinks this talk is mostly marketing jargon that misses the fundamental aspects of writing skills (style, personality, good ideas, research, basics of style) and focusing instead on schemes to artificially gain popularity.

The title text takes a jab at blogs concerned with "viral content" and "monetization". That is, bloggers are only concerned about their audience because they might potentially give them money. Cueball drops some marketing jargon — "monetize the reader's eyeballs" — in order to disguise his true purpose: illegal organ harvesting. "Virally" in this context might indicate that the reader may become infected with a virus during organ extraction.


[Cueball stands on a stage before a large audience, holding a pointer and using it to highlight something on a screen behind him. He interacts with a member of the audience after making a point.]
Cueball: The key to making a successful blog is building a relationship with your readers.
Audience Member: I thought it was "make your updates good so people will want to read them."
Cueball: We'll discuss content generation in part three.
Audience Member: Awesome! I LOVE content.

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This explanation seems backwards to me. As I see it, on the literal level the audience member is focused only on content, however, they don't actually get any content from Cueball. Instead, a small reporté is build between the two, which makes the audience member happy with whatever arbitrary content Cueball promises.-- 14:10, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

You mean "rapport"? Fixed the explanation172.68.79.81 20:15, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

The viral nature of eyeball harvesting could also be referencing the fact that once your eyes are harvested, you'll be inclined to recruit others to the service, as you now are in need of eyes to transplant! PotatoGod (talk) 01:50, 18 August 2023 (UTC)