When the calendar turns and you reach another year, it’s only natural to look back at the beginning. And since the majority of this week’s content was originally dependent upon my VHS copy of RAD that I still can’t goddamn find, and since we don’t have any awesome interviews with our site’s namesake teed up this year, here’s how CJS got started just about three years ago complete with a step-by-step guide for starting your own comedy website that will earn you ones of dollars per year in glorious, perpetual prosperity, life padding revenue!
1. Watch SNL retrospective, lose perspective, drunkenly talk to nerd friends.
Some random Sunday night, Hart and I watched some bullshit “Hey, remember when SNL was good?” nostalgia pieces NBC airs instead of creating real series. All the best cast members and writers talked about the process of creating great comedy, so Hart and I (both a bit drunk) called each other on the phone and gushed over the process like a couple of school aged broads. We decided we were funny enough and dammit, we needed to create our own comedy website. Usually this is dismissed as idle drunk talk (Like on the 4th of July 2005 when I told Hart my 4 step plan to improve the Rockies and how I thought I should email Dan O’Dowd about it); it’s surprising this discussion went anywhere. But sure enough, the idea didn’t die, we called up Senor Limon, and we started rolling.
2. Think up a name that absolutely no one will understand except for dorks.
I thought of the name rather quickly, pitched it to the guys, and it just stuck. It was quirky, it gave us a unique identity, it spoke to our interest in pop culture ephemera, and most importantly, it was available on Go Daddy. The only other name I seriously entertained was EZT.com, which, for a variety of reasons, was tossed quickly. CJS is a much better abbreviation, and, again, it was available.
3. Enlist graphic designer friend to help create logo, confuse her with references to a 20+ year old movie, pay with Crate & Barrel gift cards.
A huge thanks to our good friend Jen, who, despite having a child, a job, a husband, and a new home in a different state, still took time out of her busy schedule to design our handsome logo. We wanted to look like a real website, and instead of just tossing up some half-assed bullshit onto some LiveJournal page or something, we knew we needed at least a professional logo. Luckily I work with our in-house graphic designer at my real job, so we kept the headaches to a minimum (I think). And we still have that same logo that looks as good on a t-shirt as it does on the banner of our homepage. Of course, only Flickerbock, Chaddymac, and that dude @Dustinvan know for sure. As for the rest of you – the store is right here. C’mon!
To check out something fun, peep two of the earliest design ideas for our logo by clicking the link below:
4. Attempt to remember how HTML coding language, spend entire week trying to create even the most basic look of your website.
Seriously, FML. I nearly choked a bitch trying to remember stupid HTML.
5. Write what feels like a giant backlog of content, expend in a mere two months.
When I alluded to hitting the wall in October yesterday, what I really meant to say was that “the wall” was the paralyzing fear that you’ve said everything there is to say in the entire universe and you have no idea what in God’s name you’re going to write ever again. You feel like you’ve exhausted every joke, every insight, every unique thought you’ve ever had and that you might as well fold up shop and quit now. Then you calm yourself, think about something you know better than anything else, start typing one key after another, and churn out a moderately funny (if woefully late in terms of relevance) article sometime after midnight, realize you still have at least something left in the tank. Re-focus. Do it again later that week.
6. Invent a feature that allows you take off a week during the holidays.
Here’s one out of season just for fun.
Discuss in the comments section.
7. Invent a feature to hand off some of the writing load to your readers.
And we really do appreciate it and look forward to your answers every week! This week: Send us your baseball predictions! email@example.com
We haven’t worked this part out yet.
But rest assured, once we figure out #8, #9 will keep this baby rolling strong forever. So if you have any thoughts as to what #8 is, please don’t hesitate to send it our way.
In the meantime, keep on reading. Thanks for making this an awesome two years for us. We’ll look forward to what we hope is many more. Stay tuned tomorrow when Hart and I put each other on the Hot Seat and we answer each other’s burning questions about writing for the CJS. Way more funny than it sounds.
23 Mar 2010 E Dagger