mascots are cool again

I was lucky that Steve was in a good mood when I insisted that our -- at this point yet to be created -- startup ought to have a mascot. I showed him the alien doodle I'd made (while bored in marketing class, of all things) and rendered with a cracked shareware copy of PSP 5.

Our mascot has come a long way, but even then it still wasn't a very popular thing to do on a website. Perhaps folks were still smarting from the Pets.com sock puppet. I couldn't blame them, really.

But just today I learned of a new mascot and its startup, eSwarm.

I'd rather not waste your time explaining what the site does and instead point out its logo.


I suspect it's a locust. I hear they can be quite potent in swarms: +20 points.

the internet is for porn

(It must be Saturday.)

In case you needed further proof, or thought that reddit was above that sort of thing, Chris "Statman" Slowe recently pulled the numbers of the most common Google queries that brought users to reddit. It's not a list of search queries you'd likely find scrolling on the LCDs at the Googleplex. To quote Chris, "I'm not going to comment on it. Draw your own conclusions..."

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alexis doodles

OK, so I can't actually draw. My medium is pixel.


The moral of this story? Always use Photoshop/Illustrator for your logo.

Maybe I'll keep this role-reversal going and try writing reddit code next week...

steve doodles

Most people only know of Steve as the hacker who built reddit, but he also has a natural gift for art. Alas, the tiny region of the logo doesn't do this kind of talent justice, so here it is. It'd make a great desktop wallpaper:


(The alien did not consent to having that written on its chest)

t-minus 3 hours until brain tumors are obliterated

How's that for a headline? OK, not really, but the eBay auction of our "these built reddit" powerbooks is going to be ending soon. Hurry and get your bids in now, or just wait to snipe it at the end.

If you're the one who keeps sniping me out of my Aliens collectible action figures, know that I'll find you. One day.

Incidentally, it might be fun to watch in the closing minutes (like that kiko auction!) so tune in at 2:01:17pm Eastern.

Thanks again for your support, be it through your casual interest, or through link-spamming the auction URL.

web 2.0 flashback

I was quite pleased to find a bit of Internet fluff I'd put together a while back resurface on the front page of reddit yesterday.

It was my proposal for a more web 2.0 reddit. Pity we never followed through with it. (Steve's always been adamant about making a blah blah useful blah blah site and not a trendy one) It's that kind of narrow mindedness that will keep him from ever getting an MBA.


Anyway, this eventually spiralled out of control -- not unlike a TAG MAELSTROM (usage note: it's important write this in all caps). The end result was this video (honest, I did work on reddit somtimes, too!). The style was obviously stolen from Colbert's The Wørd, but the inspiration was from a demo we saw one day in the Valley. I asked Aaron to write the slides and I had all the material I needed for the blowhard :)

To continue with the tradition of unearthing and recycling old content, meet Pierre Francois, Web 2.0 design consultant & guru (apologies if you already saw this -- a year ago):

chris doodles

Chris left behind the world of experimental atomic physics to hack on reddit. Sucker...

He's also the guy behind our nifty homebrew stat tools, which has earned him the nickname of "Statman" (like Batman, but not the lame 60s TV show version, more like the Christian Bale version). We're also collaborating on building the world's first functioning lightsaber -- it's not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

And by "collaborating," I mean I'm just telling him about how cool it would be, then he tells me about the limits of blah blah physics blah blah lasers blah blah. Hmpf.


Dr. Slowe did not get his PhD in graphic design.

jeremy doodles

Jeremy joined us shortly after we moved reddit out west with Wired. I asked him, along with Chris and Steve, to quickly doodle the alien with a sharpie on some printer paper.

Little did they know I'd be using it as an excuse to not do work.

So while they're busy finishing the rewrite, I'm displaying their artwork in a 120x40px logo. Here it is in high-rez scan for your viewing pleasure:


Drawing the alien freehand is harder than it looks.

Oh, and don't worry, I'm not going to try and sell the originals on eBay for charity.

a fresh start

I've never kept it a secret that I was the one who created our mascot (it's vital to my job security). But the guys are actually quite the doodlers themselves, so I thought we'd try the logo again with some new artists.

The added bonus of this is that I am off the hook for another week's worth of doodles (work).

Oh, and I can celebrate reuniting with my lost luggage, a mere 23 days later than desired. There I was trying to enjoy my first proper (read: Internet-less) vacation in a couple years and Alitalia decided I ought to buy an ill-fitting collection of Italian clothes. Really, those pants are a whole new kind of tight. Shudder.

Fortunately, I flew with my Jamglue shirt on, so I was already turning a few heads -- especially after wearing it for a solid thirty-six hours straight.

edit: I've just learned that Alitalia is actually Italian for "Lost luggage? Deal with it yourself -- you're in Italy now and we're all on vacation." Fancy that.