TThey hit you pretty much every morning. You log onto facebook to see what you’re friends are up to, read the news, and pretty must waste some time before heading off to work. And then you laugh, laugh some more, and share the joke with your best cyber buds. No, you weren’t reading a status update or SNL recap, you came across a someecards.com illustration, the company behind some of the smartest and irreverent postcards since “The Far Side” became a household name.
“We’ve been doing it since 2008,” says CEO Duncan Mitchell, 42, who developed the concept with his business partner, Brooke Lundy, 40, who manages editorial content. “We had worked in advertising together, he came up with the idea, we still had full-time jobs, we made a cheap, fun version. The response was so good, we invested more time, and raised more money. The traffic has really taken off; it was the third of the size it is now.”
Mitchell says that, when they started out, “We just sent it to a bunch of friends. Friends sent it to other friends; we got more press. Facebook and Twitter became new channels.”
That system of sharing sounds a lot like facebook, and Mitchell’s quick to point out the conundrum of modern-day marketing. “Mark Zuckerberg makes a lot of money off it,” says Mitchell on the company’s success, before pointing out that you can link back to the company’s site. There, you’ll find a store full of T-shirts, mugs, and other someecards.com paraphernalia. “We get about 250 million impressions a month on facebook, and about 2 million go back to our site.”
In case you’ve noticed some branding inconsistencies, Someecards, Inc. is the company name, which operates someecards.com, happyplace.com, and jockular.com, among others. A lot of the cards say “yourecards.com,” which are different in that they are written by visitors to the site, not the someecards.com staff.
“We produce two to five a day,” says Mitchell on the someecards playing field. “We have one full-time writer, and a bunch of contributors who we send assignments too.” The company also goes through thousands of submissions, and chooses puns they like for the editors’ picks.
If that seems like an awful lot of photo play, just run through social networking sites and see how often you find one of the someecards trademark irreverent humor cards, all of which use licensed illustrations. (And if you want to be perfectly legal, don’t share; go to the website and download directly.)
“Politics and celebrities are fair game,” says Mitchell, adding “We go from very G-rated to maybe R-rated. We try not to be super-edgy. We try to come up with a surprising truth. People relate to that. And we try to do it with some level of intelligence, not bigotry.”
I’d like to end this story on a laugh line, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be nearly as good as one of theirs.