Since 1872, kampus kooks, kut-ups (and occasionally Kommunists) at Yale University have published a humor magazine called The Yale Record. But Yalerecord.com is a bit different than our print magazine—or any other magazine, for that matter. Here’s how:
1. It is written by fish.
2. It will never, under any circumstances, use the word “________.” Even now.
3. It knows who shot JFK. (It told a professor once, but he died mysteriously, so please don’t ask.)
Pretty impressive, huh? But that’s not all:
4. Anybody can submit material. There are funny people everywhere, and we want to make it easier for them to find an audience. At the beginning, Record staff and alums will predominate, because we have a few signature formats, and they have more practice doing them. But they aren’t difficult, and after you read a couple examples, you’ll see how they work.
5. Our brand isn’t important, yours is. Most funny websites keep their contributors practically anonymous. We want to switch the focus, so our writers and cartoonists can build THEIR brand, make a living, and improve their craft.
6. Neighborly aggregation. We’ll make every effort to link any aggregated material back to its creator(s), so that they can benefit from our readers’ attention. And if we link to you a lot, please tell us about things you’re doing so we can help spread the word. Obviously, if you want your stuff taken down, just ask.
7. For contributors, revenue-sharing and no work-for-hire. We’re hoping to pass a large part of the site’s revenues through to our contributors. If you submit work to us, and we approve and run it, we’ll pass eyeball money on to you. We have to generate a certain amount of traffic to do this, but the moment we hit that mark, we’ll start the program. (Obviously, the more material you have on the site, the more likely you’ll make money, so start submitting now.) In addition to profit-sharing, Yalerecord.com contributors will always own their material, which they can take down from the site at any time.
8. We love this stuff. We kept waiting for someone to launch a website that ran classic humor magazine material—cartoons, “casuals,” short stories, serials, and books. Maybe the market’s too small; maybe advertisers don’t like it; we don’t care. The Record exists to preserve and extend the classic humor magazine tradition, and introduce it to future generations. So, nyah.
If you love funny writing and cartooning, you’re one of us. For 140 years, this has been the spirit behind The Yale Record, and we’re glad you’re here.
Every person who reads this should subscribe to our feed.
If you support our mission but don’t write or draw, you may make a tax-deductible donation to The Yale Record Corp here.
Those of you interested in the student magazine (monthly during the school year), click here.
What is this, anyway?
It is an online humor magazine overseen by students and alumni of The Yale Record, Yale University’s ancient student humor magazine.
Do I have to go to Yale to be a part of this?
No. The whole point is to bring the fun of a classic college humor magazine to people of all ages and situations. We encourage everybody to send in original work and links to funny things they’ve found on the ‘net. We won’t publish everything we get, but we promise to read everything you send.
What if I submit something and don’t hear back?
We’ll try to respond to submissions, but our small staff (see below) may make that impossible. Don’t take it personally. And if we don’t publish something you send, put it up yourself somewhere and send us a link. Just because a piece/cartoon may not work for our site, our readers may like it.
Do you pay?
Someday. The site is totally advertising-supported, and we have to reach a certain plateau of traffic before paying becomes practical. So spread the word! The moment we hit our mark, we’ll announce it on the site, and release the details of our payment plan. We’re hoping to be able to pass 100% of advertising generated by a piece to that piece’s author.
If you publish my work, do you own it?
Nope. You always own 100% of what you create, and can ask us to take it down at any time. We’ll try to do that as soon as possible.
This seems too good to be true. What’s the catch?
First, we love funny writing and cartoons, and are pissed off that you can’t make a decent living creating it. The decay of print magazines, plus the explosion of free content on the web, has made it impossible for funny writers and artists to pay their rent. And if people can’t get paid, they don’t practice, and most of the time the quality isn’t as good. Information may want to be free, but your apartment doesn’t, and this is our attempt at solving that problem. People like reading funny things; they also like making funny things. We’re just trying to connect the two in a way that makes sense.
Second, as a not-for-profit, we don’t have a lot of infrastructure or the need to answer to a bunch of fat-cat backers. So we’re hoping to run as lean as possible and pass maximum revenue through to our contributors.
This is a labor of love—we hope you enjoy the site.
Michael Gerber and John Michael Thornton put together the revamped site in the summer and fall of 2011. Mike G. checks in occasionally, in-between various acts of comedy legerdemain. Mike T. now heads the group of recent alums and current students who provide content.
Board of Editors
John Michael Thornton
…and many others including, perhaps, YOU.