Like every great meme that has graced this deranged civilization, it began with an elegant and moving story, captured in all its fleeting tenderness forbes “Contribution”.
That story appeared headlined “Tiffany & Co Releases These CryptoPunk Tags And They’re Expensive, Here’s All The Info.” This was followed by a hilarious article about Tiffany and Co. Co-President Alexandre Arnault, who reviewed the market value of a number of CryptoPunk tags followers through a “guerrilla marketing campaign via his personal social media name.”
More importantly, this line in the middle of the article was immediately picked up by crypto twitter: “He unsubscribed the tweet ‘LFG,’ which is the NFT community acronym meaning ‘Let’s make a group.'”
Was it a mistake, or was it providential to decide the fate of mankind by lax editorial standards on the forbes Contributing Network? Maybe we’ll never know as the author hasn’t (yet) responded to my request for comment, although oddly she heard my message on Instagram DM.
Anyhow: The author in question, Stephanie Hirschmiller, mistranslated the very mainstream acronym “LFG”, which is commonly understood as “Let’s fucking go”. (It’s also NFL star and crypto promoter Tom Brady’s popular rallying cry.)
Cue the Spit takes flooded Crypto Twitter.
I’ve just run this through the Howey test twice, can attest to the accuracy.
Hirschmiller describes herself in her contributor tagline as “a journalist and digital consultant based between Paris and London, covering fashion, luxury and web 3.0”. Elsewhere She describes herself as the “Footwear Authority”. [and] Web 3.0 expert in training.”
Being something of a shoe authority myself (I make my living selling men’s shoes at a local department store), I’m appalled by the shadow Hirschmiller has cast on our craft. But I understand it. We all make mistakes. I almost broke a guy’s foot once trying to lace him up in an E when the poor man clearly needed an EEE. Quiet.
The malaprop expanded indefinitely when other twitterers offered similarly benign translations.
“Let’s pretend greatness” recommended one. “Great friendly gathering” added Another. Apparently, Hirschmiller had tapped into a primal urge to form groups that had yet to be articulated by Indo-European phraseology.
Call it the “Let’s go Brandon” effect: an explanation of a term or phrase so distorted that it becomes more popular than the original. This is how HODL for “hold” came about – from a typo in a chat forum.
I guess it was all just for fun, but I couldn’t help but wonder if that fatal flaw didn’t speak volumes forbes, who is now looking for a new buyerand the long-simmering dumpster fire of its infamous “contributor network.”
About 2,800 contributors, mostly from marketing and PR rather than journalism, post on the site every day for a pittance. It’s a great Faustian bargain: forbes is fed troughs of “content” every day (which generates clicks), and the “contributors” are ambiguously rewarded. According to former forbes Contributor Matt Zucker, five pieces of a few hundred words each in a month makes a writer $250; Seven get $500. Zucker claimed each piece took him around ten hours– that’s over 140 hours for $1,000. “Yeah, we’re not doing this for the money,” he admitted.
(Sounds familiar, and to be honest, the pay is extremely competitive with the humiliating handout I am paid here.)
What forbesThat “contributors” come out of this malarkey is clear: as sugar wrote in a Medium blog post about his time in the forbes Contributor Farm gives contributors virtually carte blanche to post anything they want, often unedited. Given that many contributors have their own professional agenda, entering into a contributor contract is tantamount to access to free, endless PR on tap. I wish I had access to a resource like this so I could promote my creation sideline.
Hirschmiller, the accidental creator of the new “LFG” meme, has made good use of the network. Her recent oeuvre on Web3 innovation includes: “How Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg animated their bored monkeys, what technology could mean for brands“; “The disruptive idea behind Prada’s new Timecapsule NFT collection featuring Damien Hirst’s son“; and “Is a Metaverse HQ complete with Bored Ape NFTs, helipad and cinema the next must-have for luxury brands?”
A dubious and inevitably anonymous “source” tells me that there is indeed some oversight of the crypto contributor network, or at least more than there used to be. I was told that Forbes Crypto Editor and former CoinDesk Journalist Michael del Castillo drives a “tight ship”. But the Contributor Network remains a kind of “YouTube for writing”. reservation emptor.
What makes you think: Maybe Hirschmiller, in all her wisdom, did knew that this little mistake would cement their place in internet meme history. And like everyone calculating and underpaid forbes “Contributor,” she thought, worth the money. In that case, I salute her and want to join her. Let’s form a group!
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