Bear sex and cancer: What The Oatmeal can teach us about social media


What do Bear Sex and Cancer have in common? $169,000. Matthew Inman, creator of the controversial info-graphic website The Oatmeal, has made internet headlines in recent news, following a lawsuit of slander against the website comic’s creator. Inman, since the lawsuit, has seen more media attention than ever and is currently petitioning a restoration of the late Nikola Tesla’s abandoned laboratory in Shoreham, Long Island. Inman’s restoration goal is a whopping $850,000. In just 45 days, The Oatmeal has earned $350,000.

A response of this measure speaks volumes when it comes to social media. Inman was able to produce within a month, over a quarter of a million dollars by simply tweeting and posting to his audience. The artist known passionately to his followers as The Oatmeal has proven that social media tools and reaching out to your audience with personality and clever pictures is all it takes to make an impact within the realm of social networks.

So what have we learned from this? The internet is a POWERFUL weapon. The Oatmeal has exhibited the incredible execution of internet warfare that every online marketing company in the world would kill for. With that said, here are three things to take from The Oatmeal’s campaign:

  1. Engage your audience with something they (and you!) care about: The Oatmeal cares about science and things that define us as nerds and geeks (which is awesome by the way!). By being himself, Inman was able to relate a cause important to him, to his audience and more.
  2. Post cool images: A picture says a thousand words and in the case of The Oatmeal, $169,000. While most of us won’t make that kind of money so easily, we can take The Oatmeal as an example of just how impacting an info-graphic can be.
  3. Maintain an active role in social media: Being active on Twitter or Facebook and promoting ood quality content goes a long way. Without such platforms, I doubt that The Oatmeal would have been as successful as he has been recently. I am from Long Island and I am a nerd so needless to say, I look forward to the Nikola Tesla Museum.

By Jim Vacey

Jim Vacey is the Assistant Marketing Director for Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor NY. Jim is a graduate from Dowling College with a BA in English and History and looks to pursue an MBA in Creative Writing. Jim is now the proud father of his first child, Harley Quinn Vacey.

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