Business, media, Tech

The Ruben Sierra of Viral Video

Making the rounds of sharing this week is the video of Marina Shifrin resigning her post at Next Media Animation.  Shifrin, who used to make news videos, dances through her resignation while the subtitles tick off her reasons for quitting – most notably, the fact that her “boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets.”  Her video, she contends, “focus[es] on the content”:

It would be easy for some curmudgeon to yell that Shifrin is looking for creativity in the wrong place – that work is about making money, rather than fun and games.  But that wouldn’t be entirely appropriate.  You’ve probably heard of her former company, Next Media Animation – or at least seen their work.  They make those funny, Taiwanese animated videos about the news.  In 2010, they made this one about the Thanksgiving-weekend revelation that Tiger Woods was playing a few rounds outside of his marriage:

Shifrin wasn’t working at a gulag making plastic widgets for export, she was making funny, creative news videos.  NMA’s website brags about their speed, and that’s pretty important when your company’s key product is so heavily dependent on news cycles.  Ditto for quantity – NMA has released two videos already this week, one for the government shutdown and one for Lane Kiffin being fired by USC.  The company is based on producing timely content that attracts viewers and stays ahead of the news.  It probably means working off-hours (since Taiwan and America are on opposite sides of the globe).

That’s a tough job, so you couldn’t blame anyone for saying it isn’t for them.  But Shifrin’s self-indulgent resignation video says a little bit more. Specifically, it says “Be careful about hiring me, because if we have a difference of opinion, I’ll try to embarrass you.”  Working at an online video company while complaining about needing to come up with content frequently that attracts views is like former New York Yankee Ruben Sierra, after being traded in 1996, complaining that the Yankees only cared about winning.

The team at NMA seem to be taking it in stride, though:

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