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I don't mind LOLCats, though I no longer find them particularly funny, but I'm wondering if employers or job seekers might not be put off by the error page. I could see why job seekers might be put off by anything that drives potential employers away based on a sense that the site, and by extension those who list their CVs there, might not be professional. Or is the target employer audience only those companies that find LOLCats funny -- that's even scarier.

Consider replacing it something less trite.

See the related question for an example.

Related: http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/28730/bug-on-purchase-of-cv-on-careers-stackoverflow-com

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LOLcats were never funny. –  XMLbog Nov 5 '09 at 19:26
    
No, they weren't. But TrollCats sometimes are. –  Joel Coehoorn Nov 5 '09 at 19:31
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LOLcats are hilarious. Those who disparage LOLcats are obviously dead inside. –  Adam Davis Nov 5 '09 at 19:44
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6 Answers 6

Per request, we changed it to something more professional!

Statler and Waldorf
http://careers.stackoverflow.com/error

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The caption beneath should read something like: "Yeah, your whole career! Ha ha. Let's hit the candystand." –  random Nov 14 '09 at 13:02
    
Ahh, my favorite Muppets... –  Michael Kohne Nov 14 '09 at 21:02
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Nice... and you know they're professional coz they're wearing suits! –  Mark Harrison Nov 16 '09 at 5:55
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Mark, I find it both hilarious and horrifying that you take the time to properly apostrophe "they're" (not to mention use) but still type "coz." –  jason Nov 16 '09 at 7:16
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@Mark @jason yeah, everyone knows 'cuz needs an apostrophe too. –  quack quixote Feb 25 '10 at 0:06
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Agreed. That LOLCats picture says to me,

"We don't care about this site. We care about cats. Only cats. If the choice was between letting the site stay operational, and allowing our cats to play on our keyboards, the cats would win every time. Every time. Including, probably, this one. So unless you're a cat, bug off..."

The photo should have a guy in a suit. Looking very, very serious. As though he had committed to fixing whatever problem was afflicting the site, and should he fail is prepared to disembowel himself with a spork out of shame.

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But why a spork, cousin, why not a sword, or an axe? –  Adam Davis Nov 5 '09 at 19:47
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BECAUSE IT IS DULL YOU TWIT –  GEOCHET Nov 5 '09 at 19:49
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You, sir, have mastered the subtle art of effective internet sarcasm. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 5 '09 at 20:38
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Rule #1 of Careers: Bring your sense of humor.
Rule #2 of Careers: Bring your wallet.

I don't think it's an issue.

First: it's a funny message meant to diffuse the fact that an error happened. Humor can sometimes help ease tension created by a frustrating situation.

Second: who wants to be hired by a company that puts humorless people in charge of hiring you?

Third: if the errors happen frequently enough that it somehow tarnishes the site, and therefore the people who use it, then there's something far more wrong with the site than the 500 error message.

Fourth: have you even seen the monstrosity that is other employment sites? I'd far rather belong to a clean, slick, non advertising-coming-out-our-ears website that has a funny error message than any one of the hundreds of ugly, ugly, ugly job sites that already exist.

Fifth: LOLcat is now an established meme that anyone who uses the internet daily understands. It has already reached the corporate boardroom. In fact, if it WEREN'T a meme associated with all the stupid-funny lolcat image macros out there, I don't think anyone currently complaining would have an issue. Would it matter if it were one of Google's pigeon rank pigeons with the same text? The fact that it's associated with LOLcats is the problem for people, and that they feel lolcats themselves are stupid.

Bring teh funneh.

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It's not funny, it's sophomoric. What it says to me is that the people who run this company might put a whoopie cushion on my chair during their sales pitch. Is that really the company I want representing me to potential employers? Do I want to work for employers who would find that funny? I don't mind humor, but perhaps something a little more erudite. –  tvanfosson Nov 5 '09 at 19:54
    
I addressed your distaste in my revision with the fifth point. LOLcats == sophomoric is not universally true, and even huge corporations don't make people feel they will whoopie cushion them just because they employed a bit of humor, sophomoric or no. –  Adam Davis Nov 5 '09 at 20:34
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There's a huge difference between a LOLcat on an error page and a whoopee cushion. One of them is funny, the other makes fart noises. The LOLcat is not a practical joke, it's an appropriate use of humor (whether or not you personally find it funny is irrelevant; there is no universal humor) to defuse a potentially bad situation. –  John Rudy Nov 5 '09 at 21:32
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Come to think of it, there's probably a bigger drawback to meta being associated with careers than careers being associated with LOLcats. –  tvanfosson Nov 5 '09 at 21:46
    
And how! You can remove the meta flair from the CV, but if your accounts are linked it's easy to find from your other account pages. –  Adam Davis Nov 5 '09 at 21:51
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If an employer is going to be put off by an error page having a sense of humour, I don't want to work for them. There are dozens of other job sites that take themselves entirely seriously I can post on.

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Humor is a good screen for people you don't want to work for

If there's a place scared off by lolcats you probably don't want to work there anyways.

btw, if you're a crackerjack systems programmer who happens to like lolcats, the Muppets, and making movies, we might have a spot for you in my group!

http://jobs.stackoverflow.com/default.asp?5620

update: spot filled, thanks jobs.stackoverflow.com!!

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Well, let's see what Mr. Atwood thinks about being "professional":

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001300.html

I guess he's probably not interested in it.

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Jeff uses the word "professional" as a synonym for inauthentic and, in that sense, I agree with him. On the other hand, Jeff did seem to care about maintaining a professional image when he started advertising on his blog: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000893.html –  tvanfosson Nov 5 '09 at 21:34
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In all seriousness... By the time someone sees a 404 page, you've missed your chance to appear competent and professional. The professional response is the page being sought, not a helpless error; no matter what you put on it, the nature of the page itself presents a bad image for your site. –  Shog9 Nov 5 '09 at 23:02
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I believe we are on the same page regarding him not having facilitated the paradigm shift required to deliver state-of-the-art professional communication one would expect from a team player. But is it necessarily a bad thing? –  Rafał Dowgird Nov 10 '09 at 12:40
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