Posts by arikthared

40 Under 40: How to Win it in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Featured | 0 comments

First of all, thank you to everyone that has been so gracious as to congratulate me on 40 Under 40. It’s always rewarding to see your hard work be recognized, and there are a lot of people that I have to thank for that…they’re to come shortly.

A few folks have asked me about what they should do to try to win 30 Under 30 or 40 Under 40, which I think is fantastic. It’s so great to set goals and have something to work for. At FWV, we approach every big project from the beginning of it asking the questions “what is the client going to call us about in 6 months and say, I can’t believe it came true”, “what is the case study going to be?”, “how will the award submission read?”, and I think it just makes it that much easier to succeed.

So here’s what I’m saying to the few people that have asked and hopefully a few others will find this helpful.

1. Don’t work for the award, work for the community.

When I first moved here, I just really needed to meet people and feel connected to this strange new city that was so different from Seattle, New York, Atlanta and LA. I was more or less unemployed and just needed to do something, and I could see that the community needed a few fun things to do, so I just started working to create them.

2. Don’t talk about doing something, just do it.

Pretty self explanatory. If you’re going to do something like host an event or launch a networking group or create a class for people, just do it, promote it, get people there and see how it works. Don’t spend months asking people if they think you should do it.

3. Surround yourself with the right people.

There’s a few people that I got to know immediately when I moved here. I can trace back every single big opportunity or success to just a few people. I’ll list them in detail below. You already know who you are if you’re even reading this.

4. Set big, hairy, audacious goals.

A lot of people will talk you down from doing something amazing with lines like “underpromise, overdeliver”. There’s a time and place for that, like in client service. But when it comes to your life and the impact you make on the people that you care about, I say “overpromise, with the understanding that we’re all human, and if you don’t make it this time you’ll never give up, and with the expectation from everyone that you’ll succeed and reach your goals”. It’s not as elegant, but that’s really how I approach things. People that hear me say stuff like “TIMA will be the interactive marketing capital of the US” or “Triangle Startup Weekend is going to set the standard for every Startup Weekend in the world” know what I’m talking about and we all work together to achieve it even if we know it’s a long uphill road. Don’t be afraid to overpromise if you know you’ll never give up.

5. Never give up.

It’s redundant but I’m just going to say it: Failure is just a learning opportunity. Look at it that way and you’ll always be moving forward. Most of what you’ll try to do will fail, and you learn that it fails really quickly, and then you smash it up with something else to test it a different way, until it’s badass.

That list of people that have made the TBJ 40 Under 40 possible, in random order based on who comes to mind and just thinking about the people that led me to stuff like the Viral Video Festival, Going Viral, Triangle Startup Weekend, FWV, TIMA, or other stuff that was in the application for 40 Under 40.

Janet Kennedy
Mital Patel
Joanna Wolfe
Wendy McCarthy
Amanda Fennell
Rick French
David Gwyn
Natalie Best
Melissa Kennedy
Sean Wilson
Scott Kelly
Joan Siefert Rose
Justin Goeres
Greg Ng
Mike Esser
John Lane
I-Kong Fu
Damond Nollan
Greg De Lima
Victor Marks
Derrick Minor

…there’s so many other folks, I’ll keep adding as they come to mind, but for the people that are listed above, just know that something you did contributed to something that went into a couple pages about my time in the Triangle and thanks to you doing whatever you did, that’s why I was fortunate to receive the award.

Thank you.


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Creating Stop Motion Videos with Powerpoint

Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 in Crowdsourcing, Design, Entertainment, Featured, Improv, Viral | 0 comments

The Bollywood Bounce is a Stop Motion Choreography video produced using 30 dance move photos from the Maharaja Palcace in Mysore India, which were then imported into Powerpoint and used to create a stop motion choreography sequence to the song Paper Planes by M.I.A.

The Making of The Bollywood Bounce

1. My photographer shot 30 photos of poses at the palace. We tried to vary the photos by being polar opposites. Like if one photo I stretched right, the other one I would stretch left.

2. I imported all of these photos, and then loaded the song Paper Planes into Camtasia for Mac.

3. I took key parts of the song and broke them down into 8-16 beat measures, then sequenced 4 or so photos in Powerpoint, to repeat in a pattern that matched the lyrics.

4. Using 86 BPM for the song (which I found by googling it), I set up each slide in Powerpoint to advance for either 0.35 seconds (for 8th notes) or 0.69 seconds (for longer quarter notes or pauses).

5. After exporting the movie from Powerpoint and syncing it to the song in Camtasia, I then copied and pasted it in other similar song segments.

6. I repeated this process over and over until the song was complete, and for reference, I did delete a whole verse and chorus from this version of the track so that the video would be more concise and easy to watch.

Below is an example of how I used Powerpoint to sequence 8 beats of the song “The Bollywood Bounce”, a stop motion animation video filmed at the Maharaja Palace in Mysore India, just outside of Bangalore, during the Bangalore Boon.

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The 80-20 of Online Video – IABC Triangle – January 2012

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Viral | 0 comments

Thanks again everyone for your participation in The 80-20 of Creating Online Video today!

You may want to Bookmark this Page by hitting CTRL+D (PC) or Command+D (Mac) or save the link somewhere so you can access this information when you’re planning your video projects.

This is the the link to the Resources List I mentioned in the session.
Useful tools for ideation, production, distribution and sharing, including links to the online tools and software we didn’t get to discuss in the workshop.

Here is the presentation you saw

The 80/20 of Online Video

View more presentations from Arik Abel
Here’s a list of the videos we watched in class, and an embedded version of the full Prezi that you saw when we discussed the “Online Video Experience” and Double Rainbow Guy. You can click through the whole presentation yourself, which was delivered to Shop Local Raleigh earlier this year.

The List of Safe-for-Work Memes is Below

Think of these as popular Techniques that you can use to draw inspiration when you’re thinking of how to present your video.

Youtube Interactive Games

Forced Perspective

Lying Down Game



Flash Mob

Parisian Love Parodies (Search Stories)

One Take

Recut Movie Trailers / Movie Trailer Remix

Popping Popcorns with Cellphones

EPIC Maneuvers

Will it Blend?

Daft Hands

wdydwyd? aka Why Do You Do What You Do?

Stop Motion Beatbox

5 second Movies

Youtube Cyphers

The Philippine Cebu Dancing Inmates/Prisoners

Apple Store recordings


Six-Word Memoirs

Post-it Stop Motion

Vince Shlomi (ShamWow, Slap Chop)


Paying Bills with Spider Drawings (Seven-Legged Spider)

Diet Coke and Mentos

Extreme Advertising

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Tornadoes, Constellations and Word-of-Mouth

Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 in Word of Mouth | 0 comments

Recently at the NCPRSA annual conference I presented a concept about constellations and their relevance to word-of-mouth.

Essentially, I see the 5,000 year old phenomenon of people looking at the stars for information about what to do with their lives – when to plant crops, which direction to steer their ships, when to pick up camp and move to a new location – as analogous to the modern day phenomenon of infographics, which also distill large amounts of information into easy-to-grasp graphical arrangements telling people what to do with their lives – from what to think about political rhetoric, to when to post content on Facebook, and so on.

Coincidentally, I was listening to the Astronomy Cast podcast today and heard a fascinating explanation of why weather exists – apparently all weather of any kind, on any planet across the universe, is a function of temperature differences. When you have one system that’s hotter than another, the two systems fight it out to attain equilibrium. Temperature differences are the reason we have clouds, jetstreams and tornadoes, so I found out today.

In my mind, I was picturing these two temperature systems as similar to a couple different social and economic paradigms in human behavior. Supply and demand of information, and then differences of opinion. To put it simply, let’s say demand for information is a hot system, and supply for information is a cold system. Then let’s say “loving” something is a hot system, and “hating” something is a cold system.

The idea in question – let’s say it’s a new idea that people are curious about, like the discovery of a 13th Zodiac symbol – is the tornado.

When astrologists came out with the new and provocative idea of “Ophiuchus” – the 13th symbol that shook up all of our signs (I’m a Sagittarius, and was knocked out of orbit when the headlines told me that was no longer the case). There was a huge demand for that information, and subsequently everyone from bloggers, the media, scientific journals, video producers, and new moms on Facebook rushed in to fill the supply gap for information about this idea. On top of that, people had strongly differing opinions about this new idea – whether it mattered, whether it was fair to force that change on people, essentially they could love it or hate it.

For a few weeks, these contrasting systems created a natural word-of-mouth phenomenon, making it virtually impossible to not hear about the 13th Zodiac symbol. Over time, once the demand for the information and the supply of the information leveled out, and the magnitude of all the opinions in either direction – love or hate, agree or disagree – approached neutral, the word-of-mouth tornado fizzled out to nothing, letting us move on to whatever next big weather system would stir things up on Facebook.

Think about this analogy the next time you’re looking to create word-of-mouth around something you’re working on. Can you look at what’s happening naturally in the world as a pairing of information supply-demand or love it-hate it systems? If so, that’s an opportunity for you to jump in, add your voice and maybe gain some word-of-mouth along the way.

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Five Creative Steve Jobs Tributes

Posted by on Oct 9, 2011 in Brands, Innovation | 0 comments

Steve Jobs legacy is that he enabled millions to be more creative during his life. No wonder he continues to inspire afterwards. There are no doubt hundreds of thousands of tributes online to Steve, these are five that I found stood out from the rest.

Click on the photos to find out more about them.


1. Steve Jobs Day


2. The Apple Tribute Logo



3. “We Are All Steve” by the Pantless Knights


4. 13-Mile Apple Logo in Tokyo


5. Steve Jobs Mosaics with Apple Devices

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