- I’m really lighting up to Google+ – although I won’t go out on a limb and say “no more Facebook or Twitter for me” just yet.
- Should a phone, or any device other than a computer keyboard or musical instrument, have manual keys any more? It seems like a touchscreen that can always be evolving with the OS rather than a hard-wired button system is much more scalable.
- Let’s say speed of a total rise and fall of new innovative communications mediums like Facebook and Google+ continues to increase, how fast will someone need to get out a new piece of hardware like a smartphone to capitalize on that medium?
I’m sure Facebook will be around long enough for the full lifecycle of this phone to come and go before Google+ can make any sizeable impact on FB usage (assuming G+ even gets past the innovator/early adopter phase in their own life cycle). But seriously, who is the audience for this phone?!?
Watch the video, let me know if you have any ideas…Read More
Google’s Doodle for Les Paul has inspired songs from aspiring interactive musicians all over the world for the last 12 hours. When Google updated their homepage Doodle with an interactive interpretation of a Les Paul guitar people started creating any and every song they could think of in a standard major chord – like Redemption Song by Bob Marley, Ode to Joy by Beethoven, Paparazzi by Lady Gaga, Here Come the Sun and Hey Jude by the Beatles, and who knows what else hasn’t been discovered to play yet.
Here’s my contribution, a Google Doodle cover of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.Read More
The phrase he died to save us wouldn’t normally bring to mind Macho Man Randy Savage, yet odds are you’re seeing the image below of recently deceased wrestler Randy Savage, with Jesus on judgment day, saving us from the Rapture. All over Facebook, the image below is being shared with the phrase “And lo, it came to pass that Randy Savage did prevent the Rapture. Amen.”
One of the things I teach students in my Going Viral class is how to quickly respond to topical trends in the world by mashing up ideas that create contrast and tension. Using a simple formula like “topic” caused “other unrelated topic”, can often be a recipe for comedic viral success. What Rad-Dudes.com found and shared from the underground meme hotbed 4chan.org in the image below is a perfect example. In a bizarro world where marketers are less conservative and more in tune with how the internet really works, WWE would have been the one immortalizing Randy Savage as a world-saver. Instead it’s a little known blog via a subversive group of internet trolls.
YouTube has rolled out movie rentals, and as the world’s most visited online video site, seems to be in prime position to take down NetFlix. What do you think?Read More
When Charlie Sheen went crazy, web content producers had a feeding frenzy of link bait and viral memes related to his shenanigans.
One of my favorite traffic winners from this frenzy was Yowie, an interactive video chat room. Two comedians from the Upright Citizens Brigade scene launched a marathon “Two and a Half Days of Two and a Half Men” campaign using the Yowie platform to live cast themselves watching episodes of the show, while onlookers participated through live chat, watched the show along with them, and even joined the show as a video chat guest in some cases.
I was so impressed with some of the advances in interactive video Yowie has made (in comparison to GotoMeeting, Skype, ChatRoulette, etc.) that I had to hear more from Yowie Founder Jamie Snider about their plans for us marketers, creatives and entrepreneurs.
Rather than write out our conversation, I interviewed Jamie through the Yowie platform, and screen captured select video snippets which are embedded below. If you’d rather watch the whole 45 minute archive of our interview, awkward silence and all, visit it here http://www.yowie.com/Show/2mi.
Otherwise, take a few minutes to watch the clips below and learn more about how Yowie will change the face of interactive video. Below the videos are links to several comedians and celebrities’ archived livecasts on Yowie.
How was SXSW?
What happens to live video chats when they’re over?
What was the inspiration for Yowie?
How are people using Yowie?
Yowie vs. Chatroulette
Using Yowie for Marketing
Sharing Video with Yowie
Recent Celebrity Sightings on Yowie
Dianna Agron (Glee): http://www.yowie.com/show/245
Amy Poehler (SNL and Parks and Rec): http://www.yowie.com/show/21k
Paul Scheer (The League): http://www.yowie.com/show/19k
Paul Tompkins (VH1): http://www.yowie.com/show/12j
Marc Maron (WTF Podcast): http://www.yowie.com/show/1siRead More
To get over his fear of flying, he spent 30 days living on an AirTran plane.
To prove that New Yorkers really are nice people, he was physically carried by 155 city-dwellers over 9 miles through the island of Manhattan.
He’s lived for a week in an IKEA, visited every Starbuck’s in Manhattan in 24 hours, and convinced 95 mayors across the US to grant him the keys to their respective cities.
And incredibly, he’s built an audience of millions for his unique hybrid of guerrilla marketing and viral videos through media coverage and appearances on Jay Leno, ABC, Fox and CBS, The Today Show, Huffington Post and the LA Times, to name a few.
Brands clamor for stage time in his wildly popular one-man productions, yet he manages to stay down to earth, doing it all for the love of the creative process, and making time for fans, friends and family along the way. I caught up with Mark recently for a phone interview to learn what makes him tick and how you might go about achieving similar results.
Read on below for the interview and samples of his viral life-as-artwork projects.
Why do you do the things you do?
I’ve been doing comedy for years, and I’ve always been more into big concepts, huge, grandiose ideas. I love falling in love with an idea that excites me, and then, the challenge of pulling it off. People saying to me, “there’s no way you can do that,” and then launching into this process; sometimes it’s a week, sometimes a month, but it’s always a real whirlwind journey.
Once it became easy to post videos online, I realized video was the perfect platform for expressing kind of thinking, this kind of artform. It’s a bonus too that with video, I don’t really have to answer to anybody. I do like collaborating, but I like working on my own stuff. Standup I enjoy, but only somewhat, and with sketch comedy, I’ve seen a lot of people that don’t get along. My projects just suit my creative personality really well.
What are the most memorable moments from your various projects?
I love people’s response to what I do, especially kids. It’s funny, parents will email and say “my kid really loves your videos,” and I’m kind of proud to know my stuff’s clean, its universal.
After I lived on the AirTran plane a lot of parents told me their kids were trying to imitate me on plane trips. I did a Guns and Roses project, playing at CBGBs, a lot of kids came out with their parents – so unexpected, and just from one small magazine mention. Since then it’s just been growing: mentions by Jimmy Kimmel, Rolling Stone, Esquire – one of my projects was the #1 most remarkable thing in culture that week by Esquire.
What is your relationship like with the brands you choose to highlight in your projects?
I have a good relationships with the brands, the vast majority get what I do, and give me a lot of creative freedom. They understand the video has to be entertaining and feel like a natural fit. If not, it looks like a commercial, and people aren’t going to pay attention. Sometimes brands come and bring an idea, and if I need to be honest and say that’s not going to work, that’s what I’ll do. I’ve had plenty of projects come my way and the people behind them ask me “will this get TV coverage?”, and I’ve said no and had to turn them down.
Truth is, though, my ideas never start with a brand in mind – I just want to do something entertaining. Something that would make me and my friends laugh. My video ideas are not driven by money, and I’m not driven by doing this for money, it’s really about the artistic process.
Who/what are your creative inspirations?
There’s really not many that do anything similar to what I do – these types of videos. I love comedians and other creative people that take risks, really think out of the box. I love David Letterman, he was a real innovator of comedy in the 80s. If you look at the last 20-30 years, I think he influenced comedy more than anyone. Also a huge fan of Fred Rogers, from the kids’ show Mr. Rogers. Garry Shandling, Woody Allen, and the Saturday Night Live writer Robert Smigel. [Side note: Smigel is known for sketches like The Ambiguously Gay Duo and TV Funhouse, as well as the iconic Triumph the Insult Comic Dog of Conan O'Brien fame] – yet he’s amazingly humble. I’ve had the chance to meet him several times, and that’s an incredible feeling when you get to know your idol and they turn out to be a really great person.
What would you say to someone who wants to do what you do – what are the steps, what is the right approach?
It took me a long time to get here. I had day jobs in TV for ten years and was doing my comedy at night – probably a total of 20-30 jobs to support me before my passion could pay the bills. For a while I was a doorman at a comedy club and there were so many people trying to make it, really going on this emotional rollercoaster. One I specifically remember was Dane Cook – people don’t see what went into this success, how much time and energy he put into his comedy. Dave Chappelle used to be in the club until 3 am and never wanted to leave, doing multiple sets throughout the night. For most of the people you admire, you’ve gotta realize it didn’t happen overnight.
Look at Adam Sandler, and what he’s doing with his Happy Madison crew – his high school and college friends. Look how far he’s come with this tight knit group of people that believe in him. I recommend getting a trusted group of advisors, it can take you in amazing directions and save you when you’re blinded by an idea you think is good that really isn’t. I made a list of everyone I knew and approached people about helping me out, then weeded out the people that weren’t serious. In the end I found a group of people that really believed in me. At the same time, it’s really important to be nurturing those friendships and giving back. I love helping people out when I can, I think it really pays off in the long run.
Then, try to pick projects you really care about. Its so obvious when you watch something that’s not inspired, like you’re just trying to get noticed, or make a career move. I have no problem coming up with 50 – 100 ideas, but then you have to wait a day or two and see what 1 or 2 ideas really feel strong. My criteria is pretty simple. Does this really make me laugh? Is this really entertaining video content I would want to watch? If so, I write up the premise and get feedback from that group of comedy friends on what would work.
Also, if you want to be successful with this kind of entertainment, you have to build up your social media profile. I’m fortunate because my videos stand out, that’s the reason for a lot of media coverage, but in general you have to set yourself apart from what others are doing. And your reach is what helps get brands on board. I had to get a few videos picking up media coverage before any brands wanted to work with me. I’m much better with traditional media, getting TV or newspaper, but everyone’s a little different in terms of what kind of coverage they’re looking for.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, you have to put a pen to paper and write out goals. You have to have a clear vision of where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. If you don’t there’s just a lot of hoping and waiting. Most of the people I admire had strong visions and set huge goals. Its good to have a 3-5 year plan, and then be flexible with how it might turn out.
For more about Mark and his work visit his website markmalkoff.comRead More
Actions speak louder than words. Words to live by if you want to start something, and finish it. But for many, setting a goal rarely means we actually meet it.
That’s why DoBand, the “action-oriented social network” wants to help. Just like you might share your to-do-list with a co-worker or classmate so they can hold you somewhat accountable, you can share your goals (they call them “Deeds” on the site) with the world (eventually, now you share them with the DoBand community) so they can help you reach them.
Want to lose 10 lbs? Put it on DoBand. Want to raise $25,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society? Well, someone already did. You guessed it, after putting the goal on DoBand.
Francis Pedraza is Looking for Doers
DoBand CEO Francis Pedraza knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles. Driven by stories like the one above – someone raising tons of money for charity – and the smaller achievements people are making every day, the six-person start-up is looking to iterate their way into your personal success, and ultimately capture a market that has yet to be fully dominated online. 43Things claims 3 million users (including Zappos’ CEO Tony Shieh), but the market for people that need help reaching their potential is much, much larger.
Is this a market looking for a solution?
Hard to say. But a handful of technology leaders on the DoBand Board of Advisors think so:
Tina Seelig, Executive Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and Dave Blakely, who leads the Technology Practice at IDEO, as well as Shahriar Broumand, Andy Mutz, and Peter Farrell are helping DoBand reach their own goal of becoming the leader in the space.
DoBand CEO, Francis Pedraza called in for an interview and shared his thoughts on their role in your success. A recap of the interview is below:
Q: Why do people need DoBand?
The question we’re always trying to answer is “how do you make an idea happen?” Every one of us has the same potential as a Leonardo DaVinci. But then there’s the 9 to 5 mentality, and we lose touch with that potential. Our goal is to help people reconnect with those dreams, by providing structure and incentive to do so.
Q: How are you different than 43Things?
DoBand has a different vision and a much more streamlined site. We’re focused much less on features and much more on making it easy to achieve something.
Q: Why build a whole new social network, why not just launch a Facebook app?
The way we saw it, we had three options: a mobile app, a Facebook app and our own site. At the end of the day building something new ourselves gives us a lot more autonomy, our success and our community’s success is not dependent on a third-party platform. We’re creating more value this way.
Q: Thoughts for other entrepreneurs trying to turn their ideas into action?
I found a lot of inspiration in Eric Ries’ Lean Start-up Theory (a video is embedded below). He gets to the heart of why most start-ups fail, and it forces you to think about how to reduce your chances of failure. In this line of thinking, we’ve built a super stream-lined team. We’re all learning how to code. If you have an idea for the site, show us the value and then execute it yourself, that’s one of the internal standards we’ve set.
The Eric Ries Lean Start-up Theory VideoRead More