Tuesday, April 13, 2010

12 Chatroulette Clones You Should Try

12 Chatroulette Clones You Should Try

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Would someone please give me a chance to do a website like this? http://ping.fm/oUgD9

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Five Sacred Benchmarks of Viral Video

A plea to clients: Stop getting me excited about viral video ideas!

Recently in my work I finally lost the will to come up with another great set of viral video ideas only to have clients label them as "too risky". So, I decided, along with others on my team that in our capabilities presentation to our clients we would clearly define what makes something viral. , Before any work was assigned and during our first introductory meeting, we were chopping viral off at the knees.

We just couldn't spend another brainstorming session laughing our asses off at all of the great ideas that poured out of our collective twisted minds only to have our ideas routed from the battlefield of fringe tactics. So in this introductory presentation we set our rules. Perhaps it's more correct to call it one rule. And so with great aplomb I give you my masterpiece...

The Five Sacred Benchmarks of Viral Video
It's simple. People do not spread around your content unless they feel like it will increase their social value with friends, family and in some cases, strangers. No one is going to send a link to 30 of their friends that drives traffic to a video of grass growing lazily in a lush prairie town front yard. People aren't going to send around marketing messages either, unless there is a real, appreciable "wow factor".

Crafting a piece of content that satisfies one of the five sacred rules takes massive courage and a willingness to fail utterly. Everyone wants the next viral hit but very few marketing managers are willing to risks their jobs to get it. So without further adieu, I present the five benchmarks that all marketers should hold up to their content ideas, asking the question do I have one of these in my anxious hands?

1. Vulgarity: Lacking in cultivation, perception or taste, morally crude
If you really want to get people's attention make them feel bad about being human. Two girls one cup anyone? How about the reaction videos of people vomiting from watching two girls one cup? How about me spending three hours watching videos of guys breaking limbs doing skateboard tricks. Nothing spreads a video around faster than something that we all find repugnant or at least very unfortunate but can't seem to turn away from.

Here is one of the best examples of a vulgar marketing piece that I had forwarded to me more times than King Henry killed wives.

2. Sweet and Cute
Puppies kissing, babies playing in soap, polar bears romping through icy fields. It won't get spread by everyone, but the sweet and cute will play with the Mom/Grandma crowd all day. How about the wedding proposal done at a baseball game in front of 4 million fans where the girl is crying her eyes out and the whole stadium is freaking out...beautiful.

This video was viewed an astounding 4.5 million times!

3. Hilarious

Honestly, how many times have you gone onto YouTube and watched "Dick in a Box"? Not enough I'll warrant....Oh god I just stopped writing this blog for 5 minutes to watch it twice..."Over at your parents house, a Dick in a Box! Maybe at the grocery store, a Dick in a Box..." Sweet Jesus I love the internet!

4. Ridiculous
How about any video of Bill O'Reily on YouTube going ballistic on some unsuspecting guest and or coworker?

5. Stunning
This category encompasses a lot of things and depends largely on the perspective of the user. Generally things that fall into this category could include conspiracy alien videos, a totally drunk major political candidate, hookers caught on tape, a guy who falls from a 10 story building and walks away. The key is that is has to be something that simply defies not only the normal but the abnormal as well.

Couldn't find anything offhand on YouTube for this one but I think you get the point.

Respect the Viral!
It's important for marketers to search for that next big social landscape changing attention device. There's no question that viral video is a part of that. But most of what we consider viral online is created by organizations like Saturday Night Live who are trying to be outrageous or individual people who simply have nothing to lose or in some cases, everything to gain.

I wish that every client could work with content inside the rules but the truth is, everyone can't. For those that can, I await you anxious to blow you away! For those that can't...please quit teasing me.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Breaking big money advertising: A prediction for the future.

One day companies will be making micropayments to individuals for either viewing ads or for showing ads on their personal content sites. Seem unrealistic? Think about the last time you looked at a meaningless Slide application video on Facebook or SuperPoked someone with some generic message for free. Think you might be more or less likely to do it if you got paid?

Blogs, microblogs, tumblelogs, social communities, photo sharing accounts and video sharing sites, will all be sponsoring individual people. These individuals who act as mavens, as spreaders, will be paid to exploit their personal social networks.

Do you have 1000 friends on Facebook? We want you to advertise Pepsi for us. We’ll give you a nickel every time visits your Pepsi branded Facebook page. A dollar for every time a user clicks on something Pepsi related.

As the number of marketing messages continues to increase, one day it will be cheaper for a company to simply pay you to give them your attention and to market to your friends than it will be to spend their money on every possible form of advertising available to them.

Of course, the negative of that system will be that, instead of the company being the pariah who is advertising to them in everyone’s personal space, it will be you. So the cycle continues, expand, irritate, contract and repeat.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

From many, some: The market force of advertising in social networks.

The Great Homogenizer:
In the short life of the Internet one thing seems to be absolutely certain. The functioning Internet cannot tolerate a lot of competition in regards to the things you can do on the Internet. If the Internet is about participation then it must also be about homogeneity. The more people participate in any given system of communication, service or product, the more that thing must be made similar in all of its iterations.

The physical environment experiences pervasive homogeneity in a general way. For example, there are basically no more small banks left in the US. Most of them have been bought up by the major national organizations. The Internet however experiences this phenomenon in a specific way. Digital homogenization is much easier and faster than bringing together banks.

Crushing Time:
We CAN have mega-banks in our society but we are assured that there will probably always be at least 4 major banks we can choose from. Competition in the real world is a requirement of capitalism. Not so in the digital realm.

The move from many small banks to a few large banking networks like Bank of America took about 100 years. On the web, services go from many to some, or inevitably to one, in the course of a few years.

There are at least 8 sites that you can now micro-blog on in the US alone. Can all of these businesses succeed? Nope.

Hence, in a flair for the dramatic and no professional credibility to the point, I would like to introduce a new law of economics. I call it the Rule of Homogenized Relevant Communal Convenience.

The Rule of Homogenized Relevant Communal Convenience:
This rule states that for every service that exists to bring people together on the Internet, there is an momentum principle that guides the combination of providers, inevitably, to a final union based on the complexities of the interconnected groups who represent the majority of their service.

This system moves asymptotically from a state of multiplicity into singularity based on the size and continued usage of services, amalgamated by distinct social groups.

In plain English, any service, such as micro-blogging, that is presently available in a variety of different websites will eventually begin to merge together into a smaller number of sites. But they will never get to a single site because there is a negative momentum that occurs in getting people to change to a service where their friends don’t go. I’m not switching to Facebook no matter how big it gets if all of my friends are on MySpace.

Even if MySpace is a better tool, the tool has no purpose without the community of my personal connections. Gradually, over time however, people tend to increase their exposure to new people, therefore to new networks. Hence we find the asymptotic relationship of the overall presence of services.

So, what is the force that drives the merging of services if usage by the populous seems to work against merging?

The fate of micro-blogging: from many, some.
Every single micro-blogging company is going to be bought and merged into a few micro-blogging services. Social activity is meaningless in a vacuum. There must be unity for these services to work since the likelihood of all of one’s past, present and future connections being exposed to the same network are slim to none.

What will happen to that super micro-blogging company or companies? It will eventually be replaced by a bunch of other new small micro-blogging companies that have one major difference.

It's simple really, the magic force that drives online services; the presence or absence of marketing.

The more popular a social space is, the more I want, as a marketer to get in there and drop advertisements all over the place. Unfortunately for me, over time people get sick of having to be constantly ignoring your messages so competitors open up and promise a distraction free environment.

Perhaps in reality, there are two possible futures for this landscape. One that involves the kind of unity of a few major providers I have just described, the other lies in the potential of the social Internet being entirely made of service aggregators like SocialThing! or friendfeed. Sites that grab all of your content from the various social application providers and bring it into one web interface.

The future of a totally free internet...along with the end of hunger and world peace.
Unfortunately, this creates a serious problem for the sites that provide the initial service, which is aggregated into a summary site. The problem? No traffic. If no one has to log into Twitter to micro-blog because all of their micro-blogging feeds from Twitter are fed into SocialThing! then how does Twitter make money?

How do any of these services make money? Worse yet, how do advertisers reach consumers when all of their messaging is potentially filtered through a third party?

In this environment advertisers will have to make a radical change to their way of thinking.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

A manifesto of unity.

Has anyone else noticed yet that integration between traditional ad agencies and interactive agencies isn't working very well? Sure NEW agencies that have been started from scratch are doing the job, but existing agencies that are trying to shoehorn together professionals from disparate professions are having limited success as far as I can tell.

This year BBDO took seemingly full credit for a campaign for HBO's "Voyeur", much to the chagrin of Big Spaceship's CEO Michael Liebowitz.


While BBDO executed the campaign, they had major support from Big Spaceship. During the awards ceremony though, BBDO's silent partner remained largely unmentioned which raises questions about authorship and credit.

Why didn't BBDO more prominently credit their partner? Could Big Spaceship have submitted their own work for a Lion and ignored BBDO's contribution? Why is there a division in creative authorship at all based on the division of labor when the two do not have to be so strongly tied? Isn't every major marketing effort that happens today by definition, integrated?

Twenty years from now, or maybe even 5, no one will even remember that there was a difference between traditional creatives and interactive creatives because everyone will have to understand every channel available to us as marketers. So how do we navigate this road?

Delete territorialism. Educate one another. Give up the idea of pure ownership. Unite.

The agencies today that find a way to integrate and deliver powerful brand messages across multiple channels first WILL RISE to the forefront of marketing in the next two decades.

It's uniquely in the hands of all creative directors to bring about true integration so that we can all move into the future together.

Monday, January 15, 2007

INFOLUST | Forget information overload, consumers are more infolusty than ever!

A great perspective on the information exchange generation from TrendWatching.com. I highly recommend this site including signing up for their free newsletter. It's hard, who am I kidding, it's impossible to keep up with, everything that's going on in the world and still do your job with any skill whatsoever.

This particular link is part of a series of trend watching articles focusing on the user generated content revolution that is sweeping the world.

INFOLUST Forget information overload, consumers are more infolusty than ever!