Happy smiley face

The problem with April Fools day…

The problem with April Fools day is a problem also associated with Christmas, and other days.

I love a good joke, but lots of corporate April fools jokes miss the point.

In the same way that Christmas shouldn’t be the only time you’re generous to your family, April 1st shouldn’t be the only day of the year companies should have fun with their communications.

I mean, a funny joke-prank is just as good a bit of content to share with the public on April Fools day, as almost any other day of the year.

And the advantage, from a marketing perspective: you have much less media competition, and people won’t be expecting it – so they’ll probably find a well executed idea, a lot funnier.

So tomorrow, when the April Fools day jokes have worn old – why not think about how you can help your potential customers have a bit of a giggle, and introduce them to you…

2014: Oversight: Thank you for volunteering, citizen.

The “other” Pirate, Tom ‘Mad Capn’ Scott, better known for being a dystopian sci-fi futurist just released this video:

Oversight: Thank you for volunteering, citizen.

So when are we getting this? My money is on 2014. We already have remotely monitored CCTV. Now Tempora and PRISM are in the open, society will be open to the idea of omnipresent surveillance.

I mean, you don’t honestly expecting chatting to your girlfriend on Facebook is private do you?!

Breaking: Professor Elemental to take post at the Home Office.

I’ve just heard breaking news that Professor Elemental – the famed ‘chap hop’ musician is to take a post at the Home Office.

It’s a little surprising for the Home Office to make such a high profile appointment – usually when they’re hiring celebrity endorsements, they get B-rate u21 Tennis players, or Eastenders extras from the 90s – but the Professor seems to have thoroughly bought into the whole thing:

The video on Youtube

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

You can find out more about what he’s been hired to do on the Open Rights Group’s website.

Going viral: Luck of the draw

A while ago I blogged about how I had “discovered” a viral video.

I recently had an experience of just how life is serendipitous.

Ian / FollowTheFoot released a video which I thought was hilarious, and clearly worthy of more eyeballs, so I posted it to reddit to /r/videos and /r/travel.

Despite a few views in /r/travel, it flopped in /r/videos not succeeding in garnering any attention.

2 hours later, someone posted the same video, with the same title, again to /r/videos and front paged it.

I think this highlights several things:

  • that you win some, and lose some, and that life is not always “fair”, even if you were there first
  • the reason you failed may not be because you were wrong that the content was good
  • the first few initial votes on reddit are the most important to kicking it off
  • that it was clearly worth trying, as it was clearly deserving of extra eyeballs as I thought

Things like this, happen all the time through life:

When someone suggests an idea you originally tried a few months ago, and it works majestically for them.

That’s just the way it is, and the quicker you get over it, and realise that most of the time, it also works in your favour, the better!

Sometimes you'll win, sometimes you'll lose.
Sometimes you'll win, sometimes you'll lose.

Just Dance

Whilst New York City takes a beating from a big storm, let’s watch something more uplifting:

Girl Walk // All Day

The spontaneity and happiness of the movement and disregard for the onlookers or location for me made it quite special.

The camera work also has a nice rough and ready style to it as well that seems to work quite well.

It’s a chapter from Girl Walk / All Day a full length film of semi- dance to legendary mashup artist Girl Talk‘s album’s All Day.

The irony of complaining about hipsters…

We were having a conversation at home a few days ago about whether it was reasonable to complain about hipsters but at the same time, want to show each other viral videos that we hadn’t each other seen.

Hipsters Man
Hipsters Man (via reddit)

via reddit

As is mentioned in the comments, obviously there’s a difference between liking something because you actually like it and because it’s currently popular.

I think it’s probably best to disregard whether lots of people like it, separate annoying bits of fanboi-ism for the actual thing.

If it’s a good thing, you should be happy to introduce your friend to it, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show them new things rather than old stuff.

Of course, it’s also ok to occasionally joke about hipsters and fanbois! :)

I accidentally ‘discovered’ a viral video…

This sounds quite pretentious, mainly because claiming you watched something “before it was famous” is incredibly hipster, but this isn’t meant to be. I just want to tell you a story…

A few weeks ago I was browsing, /r/travel on reddit and I came across this cute video a guy had made about travelling south east asia with his shoes. The guy was just starting a mini-series called “FollowTheFoot”.

I really enjoy travel videos, I was interested in more details behind the cinematography, so I asked him a few questions and, as is the beauty of reddit, he graciously repeatedly responded, finishing with a:

And best of luck to you! Just keep shooting, keep editing, and keep making new videos

I subscribed to his youtube channel so I’d find out about new videos, but I had no idea there would be anything more to it.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched his travel videos [walking through bat caves!], enjoying the editing, posted to facebook but not didn’t get much interest.

Yesterday, I got back from a weekend of work and saw a video he’d posted a few days earlier. It was a bit of a different vibe. This time, using basic CGI and narration, he beautifully explain the games we all played as a child.

I watched it, saw the double digits view count, thought, “ah, reddit might like that”, and posted it with a slightly provocative title to /r/videos.

It started rapidly gaining upvotes. I’ve seen how, on reddit at least, getting inertia, is important and so to be at 3-400 upvotes in less than an hour meant it was going to the front page. I messaged FollowTheFoot to tell him reddit loved him again and went to bed.

When I woke up, youtube was reporting that the video had about 30,000 views. Impressive I thought. Then I realised that that’s a good deal of inertia, and the video was probably going viral.

Waking up somewhere round the globe, FollowTheFoot messaged me:

Hey Tim, are you the Reddit OP? Thanks man! If you want, PM me your address and I’ll send you a unique postcard

A completely unnecessary,  but very touching gesture that I’ll be taking him up on – what an amazing lesson in how to be awesome on the internet! :)

The video has gone “full viral” now. The last time I checked, about 24 hours after posting, it had 500,000 views, had been covered by The Huffington Post, CBS, Gawker… all because last night, I thought, “ah, reddit might like that”.


Games We Play

Punk Rock and DIY Creativity :: Why John Robb is here

It’s funny, because I never thought really that punk rock would be something I’d feel apart of, but as John Robb explained in his talk at TEDxSalford, it’s very very different from the pop punk bands of my youth.

John Robb – Punk Rock and DIY Creativity

John blogs at LouderThanWar and tweets as JohnRobb77.