Thursday, October 3, 2013

How I got 2 million views on Youtube

This week one of my room mates asked which one of my video's had the most views on Youtube.  I told him, "besides 'Why Men and Women Can't be Friends?' this one."

I made this thing almost 3 years ago.  It had been awhile since I watched it, and in a way sorta forgot that it even existed.

I pondered about the journey I had making this video get so many views and becoming the 1st thing to pop up when you google, "Taylor Swift Enchanted Music Video."

A little background:  My friend wanted to be in a Taylor Swift Music Video.  We chose two songs from her new album that didn't already have music videos.  I was leaning towards "Back to December," because it was currently winter, and would fit the setting of the song, but I decided against it because I had a feeling that Taylor Swift would be releasing one soon.  I just had a gut feeling about that.  (about a month later, she released it.)

After writing, shooting, and editing the Enchanted music video, I could tell it had some potential, so I posted it on Youtube.

Here's the first week of search word analytics:

At the time Youtube was favoring "new" videos in it's searches.  So for 7 days my video was marked as new, and appeared on the first page of the search "Taylor Swift Enchanted" , and possibly on the first page of the search, "Taylor Swift" for a couple hours.  I got 1,500 views in one day!  I was excited! but my "new" status was on search results was expiring, and my views dropped to nearly zero.

Luckily by this time, the questionable service started kicking in.  I ordered a package that would give me 300 views per day for a month.

This is the trafic sources graph for the first month and a half.  The first green spike was from the "new" status searches that I was getting.  The next phase you see is the purple part.  That was my 'paid-for' views.

For about a week or so, most of the views I was getting were fake, but during this time, I was toying around with words in my description, tags, and the title of the video.

Youtube pulls words from your description, tags, and title to put it in certain searches, and to have the video appear in certain related videos.

So basically what I did, was I found the videos that I wanted my video to be next to, and I copied the tags, and the description, and put it into my own video.  A big keyword that would link my video to Taylor Swift's Back to December music video was this gem, "2011 Big Machine Records, LLC.

Incidentally, that helped relate the video to other T-Swift vids.

So, for awhile the fake views carried my video, so once my video started getting a couple thousand views, it gained more credibility, and ranked higher in searching and was seen in more related videos.

I was getting about a thousand views per day at this point, so I was getting excited about that.  I remember checking the stats every day, and modifying my tags and description frequently to have it be included in relevant but trending videos.

Little by little, it was getting more views per day.  The interesting thing is originally most my views were coming from youtube search, but eventually, related videos was by far my primary source.  About 8 months after I released it, the video had finally hit it's prime:

I was getting about 15,000 views per day, and as you can see, about 95 percent from related videos.  During that time, my video was sitting right next to 6 of Taylor Swift's official videos, and ironically enough, it was sitting right next to "Back to December" the video I was originally racing against.

Friday, September 20, 2013

George's Costanza's Million Dollar Iphone App is Actually Real

"Well it was more than a great idea, an iphone application that leads you by your GPS to the nearest acceptable toilet wherever you are in the world..." - Seinfeld

It was a funny joke for the Seinfeld reunion show,  to have George Costanza, the guy that can never catch a break, invent an app about one of his favorite things in the world, public toilets, make millions of dollars on it, and then lose it all in a ponzi scheme.  That story might not sound familiar to most of you guys, probably because most people don't realize that Seinfeld ever did a reunion show.  It's actually pretty funny!  Check it out HERE:

The ironic thing, is that very app that was only meant for a good laugh, is actually real!  Charmin made an app called "Sit or Squat" that does exactly as George's app did: it has a database of which toilets are good enough to sit on, and which ones you should probably avoid skin contact at all cost.

Don't believe me check it out here:

Anyone in the world can get the app and start rating the local toilets near them, and with everyone's help, we can make this world a better place, one toilet at a time.

What do you think?  Do you think this was a good marketing campaign for Charmin?  Leave a comment below.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Experience Going Viral

Sounds like some sort of plague that I contracted... but don't worry, I'm fine. Many of you have probably seen "Why Men and Women Can't be Friends."
I made that. It has 8.5 million views. Aren't I cool?

My friend Pat approached me one day and asked if I would help him shoot something for his english project.  The project was to make a video based off their persuasive paper.  His paper was called, "why men and women can't be friends."  He was writing on the topic because it was bothering him that his girlfriend was hanging out with these dudes, claiming that they're just her friends.  He argued that the only reason they're hanging around her is because they like her.  Ironically enough, I think she ended up marrying one of those, "Friends"  (don't quote me on that.)

Another fun fact, the girl who said she was just friends with "Taylor Mulford" ended up marrying him as well, just to further prove the case.

Well, we filmed it, and it went viral and it was crazy watching the numbers rise so fast.  We got interviewed by a bunch of people, including fox 13 which we gave the stipulation that we'd do it only if they said we were single.  So after they showed the interview, it cut back to the lead anchor, and he said, "by the way girls, they are both single..."  hilarious.

Ryan Seacrest and Ellen apparently even debated it on his show.  It had become a national and even somewhat of a global conversation, even spawning some real researchers to do thesis studies on the argument.

It was a pretty fun time for sure.  Interestingly enough, neither me or pat ever posted it on our facebook walls or promoted it one bit.  He just showed it to his english class, and they found it on youtube and started passing it around.

Just goes to show that it's all about creating great content.

Something I do regret from the experience is we didn't react quick enough.  We could have turned Pat into a youtube personality and made some good money, but we hesitated.  It took us a month before we released the second one, and by that point the buzz had died down.

A company gave us a free trip to Cabo under the stipulation that we made 4 videos for them.  We never really passed the videos around or shared them with anyone, because there was nothing in it for us if they did get more attention.

Since the video's never got much attention, I'm going to post them here for your viewing enjoyment.  Take care.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Facebook has grown us closer apart.

I joined Facebook back in Nov. of 2006 before 90 percent of you posers did. ;)  At the time it was still only allowed to college students.   I remember my friend asked me if I had Facebook, and I was like, “Face what?”  I had recently closed my Myspace account because of the ads on the side were slowly turning it into a soft porn website.  When I checked out Facebook, it was clean, it had a consistent feel across all the pages, and it was cool.

Back then it was simple.  You couldn't tag people in pictures or posts, there was no status updating, you couldn't comment on people’s posts, there was no news feed, it was just your wall, and your friend’s walls.
I remember posting stuff on people’s walls all the time, and people would post on mine, we’d have a conversation back and forth that a small group of our friends could also see.  If you weren't friends with both parties, you’d only see one side of the conversation.  We weren't worried about what we’d say, because it was just our friends.  You could say we were just socializing over a network.

I thought it would be interesting to show you guys what my wall looked like its first month compared to what it looks like now:

What did you notice?  I noticed that the messages were personalized to the person and addressed to them specifically, like a text message or a letter.  Back then, you couldn't comment on a post, and so the other half of the conversation was taking place on the other person’s wall.

Now let’s take a look at my wall this past month and try and see the difference:

There’s not one personalized message to me.  Facebook has become more of a way to share websites, videos, and pictures.  The messages that are written, aren't written to me specifically, they’re written to the world and just happen to include me in it.  This is the trend I've been noticing.
Facebook has become a lot less personable. 

At first it was a way to connect you to your friends that you might not see so much, but what’s the point of being connected if you never actually talk with each other.  Sure, you might be aware what the other person is up to based on what they’re posting, but you’re not aware that the other person is aware of what you’re up to.  You follow me? 

Friendships aren’t built or strengthened simply on seeing what’s going on from a telescope view.  It takes an active role to reach out to each other, but since you both feel like you’re aware of what the other person is doing, and you occasionally hit like on their stuff, neither of you take the time to actually communicate directly to each other.  You just post stuff, and send it out to the world.

That’s how Facebook has given us a false sense of closeness, but has subtly drifted us apart.