In Case You Missed It


The Real World?
November 19, 2009, 8:40 pm
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Today there are many instances where people take things that happen on the Internet, radio or television a little bit too far, and it starts to effect life in “the real world”. I’m told it is this magical place where people interact on a human level, completely devoid of technology. Hmm, if only.

One such example involves something I have already blogged a little bit too much about, Tumblr. I only bring it up again because yesterday, someone proposed, via Tumblr. Yes, PROPOSED. Their proposal was posted in banner form above the Tumblr log-in where every user could see it. I snapped a photo for your viewing pleasure.

There were many, many posts about this on Tumblr after it happened. And just as many people found it adorable as found it atrocious. Propose over the Internet? What kind of memory of the proposal does that leave you with? How will you describe it to your Grandkids? They probably won’t even know what a Tumblr is. And I must say, I agree. While I give this dude points for being creative, it is a little creepy to propose over the Internet.

Secondly, I wanted to discuss an article I found in The New York Times the other day about the advertising company McCann Erickson. This real-life company has been name dropped on the hit AMC show Mad Men and, SPOILER ALERT: in the season finale last week, the fictional advertising company in the show, Sterling Cooper, is revealed to have been bought out by McCann, against the will of Sterling Cooper’s employees. And thus, for this week only, McCann’s website features an intro with the show’s characters talking about the merger and then is concluded with a banner reading “Welcome, Sterling Cooper.” Check it out now, it is only up on the site for a week!

I find this kind of integration of television to a real world company a bit more understandable than the Internet proposal, almost cute and kitschy in a way, as if to say, “Yes, we can have a good time and poke a little fun at ourselves and the TV show we have been mentioned on,” but it still doesn’t completely fit this serious advertiser’s model. What about clients who don’t watch the show and see it? Won’t this just seem a bit out of place? Does this kind of media placement mean we should all be paying a lot more attention to hit TV so we can feel more in the loop, more than we already do, when even advertising company conglomerates are using it regularly? Hmm.



Mashapalooza.
November 15, 2009, 8:49 pm
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When it comes to music, we all have those tried-and-true songs we love to listen to as we get ready to go out for the night, or the ones we squeal giddily to when a DJ spins them on. But one of the great things about recent technology is that almost anyone can become a DJ–and a pretty decent one, at that–by being able to create song mash-ups. Now while this post isn’t directly about the Internet, I definitely think song mash-ups are a crazy phenomenon that certainly only spread through viral videos and the Internet, otherwise you would only hear such mixing if you went to see a professional DJ at a bar or club.

I mean, look at Girl Talk. He had a nine-to-five job as an engineer but was able to quit his job in 2007 to become a professional DJ and tour around the world. And he also allowed fans to buy his 2008 album, Feed The Animals, online for any price they were willing to pay, a la Radiohead.

Girl Talk aside (Although you should DEFINITELY check him out if you haven’t heard of him, seriously) I am posting today some common mash-ups of Top 40 songs that we all know, so that you can recognize how badass the mash-up is in action. The first is a combo of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” I felt this one was important to include because “Rick Rolling” is also a viral video that took off a couple years back online, and so I thought this would pay homage to that.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Another mash-up I liked and thought was worth adding was Biggie Smalls’ “Party and Bullshit” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The U.S.A.” I like this mash-up becuase…well, of any two artists you could try to get to do a duo, Biggie and Miley would be the least likely. And not even just becuase Biggie is dead…it would just NEVER happen.
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And last but not least I included a mash-up of Black Eyed Peas’ “Lady Lumps” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” just because this seems like a classic club mash-up that I could see being played at any bar in any college town, including ours. Enjoy!
Vodpod videos no longer available.


The Decade in 7 Minutes
November 11, 2009, 12:44 am
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A lot of Internet videos like this mock goofy trends or memes, but I enjoyed finding one on the political as well as social climate. As it is titled, this video re-caps the entire past decade in seven minutes.

I’m not even going to get into how weird it is that 2000 was ten years ago (eek!) but watching this video was interesting because it reminded me a lot of news items I had forgotten about (oh hai, elian gonzalez!) and also linked events that couldn’t have been predicted would link up when they were happening (various events about the Iraqi war, for example.)

So while I know a seven minute video is close to the edge of being a little too long and not holding people’s interest, I suggest you stick it out for this one, as it is creative as well as informative!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Decade in 7 Minutes“, posted with vodpod

 



People of Wal-Mart.
November 8, 2009, 10:49 pm
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Retro Wal-Mart logo. ROFL.

 

Well well well. We all complain about WalMart, what it does to America, even what it does in our small town of Athens. In terms of the Internet this is also certainly the case. There are plenty of sites opposing Wal-Mart and its politics and policies, including Wal-Mart Watch which often criticizes how the lower level employees of Wal-Mart are treated, and Michael Moore also criticizes the extremely small amount of health insurance money loyal Wal-Mart employees’ family members receive in the event of their death in his newest film, Capitalism: A Love Story.

But, today let’s look at Wal-Mart on a lighter side, shall we? On the site People of Wal-Mart, pictures are posted of the shoppers of Wal-Mart in (let’s just say it) ugly, ugly clothes. Just started in August of this year, this site just likes to post funny photos of people in Wal-Mart, plain and simple! As the site’s “About” section states, it is all in good, light-hearted fun. Since Wal-Mart is open 24 hours, people come in at all hours and at various states of cleanliness and decency. Perhaps it will make you take an extra second before you go on a Wal-Mart run…they might catch you on camera! Check it out and have a giggle.



I Think I’ve Cracked.
November 8, 2009, 10:12 pm
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any of the other sites that I have spoken of on this blog are about specific niche subjects that do not even have any real content of substance, per say, but just goofy little mini posts, really. That changes this, however, with a hilarious site I have come across, Cracked.com. Cracked doesn’t have just one specific function but posts many different kinds of goofy content, including articles, videos, columns from columnists, Craptions, which are pictures with silly reader-assigned captions tagged onto different pictures and forums for readers to sound off.One article currently on the site’s homepage that I really enjoyed reading was “6 Movie Plots Made Possible By Bafflingly Bad Decisions”. My Dad and I constantly watch movies together and say “That wouldn’t happen!” all the time, so such an article made me chuckle right from the title. My personal favorite is the King Kong one…I mean, it is SO preposterous that a humongous gorilla monster would be brought over on a boat to America by mistake!

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In terms of video, I found this one on the site called “8 ‘Adorable’ Videos That Qualify as Animal Cruelty” which sarcastically chronicles how ridiculous it is that people essentially mock and in some cases, nearly harm their pets just for a funny video or joke. It also works in perfectly with the theme of this blog, and while there are a lot of viral animal videos I haven’t really touched on many of them yet, so this is a good time to show some.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “I Think I’ve Cracked.“, posted with vodpod
This entire site embodies a lot of what viral Internet content is about…mocking ourselves, our peers and our culture. These are just two small articles, so please browse the whole site, I’m certain you can’t go without finding something that makes you laugh! I now leave you with a Craption. Enjoy.

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Imgur creator and OU Student, Alan Schaaf Can Do (And Program) It All
November 8, 2009, 7:06 pm
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Being tech savvy is something we all would ideally like to be and often aspire to work toward (cough cough, me having this homely blog) but some people out there really make it happen. One such person is Alan Schaaf, an Ohio University senior. Pretty much always known as a technologically-apt dude, Alan really kicked things off last year when he created his own photo hosting site, Imgur. But of course, every such project starts with humble beginnings.

“In high school I was involved in this computer club/tech support thing,” Alan told me, as he explained how he first got into technology. “They didn’t actually have a full time tech person to work in all the labs and stuff, and so they got students to do it and so that is where I met a lot of tech friends. One person would make something cool and everyone else would want to beat them…sort of a competition going on there, but no one said anything about it. Once I got better my mom referred me to a couple of her business friends and I would create websites for their businesses, but I didn’t really like doing freelance web design because you are working for a client, and my hobby turned into work.”

But Alan continued to freelance until his sophomore year of college when he then focused more time on schoolwork and internet radio station ACRN, aka the All Campus Radio Network, where Alan hosts the radio show Tech Talk. He also recently re-designed the station’s website to include all kinds of multimedia and music content. But those hobbies alone only lasted until junior year, when school itself just got boring.

“The idea [for Imgur] popped into my head last winter quarter,” Alan said. “I was in this class, Anthropology 101, and it was the most boring thing ever. I would sit there and try to think of something to do and I started drawing designs on paper for a new website. And then I would work on it whenever I had a chance; it took me two months to actually get [Imgur] up and running. “

And out of sheer boredom, Imgur was born. Once Alan did get it up and running, he posted it to the user-generated news link site, Reddit. Its own mini online community, Reddit users liked Alan’s site and gave him helpful feedback on it.

“These sites are a big part of things going viral on the Internet,” Alan said. “You post something to a forum, like I posted my website onto Reddit, and everyone really enjoyed it. Once I realized how many people liked it and I realized there is a need for this kind of thing, I really got to work on it.”

That was at the end of last year’s winter quarter, and ever since then Alan dedicates a lot of time and money to Imgur…especially money.

“It originally started that I didn’t want ads, but then the reality set in that it was costing me money every month, so I had to put ads on there,” Alan said. “And since Reddit is more of a community than a place to submit links, people were giving me suggestions on how to do it and I followed what they said, so it is some thing everyone likes…but I was completely surprised at how well it did, just like everything that goes viral on the Internet.”

And Alan definitely realized how viral Imgur had become when the Comedy Central television show Tosh.0 posted an online interview with Alan about Imgur on their site…well, sort of.

“They didn’t even ask me to do that interview, or tell me about it afterward,” Alan revealed to me. “I just googled Imgur one day out of boredom and found it up there. I think Imgur is really transparent in what I do and what all goes into the site is mostly all through Reddit. That’s how the Tosh.0 thing started I guess, and that’s where he got all those quotes from and stuff.”

But aside from Comedy Central, Alan did have some real interviews—job interviews, that is—with Google and Facebook. While both interviews seemed okay, Alan explained that he would really rather just have Imgur be his job after graduation, and considers it a real possibility, considering that Imgur is one of the top 700 websites in the world based on traffic.

“Just based on that traffic rate I know I can make money off of it,” Alan said. “I’m not exactly sure how right now, but I know I can do it. People ask me to join their start-ups all the time, but I just want to work on Imgur, move to California and buy a sailboat. You can totally come party on my sailboat, Kelly.”

Hmm, graduate college and then go party on Alan Schaaf’s sailboat? I may just have to take him up on that.

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Alan Schaaf: Mild mannered student by day, Imgur mastermind by night.



Tumblr.
November 2, 2009, 3:00 am
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Of all of the social networking sites, Tumblr is one of the newest and most visually appealing, emphasizing image over text. Similar to the News Feed and live updates posted on Facebook, Tumblr has a “Dashboard” which blogrolls up-to-the-minute content from everyone that a specific user is subscribed to. Considering my last post was about all of the different viral and social networking sites, the thing I would like to point out that is especially handy and above par for Tumblr is that within Tumblr a person can subscribe to the Tumblrs of such viral sites, thus getting their content without even leaving Tumblr. This is an excellent marketing and branding tool on Tumblr’s part. For example, there is a Tumblr specifically for TXTSFRMLSTNGHT, FML and many others. There are also certain Tumblrs that have gained notoriety through Tumblr themselves, even if they do have an outside site. One such example is Wordboner, a site that creates witty sayings and graphics that can be ordered on posters and t-shirts. But without these sayings getting a presence in the Tumblr blogroll for those that follow them, it is pretty safe to say that they would have a lot less web traffic.

And so it is with this that I encourage all of you to get a Tumblr, if not for the constant narcissistic updates you can post about yourself, your daily life and your friends, but so that you can read the constant updates, funny pictures and latest Internet memes of others! And once you get started, start to follow me! My Tumblr is here.

Let me know what you think, I certainly enjoy (perhaps overindulge would be a better word) in the Tumblr world myself.