YouTube Prankster, Edbassmaster, Debuts Television Show

YouTube comedian and prankster, Ed Bassmaster, is debuting his new TV show on CMT this week.

Another YouTuber is moving to mainstream with “The Ed Bassmaster Show” premiering on Country Music Television (CMT) this Thursday, April 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Bassmaster is a YouTube comedian and prankster from Philadelphia, and has garnered a half-billion YouTube views featuring his alter egos like Skippy (the lovable yet annoying nerd who oversteps boundaries), Mumbles (unintelligible accent) and Teste (his low-IQ Philly cross-eyed dude).

Skippy is one of the dozens of freakishy funny characters played by Ed Bassmaster
Skippy is one of the dozens of freakishly funny characters played by Ed Bassmaster

Click to see the very funny trailer for the new Viacom show, which is produced by the folks who launched MTV hits like “Teen Wolf,” “Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life” and “The Andy Milonakis Show.”

This is one funny bastard and one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in the YouTube community. Nalts met the fellow prankster back in 2007, soon after he parodied me in a video. He later joined me in the YouTube Presidency as my VP running mate (or I might have ditched him for Winekone; I can’t be sure). And while shooting a documentary with Shaycarl at my house, we pranked him and watched him eat a worm. But few things amuse me more than the video he made of us called “Nalts Likes Dogs.” Feel free to sing along.

This article in the Guardian provides plenty more examples of how YouTubers are moving beyond the video-sharing site into television and film. It’s nice to see it happening to a humble and hysterical guy.

My new blog with fascinating lists with 7 items every time

So I realize that sometimes I use this blog (historically focused on the topic of online-video creation, marketing and profitability).

So against every rule of conventional wisdom I’m doing a spinoff blog. It’s called “Sevenofthe,” or “Seven of the…” and the idea is for quirky, interesting and informative lists of 7 random things. You’re supposed to add yours and if they’re awesome additions I’ll add them as “extras from commenters.”

Common by!

Nalts 2015-12-07 at 6.02.36 AM

The “Engrish Owner’s Manual” for Self-Balancing Scooters

hoverboard 2015
Don’t let the child contact with animal cells

Last week I wrote about our new hoverboard and gave you some tips to find the best one for the least money. Now that I’ve had a chance to acclimate myself to it, I thought it would be a good chance to read the owner’s manual. Typically I don’t notice owner’s manuals until I find them in a closet and realize I’ve long since discarded the thing it describes.

“Charging mouth moist, don’t charge”

Well this one has some fun Engrish happening. I like to imagine that there’s this little boutique translation firm in China that represents itself as conversant in English, and nobody at these Chinese manufacturers has any reason to doubt its proficiency. Then this boutique, absent anyone who speaks or writes English, uses Google translate and hopes for the best.

Top 10 Engrish instructions in owner’s manual of Main MianShu drifting scooter

  1. WARNING: More than make you are in danger of falling weight
  2. When the Speed is greater than the specified speed, drifting scooter up, cock to limit speed within the safe speed.
  3. Using intelligent ticket I car security related matters need attention.
  4. You can learn driving in different terrain must slow down in case of unfamiliar terrain. Any time can’t let drifting scooter off the ground [WVFF note: that kinda sucks because I bought the hover board to fly over lakes to escape Biff).
  5. Has a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and lack ego to protect consciousness of the old man hands the inconvenience banned driving.
  6. Do not allow the wet in the rain road, long distance driving backwards, high-speed, high-speed decay, speeding drifting scooter turn back.
  7. Design, test, or is not present in the personal transport related proof method and equipment for the medical safety, so the user must use drifting scooter without external force.
  8. Don’t let the child contact with animal cells.
  9. If you insist on driving at this time, damage is very easy to fall down, at the same time also can affect the service life of batteries.
  10. Charging mouth moist, don’t charge
Engrish warnings in the Chinese owner's manual for hoverboard electronic self-balancing scooters
Engrish warnings in the Chinese owner’s manual for hoverboard electronic self-balancing scooters

Nalts 2015-09-16 at 5.48.44 AM

Review of Self-Balancing Electric Scooters 2015-2016: Everything You Need to Know

Which self-balancing electronic scooter (cheap Segway hands free Hoverboard) should you buy? Here are 9 frequently asked questions- and They’re all from the same manufacturer, so select yours based on the price, shipping time, and seller trust.

hoverboard 2015
Charlie is 11 and is handling the self-balancing scooter well, but I’d be careful about kids under 14. As of this writing, Charlie’s hover board has not caught the house on fire.

January 2016 update: This blog post reviewing hover boards apparently filled a void: traffic to this “everything you need to know about hover boards” article has been insane! But a lot has changed in the past 45 days…

The bad news: in min December Amazon discontinued most models of the hover boards due to manufacturing problems causing batteries to overheat and even catch on fire. So buyer beware. This killed our US access to a lot of the low-cost models, and hover boards are not sold yet by traditional US distributors like Walmart, Kmart, Target, ToysRUs,

The good news: some manufacturers have convinced Amazon they are selling safe models. Here is one called “3rd Generation Smart Balance Intelligent Personal Mobility Device.” Here is another but only in white. Also some good long-term news Razor scooters bought the US patent so that company may eventually have a quasi monopoly on these, and that means higher prices. I can’t recommend a Razor yet because of the poor reviews.

 

Okay nowwww back to the original post with those edits:

The hot seller for Christmas 2015 was the new self-balancing 2-wheel electric scooters (also called incorrectly a hands-free Segway, razor skooters or hoverboard).

They sold like Heelys in the early 2000s. It takes maybe 5 minutes to learn if you’re mildly coordinated (so it took me 10). My four kids picked it up WAY more quickly than my coworkers.

Here’s what’s fascinating. These Segway-like handle-bar free scooters are getting tons of news coverage because celebrities and YouTubers are cruising around on them. But journalists are missing a vital piece of the story… they’re all made by the same dang Chinese manufacturer yet they have various brand/labels and range in price from about $300 to $1000. 

I’m writing this post because it’s really hard to find accurate, comprehensive review information or where to buy the best one for the best price. So in this post you’ll find:

Review of self balancing electric scooter and where to buy least expensive best one
Which self balancing electric scooter should you buy? Regardless of the brand name, they are all the same. So buy via trusted seller (like Amazon), and choose based on the price and shipping time (as well as Amazon ratings)

Now, dear reader, here are the 9 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) I would have liked answered before I purchased one:
Which to buy.

  1. Which self balancing electric scooter brand should I buy?

Good news. It doesn’t matter! Here is one I found on Amazon but they’re really hard to find right now. They’re almost all still from the exact same manufacturer in China (wholesale prices vary by the lot, but I’ve seen them for around $200). Look at the images and you’ll see they’re all the same except for the names splattered on them like eRover, PhunkeeDuck, IO Hawk, Oxboard, Cyboard, Scoot, Future Foot, Monorover, Airboard, Freego, Esway, Airwheel, iEZWay, Overoad. I don’t think Razor makes one and they’re not Segway brands even though people think they are. So buy on price, shipping speed and from a seller you trust. A lot of them are on backorder and can take a month to arrive. I see some are buying from Ali baba or express or whatever, but I’m nervous about that.
Where to Get Deal.

2. Where can I buy the scooter for the lowest price?

Per above, Amazon has a lot and here are the most popular self-balancing scooters they sell. Unfortunately, toy or major retailers (Walmart, Target, ToysRus, Kmart) don’t seem to have them yet. And even when they do they’re likely to mark it up significantly. For instance, if they purchased from wholesale at $200, they’d likely retail it for $400. You’d be getting the same thing (but you would be able to return it to the store, which would be convenient). Again- you can try Ali Express but I don’t know them. Here is the only one I could find on Amazon as of April 2015.

3. Tips if you decide to buy via on Amazon:

  1. Don’t be deceived by the price and Prime shipping. Sometimes the seller will provide a nice starting price and a range, where only one color will be low priced and Prime.
  2. I would hesitate buying one that doesn’t have a lot of ratings yet. If you’re really cautious, then you find one that has good shipping and price, and sort comments by four-star ratings (If someone’s faking positive reviews they usually rate 5, and 4-stars tend to be more objective).
  3. But here’s what’s important- Ignore any product-specific comments unless they’re many product problems since they’re all the same products. Instead look for notes about shipping or service or refunds.
  4. Consider the extra protection warrantee from a separate seller (I got the SquareTrade 2-year protection plan but I’ve never used them…. I just liked the idea of not having a hassle on replacements (and hopefully they don’t first force me to deal with the manufacturer).

4. Will it break? Will it have money back warrantee ?

Most online reviews are positive, but I’ve seen a number of reports that suggest the Chinese quality-control leaves something to be desired. Some comments indicate they do break, batteries die, and sometimes the battery burns. For less than $25 I bought a Square Trade protection plan that covers up to $349.99, and I hope that’s my backup if it fails. You buy this protection plan separately not from the manufacturer and to active it, you send the receipt to them via email. I expect to use it so I’ll update this post if I have problems. I do not recommend trusting the seller to take a return or honor any manufacturer warrantee.

5. How do I learn to use it? Is it safe?

Here’s a nice tutorial video on how to learn it. Here are the basics:

  1. You  step on it one foot at a time, but quickly (using a wall for support).
  2. Then you lean forward as if you’re going to fall over and you need to trust it.
  3. If you start to compensate your balance as you instinctively will you’ll get unstable… because it’s doing the same thing.
  4. Don’t tilt your feet forward like you’re pressing a pedal. Lean forward like you want to drop to a pushup. The more you do this, the faster you go.
  5. Turning is totally intuitive,  and you can spin around almost effortlessly.

Here’s me trying it out at work yesterday

In about 10 minutes I was cruising confidently in the hallway of my office...
In about 10 minutes I was cruising confidently in the hallway of my office…

But BE WARNED. It’s deceptively dangerous, so take precaution and use helmets. One of sons took a major spill while I was typing this, and he’s down on the ground with ice on his back.

Update January 2015: The discounted models referenced in this report apparently are not safe, so I’ve stripped out the links. I still own my two and we only charge it while monitoring them. But there have been reports of fires, and this has crushed the entire Chinese market for cheap ones that may violate patents. I’m quite confident the news has been overplayed by business interests, but it’s still a major “buyers beware.”

6. How long does it take to charge and how long will it last?

The online reports say it charges in an hour or two, and can go about 10-15 miles on a single charge.

7. How fast does it go?

It will go 4-6 miles per hour and it beeps when it’s maxed. That’s about the speed of a normal jog… it moves quick so ride carefully especially when stopping abruptly, turning or hitting bumps.

8. How heavy and big is the scooter?

It’s about 25 pounds, so it’s heavier than it looks. The length is 23 inches and the width about 8 inches. The stability means that it can carry up to 220 pounds.

It's about 25 pounds. And the length is 23 inches with a width of 8 inches
It’s about 25 pounds. And the length is 23 inches with a width of 8 inches

9. On what surfaces can I ride it?

It works great indoors or on carpet, but it can handle well paved driveways, streets or sidewalks. Watch out for bumps or curbs!

Here’s a nice review video that summarizes a lot of this.

Which electric scooter should you buy for the best deal?
Which self balancing electric scooter should you buy? The cheap one!

Specifications on mine: It’s about 25 pounds and can allegedly run up to 10-15 miles per hour. The wheels are rubber so they won’t go flat. The  charger voltage: 100-240v. Battery: 36V 4 4Ah Lithium Battery Dimension: 584 186 178 mm (23 inches by 8 inches).

 

Free Royalty-Free Children’s Musical Script

Free script for musical theater with no royalties. It’s a play for children’s theater ages 11-15 and is one hour long. Songs are not mine to license, and some characters are copyrighted by respective owners.

We just performed “Land of the Lost Stories,” a one-hour children’s musical I wrote and my wife Jo directs. Part of the reason I write the annual children’s’ production for Philips Mill Community Center (New Hope, PA) is the cost of licensing children’s plays can be cost-prohibitive for community theater.  So I’m posting this script for people to use for free – without royalties (not music/characters per below).

The story is about technology preventing kids from reading classic children’s stories, so the story characters are discarded onto an island where they long to return to the “hearts and minds” of kids.

Charlie Nalty was Harold (from Harold the Purple Crayon). Here's Dorothy, Glinda, Harold, Fozzie, Flat Stanley and (uncostumed) Humpty Dumpty
Charlie Nalty was Harold (from Harold the Purple Crayon). Here’s Dorothy, Glinda, Harold, Fozzie, Flat Stanley and (uncostumed) Humpty Dumpty

The music is from other broadway shows and pop songs, and some lyrics are adapted. Note: I don’t have rights to these songs, but the instrumentals/karaoke songs can be found online. While many of the characters are public domain (because their rights have expired) some may be protected.

The plot is designed to give each actor in the cast a chance to play a well-known characters like: Goldilocks, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Humpty Dumpty, Flat Stanley, Mother Goose, Princess Andapee (Princess and the Pea), Harold (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Fozzie Bear, Tinkerbell, Dorothy and Glinda (Wizard of Oz), and Jack (Jack and the Beanstalk),

Grant Nalty (my son) as Winnie the Pooh with Jada Reichwein as Red Riding Hood
Grant Nalty (my son) as Winnie the Pooh with Jada Reichwein as Red Riding Hoo Prince Charming, Pinocchio, Little Bo Peep.

There’s a twist at the end, where we discover that the jailers of the island are actually Winnie the Pooh and Tiger in disguise.

So the story, not music or characters, are available via the Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.” Here’s a link to the script… I hope schools and community theater decide to use it because I’d love to see it! Let me know!

Why Stores May Want to Permit Video Recording

Sure, there are downsides to letting customers roam your store with a camera (I’ve certainly been spanked on that front, like when I shot “Mall Pranks.”

Roaming customer cameras can reveal something that creates bad press (like employees showing poor customer support), and it probably makes other shoppers uncomfortable.

Clay Shelburn & Zac Stokes- Walmart Rockstars - Pride and Joy
Clay Shelburn & Zac Stokes- Walmart Rockstars – Pride and Joy

But there are cases where it’s good to give the store some judgement. And here’s one that’s going a bit viral… Two guys cranking the blues at Walmart with kids instruments.

Meet Clay Shelburn & Zac Stokes, self proclaimed “Walmart Rockstars” singing “Pride and Joy.

 

Is Dennis Quaid “Dopey the Dick” Rant Real? Yes.

Is the Dennis Quaid rant of 2015 real or not? I’m calling the “dopey the dick” tirade a real one, and here are 5 reasons.

I believe the Dennis Quaid "Dopey the Dick" rant is real.
I believe the Dennis Quaid “Dopey the Dick” rant is real.

Is the Dennis Quaid “Dopey the Dick” rant a viral stunt or authentic rage moment? Today’s video shows a rage that rivals Christian Bale’s temper tantrum from 2008.

So it’s time for another “is it real or not” analysis on a “candid” or “staged” video. I’m only right 84.5% of the time, but I’m going with REAL.  What follows are the highlights, why you think it’s real, and 5 reasons why I don’t.

For a spontaneous rant, it’s some damned good scripting. Here are the highlights:

  • DOPEY the DICK starts whispering in your ear
  • Don’t fucking “Dennis” me!
  • This is the most unprofessional set I have ever been on
  • This is horse shit
  • Zombies over here that I have to look at
  • a bunch of pussies staring at me
  • and this fucking baby

Here’s why people may think it’s fake:

  • We’re increasingly skeptical of these impromptu moments.
  • He’s allegedly filming a movie about a slimy auction houses so it could be a promotion stunt.
  • The camera is very visible. You would expect someone on the set to be WAY more discrete about capturing a moment this sensitive.
  • Quaid is an actor, and he’s done little stunts with Ellen. It’s always possible it’s a Jimmy Kimmel twerk trick of 2013.

But I still think it’s real. And here’s why:

  1. The video starts late and gets dropped at just the right time. There’s a fierceness to his rage that seems sincere
  2. His voice cadence is not dynamic, and the volume comes from his chest, neck and mouth rather than abdomen. I would expect an actor to project from his diaphragm and would provide more range in delivery.
  3. He’s not THAT good of an actor (two words: Parent Trap).
  4. He and his agent would not likely agree to a stunt like this because even if it’s a hoax it harms his reputation.
  5. If it was a stunt, it would be “leaked” closer to the release date of the film.

Apparently Quaid isn’t commenting about it. What do you think?

Nationwide Dead-Boy Commercial (Memes)

Memes for dead kid from Nationwide commercial in Superbowl 2015

Nationwide pulled a “Debby Downer” during last night’s Superbowl, and the ad went over like an ISIS beheading at a Circus. Here’s the commercial, titled “Boy.”

Here are a few of my favorite memes. Yours?

nationwide, dead, boy, kid, superbowl, ad, commercial, memes
Nationwide dead boy memes

Idiot & Cheapskate’s Guide to Automating Your House (DIY SmartHome Hubs Controlled via Phone)

When I was a kid, I had this vision for my home that included automated everything — from lighting to blinds. Until last night, it was theoretical. Now I can turn off lamps from various rooms… from an Android or iPhone, even when I’m not in the house. It’s a start. And this morning when I got to work, I had the joy of toggling the lights from my phone to freak out WifeofNalts.

Let me warn you that we’re in an odd point of home-automation maturity. We’re moving beyond the era where it was reserved for the wealthy or techno elite. But it’s definitely not ready for prime time, and requires more patience and experimentation than I’d like… but such is the cost of being an early adopter, right?

My entry into “Smart Home Land” set me back only about $125: just $50 for a Wink hub (less if you buy it with add-ons) and about $75 for a bunch of GE Link lightbulbs (get the six pack). And I’ve got a plan for growing into additional functionality like remote monitors, appliance device on/off, security/alarms and broader control of lighting without doing the nightly sweep of 50 light switches. I can’t yet spring for the Nest, which is the connected thermostat that is the best-selling in its class. Honeywell and Lux fell asleep at the wheel.

Let me cut to wide shot and tell you about your options to entering “Smart Home Land.” Home automation was once reserved to the elite and wealthy, and required a special contractor and installation. Now you can pick up a hub and some $50-$150 add-ons and do-it-yourself quickly. I’m not going to get into the really nerdy hacks, but there are plenty of forums that can teach you to customize these beyond what the manufacturers specify or even offer.

There are too many options and a shake-down is looming. There’s Belkin Wemo, Phillips Hue, Quirky Wink, GE Link, Staples Connect, Harmony, Insteon, Lutron, Revolv, Smart Things. Overwhelmed yet? Here’s a review of some of them if you want to get into the weeds.

Let’s cut to your basic entry options, and then I’ll tell you why I started with the cheap, flawed but Swiss Army Knife option called Wink… note that I’m favoring options that don’t require ugly remotes or special displays. We’ll use our iPhones and Androids, thank you very much.

Which smart-home system offers the best flexibility at the best price?
Which smart-home system offers the best flexibility at the best price?
  1. Belkin has a Wemo switch that is a best-seller on Amazon and an easy place to dabble since it’s only $40. It uses your wifi and allows you to control any appliance via your Android/iPhone (just plug appliance into the Wemo, and the Wemo into your outlet. You can add on lots of additional options via Amazon or Home Depot. And if you’re all about lighting, you can get a Belkin Wemo starter kit for $85 that comes with a little hub and two lights… nice dorm room gift for that college techno kid. But I don’t see Wemo as a serious player.
  2. Then there are the lighting-specific solutions: Phillips answer to lighting customization: the Phillips Hue, which comes with a ton of different lighting options. The starter kit will set you back $188 and the individual lights get pretty expensive. Phillips Hue is generally cost-prohibitive except for those elite wealthy who might as well higher a contractor. But Home Depot has a decent spread of expensive lights so I imagine Phillips will be a formidable player. For those without excessive cash, the GE Links are better (you can also get these at Home Depot).
  3. There are a few other hubs that I didn’t look at closely. A cool-looking Revolv smart-home automation system (now part of Nest, the Google thermostat). Haven’t seen Revolv as a player yet. There’s Staples Connect (with Linksys), which is decent player and one that will likely survive the consolidation because Linksys and Staples are serious individual players. And the Smart Things Starter kit, which seems fairly comprehensive and has the best Amazon ratings… but is $300.
  4. And there are loads of home security devices, but I’m not writing about those.
  5. And the winner/wiener is… Wink hub despite some seriously negative reviews (including my own). Setup is torture (40 minutes of trial/error), but adding GE Link bulbs was as easy as screwing in bulbs and naming them. I can’t speak yet to the pain/joy of adding things beyond GE Link bulbs, but that alone made it worth the trivial entry cost of $50.

 

wink compatible products
Wink’s interface allows you to connect with a bunch of devices from other manufacturers

Wink is the buggy but poor-man’s Switzerland of all these home automation standards and devices. It has built-in support for Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lutron ClearConnect, and Kidde. It also handles Phillips Hue (with some limitations) and works like a breeze with GE Link bulbs. I also like that Wink is a product of Quirky/GE, which gives inventors a chance to manufacturer ideas.

Once you have a hub and suffer through setup, you can add all kinds of things: alarms (Kidde/Nest), blinds (Bali/Lutron/ZWave), cameras (Dropcam), weird things from Quirky, garage doors (Chamberlain and Quirky/GE), heating and cooling (Honeywell, Nest, Zwave, Quirky/GE), lawn/patio, kitchen, door and window locks, and general appliances via a power plug that accommodates two different plugs that can be controlled separately (the other two are just plain extension plugs). Warning- that power plug got absolutely hosed on Amazon comments and it’s clearly flawed.

We’re still a few years before this stuff becomes more mainstream, but it’s nice that it’s become somewhat affordable and I like that you can experiment with different components to see what’s worthwhile.

Have you tried any of these? Would love your experience and “watch outs.”

Why Did ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Go Viral? 7 Good Reasons.

Why did the ALS cold water, ice bucket challenge go viral? Secrets revealed.

Models doing ice bucket challenge
Models doing ice bucket challenge

At this moment, marketers around the world are trying to replicate what has happened with the ALS ice-bucket challenge. See the ALS Association website (news) if you’ve somehow missed this unplanned viral campaign that’s exploding from celebrities and your community.

First some context. Few knew until now, but ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It was brought to attention by major league baseball player Lou Gerhig (whose name is synonymous with the disease). I’m happy for ALS because it’s getting the awareness and discussion otherwise reserved for breast cancer.

The ice-bucket challenge isn’t new, but the ALS angle seems to originate as follows: a golf trainer challenged a Sarasota NY professional golfer, Chris Kennedy, to dump a bucket of ice water on his head AND choose a charity to support. In mid-July he took the offer, and chose the ALS because his wife’s cousin has it.

So how did it go viral?

Based on my experience as a “Viral Video Genius,” I’ll now outline seven of the reasons this ALS cold-water challenge has caught fire. Let me confess that while I’m thrilled for ALS awareness, I’m also burnt out on the ice-bucket challenge. I kinda throw up in my mouth when I hear “I nominate…” soon followed by a giggling scream. But please feel free to enjoy the blooper reel: ALS ice-bucket fail compilation video I created. It’s been seen about 75,000 times.

I’ve also provided some examples below to underscore my theories, which are, of course, highly credible since I’m a viral author. So now you’ll sound very sophisticated when you analyze the ice-bucket campaign at work, home and with friends.

  1. als, viral, challenge, secret, why, how
    Why did the ALS ice-bucket, cold water challenge go viral? Easy, timebound, personalized, exponential and charitable.

    It’s one-to-one and exponential. Each person names 3 people they know, so if just half (1.5) of those people respond, it spreads extremely quickly. “Tagging” a person in a video has worked before. Remember naked vlog tag from 2008

  2. Let's just hope that other charitable efforts don't reuse the "ice bucket" like they did with Livestrong bracelets
    Let’s just hope that other charitable efforts don’t reuse the “ice bucket” like they did with Livestrong bracelets

    It’s charitable not commercial. Of course it doesn’t matter what charity has benefited, because it’s unlikely that the majority of this was motivated by a personal connection to ALS. Charitable efforts go viral because they appeal to our generosity (and our desire for recognition of said generosity). Think about the explosive impact of the Hank and John Green (Vlogbrothers) Project for Awesome. If it was breast cancer, we’d have seen this go further. Of course it can’t work for another charity now. Find something new, folks. Don’t pull a “Livestrong Rip” on this.

  3. It’s time bound. The “24 hour” plea is a vital ingredient. That forces the recipient to act or not act. And guilt prevents the latter. These things need to be fast to work, and we know quickly if it’s a success. Think Kony 2012 (Feb 2012 through April 2012), which lasted about 3 months and was forgotten.
  4. Participation is formulaic. People like to join these types of games if the assignment is easy. That’s why the Harlem Shake took off… it was a very short, simple formula that almost anyone could replicate. Do you remember the Chicken Soup dance? Same idea.
  5. It’s easy. With the proliferation of video-enabled smart phones, no editing is required. That factor isn’t exclusive to this challenge, but certainly enables participation by the unwashed masses (instead of elite web or online-video junkies). It’s like a video meme we can all join.
  6. It’s a visceral, visual stunt. Same idea as Gangnam Style, but you don’t need skills.
  7. We like modest pain. It shows our courage and discipline. Remember the cinnamon challenge? I did a “double dog dare” with eating worms, but it unsurprisingly didn’t catch fire. We seem to have a strange fascination especially with getting iced. But most don’t have the conviction to do the “polar bear plunge.” Although frankly, I’d do the plunge to end this campaign.

There is actually an eighth reason that has something to do with wet t-shirts, but I’m not going to count that one.