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.

Top-10 User Testimonials for Apple’s iCloud

icloud suck ass from hell

Frustrated with Apple’s beast from hell called iCloud? You’re among friends here. Today we’re curating the most inflammatory customer statements about iCloud I could find.

You see, I just had another “Apple anxiety attack” due to iCloud. But this should be my last (I documented the December nightmare in this “iCloud sucks” post). And I was sure to tag this particular post “iCloud sucks ass from hell” in case anyone’s searching that phrase.

This morning’s irritation: my son and his friend are frantically trying to Facetime each other on their iPads, but the calls are coming to the iPhones of me and the other kid’s mom. As a result, the other mom and I are phoning each other thinking there’s some emergency. And no… the kids’ iPads are not logged into either of our iClouds, so there’s no good reason this is happening.

icloud is 1984 big brother
“Can this be turning into any more insidious, 1984ish situation?” says one iCloud customer.

iCloud, a web-based backup that connects Apple devices, has killed Apple for me and many others. In March I’m giving  my iPhone to one of my kids, and buying an Android. My nerdy friends rave about them. There are two reasons for my departure: a) The iPhone has not been improved consequentially in the last several years, and b) the iCloud implementation was the worst experience I’ve had with technology — and that surpasses computer viruses, crashed hard drives and being disregarded by cable and phone providers.

So I thought I’d calm myself down by assembling my favorite quotes about iCloud courtesy of this  Apple Support thread.

  1. I HATE icloud. How dare they? And market it as innocuous? The arrogance. Seriously.
  2. Apple invaded in my devices and does whatever wants – more than a VIRUS! I can’t get rid off it. .. APPLE what the **** are you doing, making your new software behavour as a parasite!
  3. Total failure, especially if you have spouse, kids, etc on the same Apple account since you keep getting each others stuff on your phone.
  4. Thanks for ruining Christmas, Apple. This Christmas my kids learned about Santa Claus by intercepting my private texts.
  5. I spend more than 5 hours on the phone with several apple support guys to get rid of those many multiple calendar entries on my iPad, but it didn’t help.
  6. My text messages are appearing on all my external devices.  I sold my iPod on ebay and the guy can read all of my messages and respond to them.
  7. A data destroying, heart burning, stomach churning and hours wasting beast called iCloud.
  8. Like an evil spawn of SkyNet and a PC Boot Sector Virus, once iCloud has grabbed your data IT becomes the master of your data.
  9. Can this be turning into any more insidious, 1984ish situation?
  10. I am personally Disgusted by Apple and everything to do with their products and services. Cannot wait to buy a Samsung note (source: Dudechester, iMore forum)

 

The History of Just About Everything

2100 pages and 50 jotter books, but it got full marks… so the displeased eskimo may be pleased with this work.

Hey, Idiot. Missing “View Through” Data on Your Online PR? Don’t Even Read This.

  • 5 extra points to Tealium for remembering I downloaded a white paper, and shooting me a follow-up video (using campaign management tool). Just checked the “earls” and it’s Concentric). Hidden codes in URLs can be so informative.
  • Negative 7 points for making the videos so damned boring… like a a cross between a dull conference presentation and a phone call using Powerpoint.
  • Plus 3 points for actually using video to sell its product. I would never have looked at this closely without this video demo.
  • Plus 8 points for teaching me that there’s a way to capture “view through” data.
  • You’re not keeping track of the score, are you? This is like “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” Points mean nothing.

Oh sorry. You didn’t know the phrase “view though” data? That’s because I’m exactly one hour ahead of you on learning about social media, and I’ll be two hours ahead if I wake up at 5 again tomorrow.

Until now, I was under the naive belief (much like your stupid self) that Webtrends or Google Analytics (or whatever tool your tools use) could not see “upstream” past the referring site. But this horribly boring video claims Tealium (which integrates with the web hosting software) can help a brand track “conversions” or web visits based not just on a direct URL… but based on whether a visitor had been to one or more other sites or unique URL (like a video) that you track.

Wait- you fell asleep on me, didn’t you. Let me put it another way… Nike.com might know you saw that YouTube viral video promoting Nike 2 days before you visited its website… even if the video HAD no URL to click, or if you went clubbing in the interim, or whether you tried to cover your tracks by visiting Nike via a search engine. Now the video gets credit for behavior that isn’t immediate or direct (which is typically 2 percent or less). In the example, 70% of the people who saw the “viral video” were not captured by direct URL visits… but if we know the video to correlate against, we can track percentage of viewers that saw that video… according to the browser’s history that we presumably peeked at, like a young boy sneaking a peek under a skirt. Not that I ever did that.

Tealium boasts that it can provide insights based on “historical browsing behavior,” so that empty-headed dope in PR can actually prove to the brand team that the stupid social-media and video-marketing campaign drove measurable action… even if it’s not immediate and direct.

Okay- are you awake now? That’s some serious shit.  I don’t know about this company, whether Webtrends and Google Anaytics are cooking up their own version of this, or whether they’ll snatch these guys up. And I don’t know how I feel about my website knowing my browser history… it’s creepier than cookies and “recontact” banners that follow you around like that awkward guy at work. You know? The guy you try to shake by going to the bathroom whenever he descends upon your desk with his bad breath.

I lost you again? Okay- you’re searching itchy nuts on WebMD and Yahoo start pimping “yeast infection” banner ads? Oh you thought that was coincidence? You MUST work in public relations. If I blow in your ear, I’ll bet this is the sound I hear. I used to make that sound with my boss whenever PR people were done talking. You had to be there.

This model — Tealium aside — is really good for the accountability of online-video and social media. We know that to judge a viral campaign on the immediate impact on web visits is like expecting the phone to ring off the hook because you placed one ad in the newspaper… there’s this thing called frequency that kinda works, dumb ass.

With someone’s “historical browsing behavior” we can presumably look at our leads by source, and see what correlated with longer time on site, and actual purchase.

You’re not excited by any of this are you? Damnit. What was I writing again? I’m so tired. Did I tell you I got up at 5?

Are You Directing Your Own Life?

Last night I had the pleasure of dining with Filmmaker Chris Barrett, actor Efron Ramirez (best known for his role as Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite), YouTube Comic EdBassmaster, and Barret’s Publicist partner. Barrett and Ramirez had spoken to a group of underprivileged highschool students in Camden, NJ yesterday afternoon, and were doing a media circuit for their new book “Direct Your Own Life.” (We shot this short comedic-like video after dinner that shows me dressing like Pedro and getting “caught” by Efron).

It was a motley crew, which is typical when online-video pulls together characters who wouldn’t likely meet otherwise. And Barrett’s publicist partner asked me where I was heading with the online-video gig. “Do you want to have your own television show?” she asked.

That question made me realize that we often act in our lives, but fail to direct them. The book’s jacket cover states that “too many people are losing faith in their dreams… (the book) helps you write your own life script,  assemble your team, and ultimately debut your dream.”

This got me reflecting on what motivates me in my atypical role as marketer by day and YouTube guy by night. I awakened thinking about some of the formative moments that led to where I am now… and whether I’m directing my life or a b-grade actor in someone else’s production.

  • I worked for 7 summers at PBS television station in New Orleans, and paid for my growing audio and video obsession by disk jockeying parties and videotaping weddings.
  • I attended Georgetown University, and was asked to be Marketing Director for the Georgetown Program Board. I got a taste of marketing and liked it. Meanwhile I watched Michael Eisner’s son (Breck) making films on campus, and I had the pleasure of doing a voiceover for “Alex of the Underground” (an allegory based loosely on Alice in Wonderland). I marveled at the energy of film making but didn’t see it as a safe bet… too many people chasing too few opportunities.
  • My first job after graduating from Georgetown was a short-lived internship at advertising agency Earl Palmer Brown, which forever burst my dream of being a traditional advertising executive. Over beers these agency veterans would urge me to find a different path than theirs. They found artistic passions at night, and suffered through thankless, mechanical work during the day.
  • Later I’d work for 9 months at a newspaper startup that produced excellent editorial at negative profit. Warren Rogers, who covered Kennedy as a journalist and wrote a book about Robert Kennedy, was the editor in chief of The Georgetown Courier, and he hired me for $16K a year. Rogers erected a symbolic white-picked fence that separated the editorial team from the advertisers. There would be no “advertorial” under Rogers’ guard. I eagerly covered any films being shot in Georgetown, and once got to interview Pierce Brosnan. The paper, of course, went belly-up because it couldn’t sell ads.
  • I was crushed. I had worked around the clock as an aspiring journalist, but the economics weren’t solid. So I decided to take fate into my own hands by applying to the best MBA school for entrepreneurship — Babson. Either I’d get in, or bag business school and roll the dice in filmmaking.  I got in.
  • Years later as I maried and my family grew, I chose the safer career of a marketer — working at interactive agencies, big-5 consulting, and for five years at Johnson & Johnson. Now two-plus years as a Product Director for a Fortune 100 firm. Marketing is interesting, but what keeps me energized is this online-video space, and how it’s inviting me to apply both my creative passion and my experience as a marketer.
  • Playwriter John Guare said at my graduation, “never get a job.” But then you find yourself with children to support and a mortgage. So you take the job, and seek whatever passion you can milk from your job and look after hours to keep the fire burning. Hey- it beats coming home and watching TV.

Now, of course, my passion for film and video are converging with my profession of marketing. Online video have lowered the “cost of entry” and blurred the lines between advertising and content. So while it’s still hard to answer the question, “where are you heading with this, Nalts?” I am having the time of my life. But am I directing, or am I a hired actor in someone else’s film? Worth some reflection for me, and probably all of us.

NBC Brings Advertisers & Creators Together “From Start” for Web Series: Everything New is Old Again

TubeFilter, which tracks the “best scripted web series,” reports that NBC Universal Digital Studio will create a slate of new original web series to be produced with 60 Frames Entertainment.

NBC promises to bring the “most talented writers and producers in entertainment” in efforts to “create a much higher-quality production value than what is normally associated with digital production.” The Studio’s “innovative new business model” will bring advertisers and content producers together “from the start.”

This is significant news, folks, for two reasons. First, it’s signs that NBC continues to be the leading network for online evolution. Second, it’s a novel approach for online-video, but based on a model that has proven itself over time.

It won’t be pain free, but could change online video in meaningful ways. If NBC’s muscle can keep creators and advertisers in a room and force them to cooperate, then we may see something far more interesting than Hulu shows with interstitial forced ads. Products woven into plotlines, product placement… it’s not new, folks.

As much as a like product integration, I just want to be the next Ed McMahon. Anyone keeping a list of the products he’s pimped?

My First Shout Out (boring “history of nalts” post)

Don’t know what a “shout out” is? It’s when you mention someone in your video. Don’t care? Stop reading. This blog entry isn’t for the industry watchers, but for the small group of obscure people that watch my crap.

I stumbled into my first “shout out” video recently. In this fake PSA I did about Revver.com, I spoof the “art” of independent creators, and shed light on the folks that were ripping content and then making money on it (my brother in law played the video artist that made $9 a week dropping forks on the ground). The video was called “Revverberation,” which would later become the name of my unofficial Revver blog that spawned this one.

marquisdejolieAt the end you’ll see a legal document that lists Marquisdejolie vs. Texas. I remember Googling for a legal template, then altering it with his name and then photographing it… wondering if he’d notice this homage since he seemed to be watching every new Revver video like I was.

I also remember going nuts that this video got thousands of views, since most got 50-100.  To gauge the magnitude, I adjust for view inflation by multiplying 2006/2007 views by 1,000 times. So this was a 3 million view video, as far as I was concerned.

More related trivia. When I was first featured on YouTube with “Viral Video Genius,” I mention being called an Andy Warhol of online video… “by a homeless guy in Texas. He has a blog. Google it.” Well this time Marquisdejolie caught the “shout out” before I had to spoon feed it, and no response tickled me like his spontaneous laughter clip. Can you listen to that and not crack up?

Here’s Marquisdejolie’s recount from a year ago, but I can’t seem to find his original blog post calling me the Warhol of online video.

And then there’s this post from MarquisdeJolie’s blog:

Nalts doesn’t need a tribute from me. He’s doing just fine on Revver and Youtube and Livevideo and Metacafe and wherever else he may be…. Wherever 10 or more viral video fans collect to watch videos, you find a Nalts video there…. I just needed an excuse to use his name in my blog so that the Internet search engines will spot my blog and up my ranking. His screen name is a commodity now like gold or silver or pork bellies. Use it in your blog and watch your hits skyrocket.