Sneak Preview: “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” (Free eBook)


On Friday I’m releasing a free eBook titled “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent.” I won’t make any money for each copy downloaded, but I’ll make it up in volume.

Below is a draft that still needs some fine tuning, but I’d appreciate some feedback from some of you core WVFF readers. Here it is as a PDF (version 1.3, which includes some of  your edits on 01/03/08): How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent

If you’re a blogger, I know I can’t stop you from posting this, but it would be great if you could wait until the Friday (January 4). Unless you’re some big-ass blog like TechCrunch. Then you can do whatever the heck you want. The several days I spent on this would be time well spent if it resulted in an inbound link from a big ass blog (BAB). Up until now, TechCrunch has only given the black-hatted viral marketers a spotlight. 😉

That said, I’m kinda hoping to “soft launch” it to the WillVideoForFood regulars before it’s officially released. I’m somewhat anxious about releasing something via pdf, and knowing I don’t have the ability to fix some horrible mistake that’s bound to be lurking within.


PS Here’s a synopsis of my forthcoming “The Prophet (Profit) of Online Video: Book synopsis,” which is being written to help marketers, agencies and creators capitalize on the growing field of online video.

The Thrill of Fake YouTube Battles: What The Buck vs. Nalts

whatthenaltsprofilepic.jpgI learned some time ago that online video viewers aren’t the most discerning bunch. When Charles Trippy and I created a fake feud, many viewers fell “hook, line and sinker” for the drama (in which we pretended to give out each other’s cell phone numbers, which were actually numbers to the “rejection hotline.”) Here’s my video and here’s his, and the responses and comments will show how vigilant the “fans” of one YouTuber get to protect the honor of their weblebrity (here’s one example). We thought people would be more skeptical, and eventually I had to to this satire spoofing his overzealous fans. Trippy also came clean, and he’s since updated his video title to reveal the joke.

whatthenaltsbannersmall.jpgHistory repeats itself this week. Recently I decided to claim that I’m the writer behind the popular What The Buck Show. It began with some banners, and I’d like to thank Gage Skidmore (the creator of the Nalts logo) for his recent banner collection displayed here (He’s also created a delightful Nalts cartoon you can see by selecting “more below,” although I look a bit doughy if I’m keeping it real).

what the buck michael buckleyYesterday evening my e-mail starting filling with hate mail. It seems Michael Buckley, one of the most popular YouTubers, posted a dramatic video on his Peron75 channel that chastises me for lying. It’s rather convincing, and Michael has a knack for Tammy Fay-like tears. I must confess there was part of me that thought he was serious. His fans not only believed he was upset by me, but many sent horrid comments, videos and e-mail that urge me to die.

Nothing I haven’t seen before. It’s the price of being one of YouTube’s most annoying creators ™. Nonetheless, here’s my spoof response, where I take fake claim to scripting his fake video attack. We’ll see if Michael is compelled to “clear the air” in his What The Buck blog, but frankly I prefer the confusion. Who wouldn’t rather be despised than forgotten?

So what have we learned here? Don’t believe it when YouTubers pretend to feud. It’s all part of promotional drama, and clearly another example of how far some YouTubers will go to hitch their star to my wagon.

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Revver 3.0 Launches With “Quilty”

revver quiltyTwo years ago I discovered Revver (the pioneer of creator ad-sharing via video), and she’s growing up. Here’s a Revver blog announcing the new Revver, which includes the ability of viewers to finally comment.

Revver has always suffered from low views relative to larger sites, and the new “Quilty” (see Revver homepage) addresses that. It’s an addictive-like series of thumbnails that rotate and provide instant access to quality content. Not sure if this is editorial or viewer populated, but I assume a blend.

The gulf between sites like Revver and the market leader (YouTube) is widening despite the better quality/crap ratio on Revver. And, until recently, Revver was dense with Adsense and “house” advertisements, which makes me worry about its longevity.

But Revver’s model is unique, the technology is innovative and it has a quirky, creator-friendly soul. And a monkey. Don’t underestimate the monkey.

Great Targeting or Luck?

targeted-advertising.jpgAn ad for Suboxone (a pharmaceutical medication that helps people get over opoid addictions) appeared on my YouTube video called “Ten Fewer Holiday Things to Stress Over This.”

Targeting or luck?

Why do I have a feeling this blog post is going to attract a lot of spam for Percocet and Oxycontin?

Party at My Place Saturday Night

Online-video has its share of online-video pranks, but this one is quite memorable. Last evening I discovered that YouTube’s Gay Godfather, Zipster08, announced a party at my place Saturday night.

Naturally I hadn’t heard about this until seeing the video. But it did prompt the following  conversation last night between me and my wife (which I regret not videotaping secretly):

  • Kevin: Do we have plans Saturday night?
  • Jo: What?
  • Kevin: Saturday night. Are we doing anything?
  • Jo: (Stop fighting, Grant and Charlie!) Why?
  • Kevin: Zipster made a video about a party at our house. So I was thinking…
  • Jo: (One of those “conversation is over” stares).

(Parenthetically, Zipster08 got more than 3.5 million views on his Christmas collaboration last year,  and here’s his fresh new one- The Night Before Christmas).

Coming Soon: Best of Nalts DVD

Best of Nalts DVD sleeve

HappySlip is selling “best of” DVDs, so I had to do it too. I may not be as hot, but at least I’m not as funny.

I’m using CreateSpace because it looks easy, and a couple others have used it. Anyone use ’em? I didn’t realize, until I’d started my account this morning, that it’s an Amazon company. Of course, you give away about 40% of your profits (after the fixed cost per DVD) when it’s sold through Amazon, so I’m kinda hoping people buy it at I get proceeds beyond the fixed cost of production and their cut of the sale.

It’s not live yet because I’m mailing the master to CreateSpace, and then they send me a proof. I’ve listed the videos below. I’m sure I unintentionally missed some good ones, but it took most of yesterday just to locate the best versions of these (and some were destroyed by a dead Seagate external hard drive).

Will I sell a lot? Nope. There’s not a huge market to purchase amateur video content — especially when you can see it free online. Maybe some people will be compelled by the notion of seeing the videos in high resolution and without ads.

I was impressed with how good some of them look on an HDTV (after I’ve been used to seeing them on YouTube all grainy and compressed). You notice little things- like the name of a book on a bookshelf that was otherwise obscure. And you can why my face was made for low-resolution video.

Price point is $19.99, but most of the revenue goes to CreateSpace and Amazon. Well- if I make $100 on total sales, it’s worth being called a sellout.

The videos:
Farting in Public
Airport Crawling
Computer Falls
Cash to Buzz
Drunk Interviews
America’s Bloopers
Fast Food Outsourcing
Candy Swiper
Google Head
Google Earth
GPS with PMS
Mall Pranks
Killer Weed
Gum Tree
Coffee Baby
Banana Man
Garage Sale
Kids Steal Van
Lay Me Off
Mad Turkey
Viral Video Genius
Chicken Prank
Stupid Computer
HappySlip’s Pad

What Is Social Media?

marketing.jpgToby Bloomberg, who writes Diva Marketing Blog, asked me recently to define social media. I didn’t have a lot of time to think, okay? But here I am on her blog aside much smarter people. Like Peter Kim Being Peter a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research. And the hysterical David Berkowitz (Marketers Studio), a Director of Emerging Media at 360i.

David, by the way, taught me the word “lolcats.”

Top 12 Most Influential Online Videos of All Time

To create buzz as it nears submission deadlines, The Webby Awards announced recently the “Top 12 Most Influential Online Videos of All Times.” Our guess is that they were shooting for 12, but got into a heated debate and decided to toss two more in there.

Here are the other 6, er, 8…

Nalts is Evil: ~!0v3:H@t3:sEx:N@!tS~

Nalts hater video

nalts is evilThis is a wonderfully creative and artistic video posted by a YouTuber named SquiggMonster. It’s called “~!0v3:H@t3:sEx:N@!tS~” and it’s a strange homage and assault of me in one 5-minute film. Song is “Tear You Apart,” by She Wants Revenge.

If you only watch a portion, check out the morph at 1:50.I don’t quite know why, but I am totally enchanted by it. Of course it features me transforming into Satan (and I’m not a big fan of his), but the images and song and classic ending make it so very interesting.

I’m trying to optimize this post to the phrase, “Nalts is evil” so I can find it whenever I need a little mood boost.

Best Video Cameras

Every few days someone asks me what video camera to buy. Unless I happen to be “in the market” I don’t track closely. But I do trust Consumer Reports, and just received an issue ranking the top camcorders.

Note: My guide to buying a video camera can be found here.

What Format: Mini DV, DVD, Hard Drive, Combination?

The Consumer Reports “best buy” is a Panasonic SDR-H18 but it’s $430 and is a hard-drive model. I prefer the MiniDV for two reasons — first you’re always near a store that sells those little digital 8 mm tapes if you run out of space. Second, if my computer and camera blows up, at least I have the tapes. That said, most equipment malfunctions are related to moving parts. I suppose a tape recorder has more than a hard drive. Still, I’ve been burned too many times by crashed hard drives and few tapes have let me down.

Sorry. Not sold on these models that burn DVDs. I suppose it’s easier, but some models (the Hitachi DZ-GX5020A) gets 18 minutes of the best quality. 18 minutes per DVD? Puleez.

Bottom Line

canon ZR800So for the typical amateur, I’d recommend sticking with a simple Mini-DV model. The three Consumer Reports winners are the Canon ZR800, the Panasonic PV-GS80 and the Sony DCR-HC28.

I like Canon. I use the Digital Rebel for still photos and the Canon HV20 for my videos. No problems with either of them. The Canon HV20 takes longer than I’d like to “boot up” and the audio is poor. But the images are quite nice for its $1,000 price. For most amateurs, however, a prosumer $1000 camera is total overkill (unless you want high definition and have plenty of money). Buttefly.

So I’d go with the Canon ZR800. It’s listed at for $209 even though Consumer Reports lists it as $255. I get a lot of my impulse buys from BestBuy, but they’re listing it at $254 (but watch the circulars if you don’t want to wait for shipping).

It’s not perfect. Read the C-Net report so you know of some limitations, and the Amazon user reviews are mixed. It got a mediocre review, but so did the Panasonic. I also use PCMag to compare cameras, but the Canon ZR800 wasn’t listed.