Find Viral Videos Before They’re Viral

If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.
If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.

Remember that video curation was supposed to be all the rage last year and 2011? I’m still not seeing it get enough attention, but that will change as online-video consumption moves from desktop to simpler devices: mobile and remote controls. Why? Sans keyboard, it’s just not as easy to self-select videos, so we’ll need simpler controls (more Roku/AppleTV, less Sony’s 400-button, 2-dial TV remote control) … and better aggregators.

The answer lies in a careful mix of three (3) important variables:

  • crowdsourced (liked people like me),
  • editorial (someone whose taste I share) and
  • personalized recommendations based on my history/preferences.

In the meantime, I’ll offer a few favorite places that are directionally close, and invite you to add yours in comments (it’s participation time). Together we can perhaps create an aggregation of aggregators. A curation of curators. Then we’ll create a big ass website that collects them all, and we’ll sell $1 CPM banners on them and become hundredairs.

  • Reddit Videos: The kids at Reddit have good taste. Period. I want to be a Reddit influencer when I grow up.
  • There's no contextual purpose of this photo. I just wanted to get your attention and remind you to list any good places where you discover videos before they're cliches.

    Viral Video Chart is a good way to ensure you aren’t missing anything as vital as the “si, si, si, aquí” kid.

  • ReelSEO’s Jeremy Scott found some good pre-viral sources months ago, so check his list too. It includes:
    • Buzzfeed (see the “going viral” page),  the hiccupporcupine is going viral),
    • Devour (I wasn’t captivated on that one) and
    • Popscreen (which is kinda cool because you can search “now,” 7 days” and “30 days”).
  • eGuiders is a curated site, and I think I am/was an editor. But I forgot.
  • Martin Michalik pulls together the most viral videos on Viral Blog’s “Viral Friday.” At least you’ll know what to talk about on the weekend.
  • Zocial charts videos that are trending in social tweets/posts (Twitter, Facebook). Unfortunately I’d already seen most of what surfaced here.
  • YouTube Charts is a hidden gem on the website. It’s getting harder not easier to find recently popular videos, and instead becoming more “channel and theme” focused. But here’s YouTube “live” and here’s the page that should be more obvious on the website: the “chart” page which allows you to custom rank videos by category (humor, music), by period (day, week, month, all time) and finally by feature (most-viewed, highest rated, most liked).
One of the most valuable functions on YouTube ("charts") is hard to find

And don’t forget that if you’re a bit behind on your memes (viral ideas, behaviors, images, styles), there’s always “Know Your Meme” to catch up. It might not help you understand Jessica Black’s “Friday,” but at least provides some analysis.

If this is the last viral video you remember, then you're on the wrong blog.

P.S. If all else fails, you can check out my crap, watch “webcam girl fail,” or just piss off a few hours watching the stuff too “blue” for America’s Funniest Videos at Failblog.

Social-Media Monitoring Problem: Dredging Up Ancient Garbage

I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with social-media monitoring tools, and their inability to filter out old content or spam bots using my old content. It’s very easy for me to assess a social-media tool by querying my own name (Nalts). I know instantly what content about me is new, and can recognize old content that has been repurposed by spam sites, which often grab my old blogs and video descriptions to fool search engines and people into thinking they’re not autobots.

Here’s an example from my Google Alerts, which I am about to discontinue. None of this is new! Even Google can’t determine what’s old anymore... and some of this links to my own blog posts that are ancient. This makes me question the prevailing myth that Google will overtake the social-media monitoring landscape with its own free solution.

Is there a solution? Even the best social-media tools can’t seem to discern between legitimate recent posts (of me anyway) that are on my sites or others.

Free Tools. No Ads. We Make It Up in Volume.

Daisy Whitney gave two examples of companies shifting from a free to paid model. I agree that “training the customers early to pay” is good advice, but I also like other model… give it away for free, then offer meaningful upsells. For instance, I’d probably pay for Tubemogul because it saves me the hassle of visiting a number of online sites to distribute and track my videos. Likewise, I just upped my YouSendIt account to a monthly fee… it’s got a 2 GB limit (and I was always just a little to bloated for the free one), and it remembers my e-mails.

So yes “train customers early to pay” but “free” is a good marketing tool. The trick is to develop value-add additions once you have a regular user base. Oh- and note Daisy’s focus is on B2B.

Charging for online-video content is not a good idea right now unless you’ve got INCREDIBLE content and a major following.