10 Great Comedy & Humor Websites and Blogs

HAHAHAHAHH

An apple a day make keep the doctor away, but good comedy websites are the best health remedy. Here are a few of my recently favorite websites, blogs and video collections. What are yours?

  1. The West Virginia Surfing Report: Jeff Kay has twice weekly posts that will have you giggling.
  2. Crap At My Parents House: terrific photos of odd nicknacks you might discover in your parents’ house.
  3. Reddit Video: a crowd-curated collection of funny new videos, as well as classics.
  4. The Onion: mandatory reading/watching. This parody of news has long been a favorite.
  5. BestWeekEver.tv is worth a scan – especially this collection of funny videos that “never get old”
  6. Failblog and icanhascheezburger popularizes some of the 4chan classics and guilty pleasures like Lolcats.
  7. QuickMeme has a collection of popular memes, and if you don’t understand them see KnowYourMeme.
  8. JustforlaughsTV YouTube channel has some nice, professionally produced pranks ala Candid Camera.
  9. MyLifeIsAverage invites readers to submit their humorous woes. Into Schadenfreude? It’s your site. You may also enjoy Awkward Family Photos.
  10. YouTube duo Smosh has a “Smosh Pit” with some frequently updated collections.

And here are a few sources for additional sites, if you wish to scavenge.

Let me know if you have some additional favorites to add to my morning coffee.

 

More Music Sources for YouTube Videos

Hard to find free, royalty free music. There's free. Then there's royalty free. But a lot of royalty-free music is not free. See?

It can be difficult to find decent, royalty-free music without paying a fortune. Here are some new options if you’ve had your fill of Kevin MacLeod:

  1. DanoSongs has a bunch of instrumental background songs, ranging from acoustic and orchestra to pop and country. Scroll down on his site to hear and download clips.
  2. Shockwave-Sound has a bunch of songs and sound effects.
  3. JewelBeat has a nicely organized collection for various uses — world, motivation, video games, humor. They sell in $99 packs, but are available for individual download for 99 cents.
  4. Smartsound: it allows you to customize songs using a drop-down menu.
  5. PartnersInRhyme has some expensive sets, but a few free tunes with no royalties.
  6. DiggCCMixer is a “creative commons” search engine that allows you to search its library with an option: “free for commercial use.”
  7. The Music Bakery has nice royalty-free music, but it’s fairly expensive. But, really…. 5-seconds for $34?
  8. http://JoshWoodward.com has tunes (thanks Urgo) and some nice covers on YouTube.

Be sure your license allows you to post on YouTube when you’re earning money on your videos (which is considered commercial use).

And some additional sources for free, royalty-free music:

The Top 10 “Viral” Videos of 2011 That You Missed

The internets are packed with Jessica Black and Nyan Cat videos that are proclaimed the most “viral” of 2011. But it’s time to take a look at 10 of my favorite videos you probably missed.

What was your favorite video of 2011? Enjoy mine… in no particular order.

10. People of Walmart 2
Jessica Frech gave us a sequel to “People of Walmart,” and it’s just as outrageous and fun as the original.

9. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
Another rare sequel that is about as good as the original… Marcel was back thanks to the talented Dean Fleischer-Camp.

8. Pet Santa
Mike L. Mayfield topped his animation collection with Pet Santa. Perhaps some “recency bias” in this selection but it’s adorable.

7. Retarded Policeman: Nalts
It’s not a new video, but it returned to the web after a hiatus. And the series by Greg Benson and Ponce returns in 2012.

6. Charles Trippy Wedding
Internet personality sensation Charles Trippy married Ali Speed this fall, and Corey Vidal created this amazing music video.

5. Zoochosis’ “Thanks Smokey”
Zoochosis debuted this summer with a load of semi-pro but low-cost productions. Thanks Smokey is the hypnotic tale of a hiker who sees sheep in a new way.

4. The Scary Snowman
This year was Scary Snowman’s transition from obscurity to popularity, and his beach prank is my favorite.

3. How to Piss in Public
OffthewallTV/LastPictures gave us tips on how to urinate in public.

2. Dog Walks Down Steps On Front Legs
A guilty pleasure, and it’s short enough for the ADHD folks.

1. Ray William Johnson Parody
I’m not sure why I like this, but it’s an animated parody of Ray William Johnson, the richest YouTuber.

Get Cheap Intros & Graphics For Your Videos

Today we’ll explore how to get cheap (inexpensive) assets like logos, graphics and video intros… for as little as $5. There are loads of talented creators online, as evidenced by the submissions to my Nalts Consulting logo request. Now there are websites specifically designed to identify and commission small projects that otherwise would be difficult to find, sell and buy. For instance you may want a logo for your channel, a unique and customized video introduction, a specially scored song (like the Ukulele on this video, which was $5). The “gigs” being sold vary from “get x friends on Facebook” to “I’ll draw your message on my beautiful butt.” Some sell products but most people sell specialized skills in the form of pre-priced “gigs.” “For $5 I’ll customize this animated video introduction.”

eBook cover cost $5

So my new hobby is commissioning these $5 projects on Fiverr.com, and eagerly checking to see if they’re delivered each morning. I’ve gotten loads of stuff that I think is worth more than $5. For instance, the current masthead for this blog. The cartoon of me above. The video introduction graphics and logo to Unlicensed Therapist. The eBook cover to “How To Become Popular On YouTube Without Any Talent.”

So let’s look at 1) how this works, 2) which websites facilitate these eBay-like exchanges (source), then 3) provide some cautions.

1) The Process & What You Get is fairly simple. You wander onto any of these sites, which look almost identical because they’re presumably all using the same software platform. You can browse “gigs” being offered by sellers. On the video front, people have gigs listing cool video introductions they’ll customize, graphics/logos they’ll design, and even shady software and tips that are supposed to jack up your YouTube views (buyer beware). Once you find one, you buy it with Paypal usually. The seller automatically requests direction or photos from you. Then you wait the designated time period, and when it’s done you get an alert and an attachment to download directly from the website. If you like it you can rate the seller.

2) Where to Go: Here are a handfull of more sites like Fiverr. I’ve been to them all, but only transacted on Fiverr.com and Tenrr.com.

  • FittyTown.com: Everything is priced at $50, but frankly the “gigs” aren’t much better than Fiverr.com or Tenrr.com
  • TwentyVille.com: Gigs for $20. Appears dead right now.
  • GigBucks.com: and Gigbux.com: You can post gigs ranging from $5 to $100.
  • GigHour.com: Redirecting to Gibucks. Post gigs for $3, $5, $7 and $10.
  • GigMe5.com: Almost identical to Fiverr where everything is priced at $5.
  • Tenrr.com: You can offer and buy gigs for up to $10. Better tools for buyer or seller communication (which are somewhat thwarted on Fiverr).
  • JustaFive.com: Buy services for $5 or $10 or $20. Their gigs stats with “I’m gunna..”!
  • MagicGig.com: MagicGig is another online micro-task marketplace that allows you to offer your services for $10.

3) Caution Time: There’s a lot of crap on these sites. This includes broken English claims that are dubious or shady. Some of the sellers are rumored to not complete their deals. I I’ve had a couple default. A lot of the tasks are nonsense like backlinks, friends, views, traffic. One guy offers to troll someone for $10. Some are useless like someone agreeing to sing you a custom song on a surf board. But in the graphics section you get some pretty good artists who can convert a photo into a digital painting. Some make logos (fairly well for the price). And although it’s hard to find a good video intro, they do exist.

Have you used these? Let me know if I’m missing a site, and tell us what you got.

 

 

Invitation to Earn Revenue From Your YouTube Videos?

Did you get an e-mail lately with the subject, “Invitation to earn revenue from your YouTube videos”? What’s it mean?

You’ve been invited to “monetize” your videos. Since my sister hates that word, let’s put it this way. You’ll share in the income that YouTube makes from advertisers.

  • This will amount to maybe $1 per 1,000 views. Could be pennies per 1,000 and it could be a couple bucks per thousand.
  • The $ you get per views should continue to rise. Projections have been as high as 40% growth in 2012 to this report predicting 25% growth in online-video advertising in the next 12 months.
  • You’ll need an Adsense account, which is how YouTube/Google pays publishers who run ads.
  • Do it. No down side unless you abhor ads around your content.
  • It’s not quite the same thing as being a YouTube “Partner” or “Creator,” which provides the channel with advanced branding (a logo on videos, and more flexibility on the channel page that few see). More importantly, advertisers are paying a premium for Partner/Creators and the other ads tend to command less revenue.

Still, my channels are excited. I’ll have to monetize them when I remember the passwords…

Any questions? Comment below or e-mail me at kevin (no space) nalty (a) g/mail

 

Invitation to earn revenue from your YouTube videos

See the First Videos of Some Prominent YouTube Stars

Even want to see the first videos posted by some of YouTube’s most famous creators? What was Fred’s first video? It wasn’t on his Fred channel. How about the first Ray William Johnson, Annoying Orange, Shane Dawson and Smosh vieos?

I made a Delicious Stack that takes you right to them. The first videos of famous YouTubers. Enjoy.

Don’t forget the FIRST YouTube video, where 5 million people learned that “pretty much all there is to say” about elephants is that they “have really long and cool trunks.” That stuff hasn’t even begun to viralinate.

 

What To Do When You Go Viral… Accidentally

So your video of you dog/baby/pratfall suddenly goes viral, and you’re faced with choices… how do you capitalize on the luck?

Can Fail Dog be the next "Guilty"?

I’ve had the pleasure of informally coaching viral lotto winners, from “David At the Dentist” and Richter Scales to the recent Dagfinn (who is navigating his stick the way I manage my career). It’s a small world, and if I’m checking e-mail I’m happy to help a fellow “Viral Video Genius.”

Anyway, here are some of the pieces of pro-bono advice (I never ever ever charge fellow creators) which I’ve provided. In general, the goal is to knock out some important things (getting channel in shape, applying to be YouTube partner, tagging video), enjoy the ride, and hope the 15 minutes lasts.

  1. Get your YouTube channel submitted to become a Partner (I used to help rush that before YouTube scaled back on human contact)
  2. Optimize the video for search. Most viral lotto winners have failed to describe the video, and load the description/keywords with terms that people might use having heard about the clip.
  3. Provide a URL (or Facebook fan page) in the video description with more info and contact information. It’s very difficult to use YouTube’s lousy message system which GOD FORBID they merge with Gmail (I’m on year 4 of that idea). Make sure this hyperlink appears in the truncated description.
  4. Pay attention to, but doubt, the multitude of business propositions. Sure it may make sense to create some merchandise but a) it’s kinda cheesy, and b) It won’t be a drop in the bucket relative to ad revenue.
  5. Pray the viral viewing continues. By my best guess, David at the Dentist has paid for an Ivy League college with his viral clip, which has surpassed 100 million views.
  6. Be open to a sponsorship ($5-$20,ooo) but that depends on timing and the content. It’s unlikely these will keep rolling in, so be selective and more while the video is hot. It’s generally hard to find these… they kinda have to come to you.
  7. If you’re lucky enough to get national media inquiries DO IT. It’s free (except hotel/travel), but it will drive views and intrigue. If you are going to merchandise, here’s a way to promote that subtly. For instance don’t pimp a website, but consider wearing a t-shirt that celebrates your viralicity.
  8. If you plan on creating more videos, then ask viewers to subscribe. Also create a good looking YouTube channel page… otherwise people won’t even think about subscribing… they’ll just think it’s a one-hit wonder.
  9. Post more videos but do not expect anywhere near the views. For proof, check the other videos on any channel that has a viral one. It’s very rare to see, for instance, a second “Charlie Bit My Finger” do anything even close to the first. Still worth trying.
  10. If you want to do some audience development and promotion, check out my free eBook called “How To Get Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” (version 4). If you really want to get fancy, pick up my real book “Beyond Viral“).
You get typos when you get an eBook cover designed on Fiverr.com for $5

 

How to Watch YouTube Video With Friends Using Google Plus

Google Plus: Now You Can Ignore Friends While Zoning on a Video

You can now use Google plus to watch a YouTube video live with friends who are remote. Thanks to SFGate and Business Insider for pointing out this new feature.

Now you and up to 9 viewers can watch a YouTube video spontaneously, and see each other via webcam. Hopefully Google Plus will boost that number, and allow for many more to join even if via text only. It’s kinda like Stickam or Blog.tv but there’s no need for anyone to be interesting. You just need to find a video that’s not boring. Good luck.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Google Plus (you need an account, and here’s my Nalts profile).
  2. Click the “Share” button on any YouTube video (how about Airport Crawling?).
  3. On the right, click link that says “Start a Google Hangout.”
  4. When window launches, use commands to talk (push the green button) or just watch.
  5. I’m not sure how to invite friends, but maybe they find you from your circle jerks.
Use Google Plus' "Hang Out" tool to watch YouTube videos with friends (if you have any)

 

 

YouTube Goes Music, Music, Music

It's just like this, only the radio is a laptop, and everyone's in a different room wearing gym clothes.

YouTube has agreed to pay licensing fees with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), which represents about 3,000 independent music publishers (LA Times). This deal is consistant with Vevo’s success, the significant percentage of music videos topping “most viewed charts” and the all-new YouTube.com/music (see promo video).

YouTube music vevo channel
YouTube "Music" Debuts: click to see promo video

YouTube, friends, is your new radio station, MTV, iTunes, Pandora, Jango, Live365. I’m Sirius.

This advances YouTube’s partnerships with music publishers to “monetize” user-generated videos that contain music written by artists represented by the NMPA. The four major labels (EMI Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment) already have separate licensing contracts with YouTube.

What’s relatively new is that these deals cover synchronization rights on behalf of songwriters. Yes, folks, this means independent musicians singing “covers” of a licensed song will be providing a percent of their ad-generated income to the owner (sorry jaaaaaaa). The terms of the royalty payments, however, are confidential. This, of course, is more than fair. Shouldn’t the guy who wrote the timeless classic, “Never Gonna Give You Up” get a chunk money from the ads that surround Rickrolls?

NMPA agreed to drop its class-action lawsuit against YouTube filed in 2007, but members of NMPA have until mid-September to decide whether they wish to opt out of the licensing agreement with YouTube or continue to pursue legal action against the video platform on their own.

 

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funny Conference

So I’m sitting at Starbucks at 3, and I’ll be on stage in about 33 minutes. My presentation looks perhaps like a hotdog long before it takes that edible, if somewhat phallic, shape. Despite my morning’s panic attack, missing a flight and driving the 7 hours to Boston, I manage to catch YouTube Hall-of-Famer Michael Buckley as I pass his town. Sadly he has “a doctor’s appointment” that precludes a quick spanking or whatever YouTubers do when they meet.

It’s 3:03 as I reorder slides, fundamentally changing my entire presentation (shown below on Slideshare) I can’t help but get distracted by two nervous looking band members who appear to be meeting a new digital marketer consultant. “Our last guy, um, got really busy with school,” says Shaggy (his real name is being withheld because I don’t know it). The consultant begins to LAY IT ON THICK. Total bullshit, coated with a thick creamy topping of arrogance and a faux-pedantic snobbery crowning it all like an overly marinated cherry on top.

The topic of viral video comes up, and my face begins to literally contort as I hear the crap this guy’s advising. I couldn’t control my face. I could see some gal looking at me, and then over at them… making the connection. But I can’t help myself. When Shaggy says “I’m not willing to lose my integrity to get 3 million views on YouTube,” I think seriously about coming to his rescue. But something about this consultant strikes me as odd and dangerous. He’s far too assertive, simplistic, narcissistic, simplistic and repetitive (seems we loathe that in others that we resent in ourselves).

As I’ve finally shifted back to my presentation, literally changing the entire thesis at this point with minutes to spare, the consultant BARGES out the door of Starbucks leaving Shaggy and Scooby stunned. Again I decide to go to their rescue, hold their hand, and tell them that one need not compromise their virtues to go viral… I’ll even volunteer. But just like a dream ending abruptly, they vanish. Come to think of it, maybe it was a dream. No… I’m pretty sure it was real.

Then I gave this presentation below. To show that humor is hard to categorize because of its subjectivity, I did a live vlog (seen at the end of this video) where I followed the 102nd rule of “winning over an audience.” I secretly maligned them using a stage whisper. I was actually kinda bummed out they laughed, which is not what I expected after reading this Joel Warner Wired article that put this on my rader (and created an obsession for me).

Now for the preliminary findings, and a BIG thanks to Alexis, Kiddsock and Will Reese, as well as other contributors!