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.

 

Intravenous Twitter Drip of Online-Video Enthusiasts

Without bookmarks, RSS or e-mails, there are a few sites I remember and visit randomly.  It’s usually because I’m bored or curious (but don’t know what I’m curious about). For instance, TechCrunch, Cheapskate, TheOnion, Google News, Yahoo Buzz. What are yours?

On TechCrunch I found an article about Blekko, a search engine that avoids spam by only indexing sites identified by people (like 2100 university sites). You use slashes to refine your search, so I tried Nalts and /date. That awakened me to a SocialTimes piece Megan O’Neill (Tel Aviv) curated a bunch of people and websites worth following on Twitter if you’re an online-video enthusiast. It’s quite handy, but I’m biased because I made the cut. 🙂

The Twitter accounts include ReelSEO’s Mark Robertson, GigaOM’s Ryan Lawler, Shape Shifting Zadi Diaz, as well as a bunch of people I consider “Friends” by a broad definition (meaning I have met them in person, I like them, and we share interests). Author Steve Garfield, Revisiond3’s Jim Louderback, Michael Buckley (WhatTheBuck), iJustine, Charles Trippy, Kassemg (the guy I know least among these). By a pure definition they’re not exactly friends, though. But isn’t the term “friend” changing because of Facebook’s use of the term?

Hey on that note, what’s a close friend? I’d consider a “close friend” someone you’ve known for a year or more, you’ve exchange meaningful information, and you know well and vice versa (meaning you each know your family/friends/significant others). For me, a friend isn’t competitive, they listen, and they share values. They can differ in many ways, but enjoy each other’s conversation and company. Most importantly, they forgive lapses in communication (something important to me because I’m spread thin and often vanish). I can think of dozens of people who are too frustrated by my intermittent communication to consider me a friend, and others who I can call after a long lapse and it’s like no time has passed.

Photo by Jim Davidson (Bucknick)

Anyway, Megan also assembled a nice collection of online-video stats and news websites (these are her words below). I’d suggest adding a few sites sites like ViralBlog, ReelSEOUrgo6667‘s stat site called Social Blade, and Renetto’s MyU2b).

  • Unleash Video Unleash Video is a video entertainment sharing website.  On their Twitter account they tweet about videos and news from their website, but they also tweet about general news in the online video space and they always have something interesting to share.
  • Web Series Today – If you enjoy web series then Web Series Today is definitely a must-follow.  Web Series Today tweets about the web’s top video series and is the best source for unfiltered web series information online.
  • Viral Video Chart – If you love being the first of your friends to know about the latest viral video hits then Viral Video Chart is the Tweeter to follow.  Viral Video Chart tweets about all the latest and most popular viral videos on the web.
  • Viral Viral Videos – Viral Viral Videos is also a great source, tweeting about viral videos as they go viral.
  • Web Video News – Finally, Web Video News is a great source for online and web video news, research and trends, compiling news from a variety of different sources across the web.

My list of linked sites is somewhat arbitrary and antiquated, but I hope to revise it. Please let me know what else you read for news about online video, and I’ll try to refresh the list with these and others!

Best CyberMonday Online Deals & Websites for 2009

If you’re like me, you bagged Black Friday because it’s a horrible consumer experience. I stopped at BestBuy last night, and found myself stressed by the nervous energy, manic customers, and stacks of electronics jammed into the isles. How am I supposed to know if the hysteria over “power deals” are worth the low prices?

cyber-monday

So I’m researching CyberMonday in hopes that your Monday desktop shopping is convenient and productive. I’m also working on a video that answers the frequent question I get, “which video camera should I buy.” Tips welcome.

First, here are some top online-electronic sites, and the deals they’re offering. Who really believes the LATimes article (citing Neilsen data) that suggests CyberMonday is passe?

Now some price-savings & comparison sites you may or may not know about:

Google Product Search, Shopzilla, Shopping.com, GottaDeal.com, Dealnews.com, YahooShopping.com, PriceGrabber.com, Shoppingg.com, Bizrate.com, Nextag.com, MySimon, Bing.com Shopping, QueenofCheap, Overstock.com 5-star deals, Dealtime.com.

CNET’s Rick Broida has a nice site called “Cheapskate,” that spotlights nice electronic deals all year round. You need to watch frequently, because many of his hidden gems vanish days after he posts.

Again- I welcome any additional sites… comment below! Remember, kiddies, free shipping and deep discounts on crappy electronics isn’t the point.

Best Resources for Online Video ‘n Marketing, Farty

Best Blogs and Websites about Online-Video Marketing and Social Media

Online-Video RSS

What’s on your RSS or what sites do you visit related to online-video and marketing? Please comment below, especially in the likely event I missed something. I’ll update this, and you and I can find this post again by searching the word “FARTY,” which unlikely appears elsewhere here. I could be wrong.

Yes it’s time again for a round-up of some must-read blogs & peeps related to online video, marketing social media, and the shizzle.

Here’s the problem about finding good websites and blogs about online video. If you add “online video” to a search query, you’ll get a lot of videos about marketing. And the social-media space is just too damned cluttered. Any idiot can write an article about that. I like the writers that touch on the intersection of online-video and marketing, and don’t stray too far into the self-indulgent world of traditional entertainment and advertising, the desperate starving filmmakers overproducing episodic content, and boring crap about technology providers.

Most of these peeps are smarter than me, but I actually spend most of my day marketing and making videos… not a journalist or professional speaker (although I’m doing more and more… someone help me figure out how to charge to speak please). So although my content will give you great secret or bore you to death, at least it’s mostly practical.

If I missed you, take a cue from Uncle Nalts. Shamelessly self promote below. Unless your blog is about cats.

If YouTube, Google, Twitter & Facebook Were Cartoon People

If the popular websites were cartoon people, what would they look like? Elontirien on deviantART has the answer below (via ContenttoCommerce).

Perhaps nothing is amusing as Dr. Google staring in disdain at his adolescent son/brother, YouTube (shooting the bird with both hands).

if_websites_were_people

Wonder Why How-To Videos Boom Despite Economy?

how-to video siteWhen PR Pro Laura Hart (Beck Media & Marketing) contacted me in early August about how-to video site “Wonder How To,” she suggested a WVFF blog post on top video sites, and told me her client’s website had 145,000 videos. I was impressed with her pitch (she had bothered to read the blog), and promised to write about the category again and WonderHowTo. When I preditably forgot, and she reminded me gently a month later — only she had to update her stats. The site now has more than 200,000 videos.

It’s no surprise that how-to websites are booming and video makers are creating more instructional (do it yourself- DIY) videos. In a tough economy, we’ll be outsourcing less and relying on our own lack of competency. Just as we’ve grown accustomed to Googling answers, we’re now surfing video to learn new tricks, software tools, and hobbies. Or maybe we just want to learn how to smash a bottom of a beer bottle.

Most importantly, DIY is mostly evergreen content. Years from now we’ll still want to build a hover board from scratch (see “hot” section for more like it). There are a number of how-to sites, and much of WonderHowTo’s content is right from YouTube or Metacafe. But it’s well indexed around an important application for video, and it’s frankly hard to find DIY video via YouTube and even Google.

Other how-to websites include HowCast, Graspr and Life 123 and 5 minutes. I haven’t reviewed them all because I haven’t decided to plunge into the maybe-more-profitable-but-less-exciting DIY space. But if I were to start these, here’s what I’d do:

  1. Hedge your bets, and post everywhere. Use TubeMogul and be sure to market your content via sites (like WonderHowTo) that may not require you to host it there, but would list your video.
  2. Keep it short. Nobody has ever said “that instructional video went too quickly.” Chapter it if necessary, and provide places for people to pause.
  3. For the love of God keep it simple. No expensive production necessary.
  4. Focus on topics that are unique- the space is already crowded with obvious things like home repairs and software… find something in which you’re uniquely qualified to teach.
  5. Want to really set yourself apart? Entertain! It has worked for most popular chefs.
  6. Don’t stop by posting on these sites. Find blogs around your topic area and let them know the videos exist. Preferably lead them to sites that share revenue.
  7. Sell yourself. Have a simple website that credentializes you as an expert- and even better have a book even if it’s a self-published short one.

P.S. Here’s a recently featured how-to video: How to get into any pub by pretending you’re a disk jockey.

Wired and Fast Company Writers Aren’t Very Funny

I like to eat cow testiclesWired Magazine writer Meghan Keane isn’t very funny at all. Neither is the author of the article she echoed by Fast Company Writer Carlye Adler.

You know what? I’ll save you the trouble of reading these sobering articles. Comedy sites aren’t attracting sufficient advertising online. Except for College Humor, which is niche enough and maintains an exclusivity period before dumping stuff on YouTube (hey, The Onion… wake up… why should I go out to dinner/theonion.com if I can have your steakat home/youtube?)

  • “Viewers may flock to funny videos on the Internet, but for advertisers it’s not always a laughing matter. The questionable content that so often accompanies user-generated video can cause problems for brands looking to broaden — not damage — their image.
  • Ricky Van Veen, CEO of College Humor, says “We’ve found that a lot of our pieces have gotten a second life on YouTube.” “In the world of infinite ad inventory, quantity doesn’t matter,” says Van Veen. “It’s a tough ad market – you really have to bend over backwards and do something special for advertisers.”

Listen, Meghan and Caryle (if those are your real names). My MBA marketing professor was an expert (that’s why he taught instead of basking in a $750K SVP job). And he used to say three things sell.

  1. Cows
  2. The word free
  3. And funny

Okay he didn’t say that at all. I made it up. But it needed some attribution to credentialize it. And the reality is that my marketing professor spent the entire semmester boasting about his big idea in his briefcase. Finally one day he opened the case and revealed “the future of polling.” It replaced clip board surveys for the people that chase you in front of supermarkets, and it looked like a giant calculator.

Excuse me a second. I have to go punch someone who’s not funny. There. I’m back and feel better. What was I saying?

Oh- The articles should highlight two important points (and maybe they did, but we scan): First, the reality is that people are looking for content THEY find funny. Not another humor humor website they forget about 10 minutes after they visit it (vloggerheads, cough cough). Second, keep the costs down. The monetization model is still an infant. She can’t afford to pay a mortgage yet, the poor dear.

How to Send Large Files (mostly for free)

augustus gloop chocolate tubeNeed to send giant video files, but don’t want the hassle of FTP? There’s a proliferation of free sites that will allow you to upload a giant file (100 MB to 1 Gig) and provide someone else with a URL or e-mail so they can pull it down. Some require “client” software, but many need only a web browser and are supported by advertising or upsells to fancier versions. I used to be a loyal Pando user, but there are three problems:

  1. I don’t like the way I have to locate the file and drag it to the clumsy file interface (the user experience for finding a file on my Mac via Pando is painful).
  2. Most people don’t want to have to download and install a client application to retrieve it (even though it’s quite easy). And once you’ve done that, it’s usually the most convenient way to go (because it’s a one-step operation — instead of uploading, waiting for a unique URL, then e-mailing that URL and hoping your recipient downloads it before it expires).
  3. Pando seems to be constantly nagging me to upgrade, and I never see any improvements. It also crashes quite often.

Now I’m finding a wealth of alternatives, and the web interfaces have improved. The ads are still there, but it’s a small price to pay for free storage and upload/download. Here are just a few… No doubt Google will invent a free one that will crush this marketplace, but you gotta love ’em all for trying.

  • sendspace: Currently my favorite. Up to 300 MB, no fee, and very few limits. Has some upsell packages with a lot higher limits (1.5 gigs).
  • mediafire: One to watch. Has really good reviews (PCMag, CNet and PCWorld) and is apparently new.
  • senduit: Extremely easy, but it vanishes in 7 days and you have to wait for the unique URL (then e-mail it). Lose that code, and the file vanishes.
  • yousendit: I moved to it, but it started nagging me about reaching a limit. It’s got some upsell features.
  • dropboks: Haven’t played with it yet, but seems simple enough.
  • nakido: Another one I haven’t tried, but looks simple.
  • Plain Old Webserver: A Firefox add-on that does the trick apparently.
  • diino: Another client one, but decent file limit.

Where Can I Find Royalty Free Music, Sound Effects and Video Footage?

Pickle phobia maria pickle girl mauryNo knocking Kevin MacLeod from Incompetech.com. He’s saved us from many default musical loops and countless copyright infringements. But now and then, we need a bit of variety. And here are some additional options for music, sound effects and even video footage.

To help you return to this post, I’ll add the words Helen Keller. Then you can just do a Google search for Helen Keller and WillVideoForFood, and you’ll be back on this page. See, Helen Keller couldn’t hear or see, so she’s not a name you’d expect to see as a mnemoni, and… oh never mind. You’ll remember it.

MUSIC

  • I’ve got some of my Nalts themes (recorded using every loop I could buy for Garage Band).
  • Jonathon Mikel Taylor Roberts has a nice MacLeod-like site at jmtr.com.
  • Candace Bilyk has “project loop” to encourage more royalty-free artists to promote their music. She also has some of her own songs on her site.
  • DigitalPh33r (a creator for Machinima.com) identifies two sources, and does so without sounding as angry as usual. He credits stockmusic.net
  • Then there’s RoyaltyFreeMusic, which seems a bit pricey for the amateur and a bit cheesy for the pro.
  • The MusicBakery is a mixed bag. Some fantastically cheesy 1980s music mixed with some robust classics. Prepare to dig, but you may find something worth the $30-$50 price tag for a song download.
  • Opuzz.com was also hot and cold, but I quite like this contagious whistling song called “Easy Stroll.” Prices range for $3 to $30 per clip, depending on how much you want.
  • Free Sound Project is one that’s a bit more complex, but interesting. Sounds not songs.

SOUND EFFECTS

  • DigitalPh33r lists soundeffect.com.
  • PartnersInRhyme has a nice mix of free and pay-as-you-go sound effects… all royalty free.
  • I’ve also used SoundDogs before, and you’ll need to dig around but usually find what you need.
  • Avoid the CD-ROM collections since they’re usually not royalty free, even if they’re inexpensive.

VIDEO FOOTAGE