Nostradamus, Dead Birds & Tips for Pending Apocalypse

I only had to read about one of the batch of dead birds to suspect Notradamus must have predicted this. But alas, it seems we’ve had a few (source: BBC):

  • 400 turtle doves were found dead in Faenza, Italy, in the days after New Year. Turtle doves, of course, refer to the Old and New Testament
  • In Arkansas town of Beebe, on New Year’s Eve, some 3,000 red-winged blackbirds fell to their deaths. These guys and their “iridescent black plumage holds the energies of mysticism and magic.”
  • Just a few days later dozens of jackdaws were found dead in a residential street in Falkoeping, Sweden. The Greeks held that Princes Arne was turned into one of these birds, forever seeking shiny things.

While there are no doubt some rational and scientific explanations, it’s just too easy to see this as an irrefutable apocalyptic warning here… common, people, especially with 2012 approaching.

Dr. No also predicted the BP Oil Spill (Associated Content, Yahoo):

“A great stench will come from Lausanne, but they will not know its origin, they will put out all people from distant places, fire seen in the sky, a foreign nation defeated.”

Famous “Damus” saw the coming of The Man With the Golden Voice (homeless guy), although clearly it wasn’t in his top-10 quotes:

“A man from poverty shall emerge to divine success, and make Kraft voiceovers.” (Okay I took some liberties with the interpretation of that).

NewsyVideo — a certain credible journalistic news source, as evidenced by the authentic news sounds and graphics — provides perspective about “the collective freakout” and the “real story.”

Some free, personally curated video collection for braving the pending imminent apocalypse:

  1. Subscribe to “Survice the Apocalypse,” and be sure to print out relevant posts on nuclear-proof paper ($5.99 a reim at Staples)
  2. Brush up on Zombies basics to prepare for attacks (see “Zombies in Plain English” video).
  3. Take a tip from “Bert the Turtle” and “dock and cover” (see 1950s educational film).
  4. Dawan and Joey can share family tips on emergencies and help you get that 72-hour kit ready.
  5. Irwin Redlener provided a Ted presentation with some nuclear survival tips. Skip ahead to 18 minutes to know where you should be standing relative to the bomb to avoid such uncomfortable side effects as acute radiation, heat, and vaporization. Avoid looking at the light, and get a mile away from the blast in the next 20 minutes.
  6. Don’t sweat the details. Apparently there’s a World to Come (see religious video).

YouTube Singes Unite for 2010 “We Are the World” for Haiti

LisaLavie1 and other amazingly talented YouTube singers joined together in song in a 2010 version of “We Are the World” for Haiti. Who says community isn’t vibrant in social media’s most visceral form (online video)? The video links to the 2010 remake of Quincy Jones’ version (which has surpassed 11 million views), and to Credits for this YouTube homage are below.

Mike Kalombo created the track:
Lisa’s boyfriend, Alphacat spent 3 days editing it along with Lisa (they have a duo channel):

Troye Sivan
Melissa Polinar
Ben Sharkey
Iann Guérin
Bruce & Daniel
Mishal Moore
Blair Perkins
Lyne Sullivan
Lois Mahalia
Chris Cendana
Luna Mae
Maria Zouroudis
Lisa Lavie
David Choi
Richard Rick Rose
Nick Pitera
Aj Rafael
Lucas Teague
Jessica Sanchez
Thia Megia
Shan Malaika
Emmanuelle Auger
Laura Broad
Sheena Melwani
Dan Talevski
Frank Bell
Orlando Dixon
Iman Crosson
JR Aquino
Eric Arceneaux
Stacy Dudero
Meghan Tonjes
James Dupre
Heidi Jutras
Anna Moya…
Laura Song
Renee Thomas
Jon McSingee
Nick Gardner
Jon Cahlander
Julie Corrigan

Today is “Project for Awesome,” so Watch for Nerfighters Reducing “World Suck”

Today, December 17, is the third-annual “Project for Awesome,” where thousands of Nerdfighters will be using online-video to “reduce world suck.”

Even if you understood nothing in the headline or lead, I encourage you to keep reading because you’ll learn a lot about online-video through this story.

Project for awesome 2009 logo

John and Hank Green were brothers who lost contact over the years, and decided to change that through daily vlogs to each other (which they posted for the rest of the world as Vlogbrothers). I find myself increasingly frustrated with people in online video that don’t know their name… and give them the look of disgust you get from a sports enthusiast when you say “I hope Tiger Ruth helps the New Orleans Rangers make it to the Superbowl.”

Unlike other popular online video creators, the vlogbrothers put their loyal viewers, ideals, intellect and charity above themselves. This has created a genuine fan base of people (we call ourselves Nerdfighters), who would pretty much do whatever the Green brothers asked unless it involved hurting small animals. We’re bonded on the pursuit of increasing awesome and decreasing suck. After all a good planet is equal to awesome less suck (put mathematically, that’s GP=A-S). In my opinion, increasing awesome is easier that decreasing suck. It’s easier to bond around a cause than a complaint.

Today, like the two prior years, hundreds of video creators will make “Project for Awesome” videos to promote good causes (here’s mine, which is to promote awareness of autism). “We want to make the world a better place, and so we’re thanking people who have dedicated their lives to do that, and promoting their cause with our time and our money,” the brothers write on their website.

So here’s what to watch for today:

  • Hundreds of videos will be posted to YouTube with a specific thumbnail (icon).
  • Via Twitter (using hashtag #p4a), hundreds or thousands of people will be giving these videos “5 star” ratings, and commenting aggressively on them (to push them to most-discussed and most-viewed pages, which are as important as the homepage itself.
  • The team will be using a ProjectforAwesome Livestream to communicate as well.
  • As a result of this, many newer YouTube users will be perplexed, but then find themselves amused and perhaps compelled to participate.

Now let’s say your heart is made of ice, and you really don’t care about community or charity. What can you learn from this as a marketer? Well to keep it real, you’d unlikely be able to replicate this, because people tend not to rally around a brand or commercial effort like this.

But it does show the influence that a few people can have on a larger group (the YouTube “community” that is still vibrant), and in turn to a much wider audience of YouTube grazers (the rest of the world). Give people something to care about that’s bigger than your brand or you, and do something selfless (to help reduce world suck). That’s a noble cause, right? And maybe we’ll see major charities or brands tossing their hats in the ring this year or next.

Project for Awesomeness Helps End World Suck: YouTube Features Nerdfighters

Project Awesome gets recognized by YouTube editorsThe Vlogbrothers (Hank and John) helped orchestrate another “Project Awesome,” and I’m sad I missed participating. This thumbnail collection (right) is a collection of “Project 4 Awesome” videos, which are featured on YouTube’s homepage. Individual creators recognized a charity of their choice to help “end world suck.”

While I’m glad to see YouTube editors recognize this powerful grassroots movement, I’m far more struck by the image I saw 2 days ago. The most popular and highest-rated videos of December 18 were those created as part of this program. 

The brothers didn’t need to feature the already popular Julia Nunes (Jaaaaaaa), but her “P4A/Office/Lupus” video was one of my favorites. First, I’m a huge fan. Second, you can see her sincerity and humility about asking viewers to help the Lupus foundation, even though a family member has Lupus. Third, she opens with the theme for my favorite television show since 1893 when TVs were invented. She’s going to knit a hat for the highest bidder on eBay (I awakened this morning, and grabbed my laptop, coffee and credit card… but alas, the bidding at $800 is past the Nalts price range). 

John and Hank aren’t just interesting video creators, but very purposeful, intelligent and passionate. John’s an author, Hank a musician and more. And their viewers, who proudly call themselves “nerdfighters,” rally not just around the brothers, but around the values they share… ending world suck and all.

Folks, this is social media at its finest, and so far from self promotion known by many on YouTube (including myself). However it makes these creators and channels more appealing. For instance, I’ve seen the Elevator Show and met Woody, but his appeal for MS made me realize he’s not just funny- but he has a heart. It prompted me to watch about 10 episodes of his show that I hadn’t yet seen.

It will be interesting to see how the “grazers” of YouTube (those who surf specific videos or scan the homepage) will respond… will they roll their eyes and return to hot babes and cats? Or will they help the Nerdfighters grow the army of awesomeness? 

Two closing thoughts:

  1. There’s a lesson here. Sincerity is contagious as negativity. 
  2. Kudos to this group, and those who participated by making videos or helping rate them to the top for greater awareness! Sorry I was not among you this year. Seems Alan forgot to remind me. 😉



Brotherhood 2.0: Two Brothers Using Only Videos for One Year

Brotherhood 2.0It’s nearing the end of John and Hank Green’s experiment called Brotherhood 2.0. They’ve used video to communicate each day for the past year… each posting a video on alternative days, and communicating in no other way. And they’ve invited the world to watch…

The two recently helped initiate “Nerdfighter Power: ’07 Project for Awesome” takeover of YouTube. I’m not really sure how to explain it, so I’ll let John. Or maybe Hank should explain it.

I participated in it (to help reduce world suck), but didn’t quite know about this whole Brotherhood 2.0 thing at the time. How? I’m a friggin’ Viral Video Genius, and I am just finding out about this!?

Now I’m infatuated by it, even if they are ghosts of ZeFrank. Check out their FAQ.