Viral Videos – Hit or Miss?

Viral videos are pretty hit or miss, and not many brands can match the virality of independent series like Awkward Black Girl. Still, the brands who try can end up winning big: Old Spice and Progressive are just two brands who’ve used humor, silliness and social media to achieve virtually instant name recognition. Videos that are useful or entertaining are the most shared, but there’s no real formula to making a viral video. That doesn’t mean, however, that brands won’t try–and some of them succeed.

For the first few seconds of Till Dance Do We Part it’s not hard to think this is a real show. It’s flashy and gaudy and just weird enough to be plausible: big audience, technically skilled dancers, and a judge who looks like a cross between Liberace, David Alan Grier and Prince. So, when the camera cuts to a female dancer smacking sidelong into a washing machine, the viewer’s surprised. We’ve just been tricked into watching a nearly pitch-perfect pastiche of reality show–and when the punch line comes, the viewer feels a little cheated. That’s what makes it compelling: for a split second, the viewer is left squinting at their laptop screen, not in on the joke.

But that doesn’t last long, and the punch line becomes genuinely funny. It shouldn’t be, because laughing at people who hurt themselves isn’t nice; but the slapstick element is a reminder of just how absurd the reality television industry has become. With the appearance of appliances comes the relief that a dance competition this crazy isn’t actually real. It’s what makes this video both entertaining and shareable. This month-old Sears commercial is proof that virality sometimes doesn’t happen. But Sears’ brand is recognizable enough that it doesn’t need an instantly measurable ROI, and this commercial will eventually become a gamble that pays off.

[Read more…]

Blogger’s Simplest Productivity Apps

Blogging is hard to scale: Sometimes you feel inspired and you just go and write a cool article. Sometimes you feel swamped and stressed to blog but you need to. There are just a few professional bloggers among us. For the majority of us blogging is a hobby which makes it even harder to organize.

In an ironic twist that has always amused me, productivity apps are seemingly getting more and more complex. With expansive features, complicated installation instructions, thorough sign up policies and a millions steps for setup, it is hardly worth it.

After all, isn’t the point of getting the app in the first place to be more productive? How can it call itself that when it waste so much time and energy just getting the thing up and running? It doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the product.

But there do exist some nice, simple productivity apps out there that get the job done, and with minimum fuss. [Read more…]

Social Media Used For Good Causes

Social media is now the main tool for the vast majority of charities and good causes for getting their message out, raising awareness and funds. All of the top 200 Forbes listed charities use at least one of the main social media platforms for their fund raising campaigns.

Tweetathon, Tweetsgiving and Twestival have all used the social media tool Twitter with great success for their charity drives.

[Read more…]

Social Networks: Dominating Our Time Online

Even though email and IM are still the two important communication channels, social media channels are rapidly increasing for our communication and we are dedicating more and more of our time online to social media.

Infographiclabs have collected and visualised the most recent data on Social Media usage in infographic below, enjoy!

[Read more…]

Here Comes Instagram: Infographic


The Rise In Popularity Of Instagram

With the increasing popularity of social media communication, here comes another application that’s been creating a huge buzz around the internet for a while now: the image uploading app. Instagram. Instagram is so popular that it has gained more than 4.5 million users in less than a year. Like Twitter, members can follow your posts but instead of words, you get to post photos and then your follower can “like” your photos and leave you comments, for whatever reason, many people are fascinated by this. But what’s even more amazing about Instagram is that even professional fashion photographers and Hollywood celebrities are getting hooked by its immense popularity. It has even caught the attention of the number one social media site: FaceBook.

[Read more…]

Online Photo Storage And Sharing: Infographic


What are the best online photo storage sites?

Gone are the days when photos are tucked into albums and shown only for special occasions. Today, memorable photos and videos can be stored safely on the internet via online photo storage. Photo storage online is fast becoming the main location where people keep their photos. Because of the threat of losing their most precious files, more and more users are using this technology in addition to storing them on their computer’s hard drive.

[Read more…]

Shared Webhosting: Hostgator Webhosting Review


Hosting often is one of the more difficult decisions to make when starting a website and our own Jonathan Bailey has written several entries on the topic already, over at BloggingPro, as part of his Blogging Pitfalls column. The main problem with hosting though is that often YMMV applies and what one thinks is a great host, could be horrible experience for the next user. I recently switched several sites to Hostgator and here’s my experience with them.

One of the main reasons why it often is difficult to decide on a host, is that the user never knows whether the server they receive space on is oversold or not. Most hosting companies, especially larger ones do oversell, in order to keep the price down. Often this results in the dilemma: “Do I go with a larger, and cheaper, host company or do I decide for a smaller company which is more expensive?”. [Read more…]

5 Tips For Building Expertise Through Blogging

How much time do you need to put into a niche before you can declare yourself an expert? Well, many bloggers seem to disagree, judging by their self-proclamations after only a few months, but once upon a time you were classified as an expert if you had spent roughly 10,000 hours on a skill, in a focused, structured manner. If we’re referring to a career job, at roughly 40 hours/week, that comes out to about five years. But when it comes to working online and establishing your expertise, the Web doesn’t wait around. Five years is too long, since Web technology is always changing.
[Read more…]