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robertogreco : viral   36

How 'The Dress' exposes viral media's shaky future | Fusion
"Sometimes when I’m feeling numbed by the cascading viral trends and hot takes in my feeds, I’ll load up a random number generator and use it to search YouTube for videos without names, ones nobody has ever watched before. The sensation is like flipping through broadcasts of alien surveillance footage of humanity. I click indiscriminately from one shot to the next: A man explains how he traded his bicycle for a used video camera—click. A child dances in front of the TV as EDM plays—click. A girl stands in her kitchen alone and growls: “That’s how you make BROWNIES”—click.

There’s something pleasingly candid about the videos. They hearken back to an older era of the internet, when nobody knew what the hell they were doing. When unsettling weirdness and danger lurked just a few clicks away. Before a combination of centralized services created a predictable, sanitized web. In my day, kids had to walk uphill both ways to get their content.

That old, strange internet never really went away. It’s just hidden in plain sight, on our social media platforms.

Most content on the web is accessed through a handful of platforms. Those companies make money off the information users post, and so they encourage everyone to post as much as possible, free of charge.

Yet this presents a problem: There’s too much stuff. Even the most avid user, eyes glazed over from scrolling past thousands of baby photos and clickbait articles and ads, can’t possibly see everything that gets posted.

This puts these companies in a bind. They can’t tell people to post less frequently ($$$) but they also can’t let their sites be overwhelmed by screeching noise because users will get frustrated and jump ship ($$$). So they filter content, each in their own ways. Facebook’s newsfeed, for example, uses an algorithm that boosts content based on a series of mysterious factors—are people engaging with the post? Saying “congrats”? Did they give us any $$$? Google offers search results tailored to what it deems relevant to the user. Twitter is experimenting with alternatives to chronological order. It all works pretty well. Our feeds are relatively bearable, if not boring.

And yet, beneath the controlled epidural layer, that filtered-out stuff still exists.

This is the Lonely Web. It lives in the murky space between the mainstream and the deep webs. The content is public and indexed by search engines, but broadcast to a tiny audience, algorithmically filtered out, and/or difficult to find using traditional search techniques.

How large is the Lonely Web? Based on one study from 2009 that shows that 53% of videos on YouTube haven’t even passed the 500-view mark, it’s safe to estimate: It is very, very large.

It includes but is not limited to: videos on YouTube that have never been viewed; Twitter accounts with hundreds of tweets and no followers; spam bots; blurry concert videos with blasted-out sound; Change.org petitions for lost causes; apps that nobody will ever download; and anonymous posts on 4chan that suddenly disappear, extinguishing like distant stars made of burning trash.

There are even brands on the Lonely Web. A Kazakstan outpost of fast food chain Hardee’s, for example, has only 160 Twitter followers. For a while the account was just tweeting random, inexplicable codes, like a fast food numbers station.

The content feels more honest than much of the formulaic, prepackaged mainstream web. It seems to be the result of platforms aggressively telling people their voices matter and deserve to be heard, without making apparent the extent to which their broadcast signals are diminished. The Lonely Web is littered with desperate messages in bottles, washed far ashore in a riptide of irrelevant content.

There are tools for exploring the Lonely Web, if one is especially lazy: Sites like 0views and Petit YouTube collect unwatched, “uninteresting” videos; Sad Tweets finds tweets that were ignored; Forgotify digs through Spotify to find songs that have never been listened to; Hapax Phaenomena searches for “historically unique images” on Google Image Search; and /r/deepintoyoutube, which was created by a 15-year-old high school student named Dustin (favorite video: motivational lizard) curates obscure, bizarre videos.



One of my favorite techniques comes from /r/imgxxxx and involves searching the default file formats for digital cameras plus four random numbers. This dredges up videos so unwanted that they were never named. In some cases, not even the person who filmed the videos seems to have watched them.

Can such a massive amount of unrelated content have a unified aesthetic? Kind of, sort of. It’s best described by what it isn’t. Most sites have “best practices”—encouraged or implied—and most of what’s on the Lonely Web violates them. It is weird and of shoddy quality, amateurish, with impossible-to-search titles. Some of it is charming and candid and unpolished. A lot of it is incomprehensible garbage. It varies in length—either too short or too long—and eschews cohesive narratives.

I get the nagging impression that some of it wasn’t meant to be seen. Since they end up being unnervingly candid windows into people’s lives, browsing through too much of it at once can feel invasive and emotionally exhausting.

But for precisely all these reasons, unlike a lot of mainstream content, the Lonely Web feels, well, human.

👥👥👥

Despite its apparent worthlessness, some content on the Lonely Web winds up being incredibly lucrative. A company called Ditto, for example, searches through people’s public photos looking for references to brands, selling that information to corporations as valuable demographic data."
viral  virality  audience  video  anthropology  content  joeveix  youtube  lonelyweb  web  online  internet  deepweb  hapaxphaenomena  obscurity  forgotify  spotify  deepintoyoutube  images  search  onlinetoolkit  0views  audiencesofnone 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Living the GoPro Life
"GoPro, like Google Glass, has the insidious effect of making the pervasiveness of cameras seem playful and benign when it may one day be anything but. The Economist called the film-everything culture “the people’s panopticon”—the suggestion being that with all these nifty devices we might be unwittingly erecting a vast prison of self-administered surveillance."
gopro  photography  cameras  2014  culture  pov  pointofview  video  viral 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Throwing cold water on the phenomenon — The Message — Medium
"Lou Gehrig’s Disease is horrible; on this everyone agrees. And anything that might hasten the development of treatments or even a cure is inarguably worth supporting. But.

That damned ice bucket challenge. Celebrities, athletes, business executives, that annoying self-promotional person in your Facebook network —they’ve all embraced the charity campaign, becoming particularly inescapable in the last month. And it’s worked, with the ALS Association reporting a more-than-tenfold increase in donations since the campaign took off, yielding over $30 million in proceeds. [Update: Felix Salmon makes a credible case for donations reaching $100 million.]

It’s extraordinarily rare to see many people publicly criticizing a charity campaign, given the risks of being seen as heartless or obnoxious. That’s especially true given the record-breaking success of the ice bucket challenge. Yet many reasonable, caring people have voiced some skepticism or concern about the particulars of this charity effort. Something about the way the ice bucket challenge has taken off rubbed many of us the wrong way, even as we’ve been pleased by its success.

In the interest of understanding how even an undeniably meritorious effort could grate on the sensibilities of good people, I solicited specific reasons that the ice bucket challenge was annoying. Dozens of people replied, offering complaints that fit neatly into a few different (presumably not ice-filled) buckets. They are presented here, sorted from least legitimate to most legitimate.

It’s getting out of giving

At least in its most common incarnations, the premise of the ice bucket challenge was that the participants were dumping ice on their heads to avoid donating to the cause. Now, the majority of extremely wealthy people who have done the challenge have chosen both to dump ice on their heads and to donate to the cause. But the setup being anti-charity stuck in many people’s minds as a fairly offensive premise. This objection seems a bit more dubious, given that nobody is actually using the challenge as an excuse not to give to the cause, but it certainly helped color the conversation for those who were already skeptical.

[examples]

Charity Ought Not Be Public
That thine alms may be in secret: and
thy Father which seeth in secret
himself shall reward thee openly.

That exhortation to give in private was courtesy of Aaron Williamson, epitomizing this class of objections.

[examples]

Annoyance at the Participants

The rich are, of course, constant and often worthy targets of our scorn. And when they do anything to advertise themselves as being paragons of virtue, that’s a quick road to opprobrium. Even worse is when we combine that with egotistical celebrities nakedly expressing self-regard, thanking themselves for their own generosity. Rising naturally from the earlier objections to any public charity are even more strident objections to hyper-public charity.

[examples]

Objecting to the Manipulation

When a friend or colleague publicly asks one to participate in a charity effort, it’s of course a deeply coercive action. There’s no suitable response other than yes, unless one is willing to look insensitive or cruel in public.

[examples]

The Insensitivity of Mirth

Because ALS is a brutal, exhausting disease that ravages both those who are afflicted as well as their families and loved ones, the lighthearted tone of many videos from the challenge seemed tone-deaf. This becomes doubly true when so many on social media this week have been focused on profoundly troubling events around the world, from Missouri to Syria.

[examples]

No real focus on ALS

One of the most pervasive threads of criticism is that the participants seemed largely disconnected from harsh reality of ALS, saying almost nothing about the disease, the Association dedicated to helping those with the disease, or even where people watching the video could choose to donate themselves.

[examples]

Fundamental Funding Problems Are More Important

The most compelling, inarguable justification for objecting to the ice bucket challenge is that it shouldn’t be necessary in the first place. As many have pointed out, many elected officials who were willing to perform the stunt in ostensible solidarity with people who have ALS were also willing to cut funding to fight the disease.

[examples]

Surprisingly, this wasn’t one of the most popularly-articulated reasons for objecting to this viral campaign. But it is clearly the one which bears the most mention, and it’s well worth reckoning with the serious issue of how our society will fund basic research on enormously devastating diseases.

How to address ALS

This final focus on the funding and research about the disease is the point most often overlooked in extremely viral online campaigns — because it leads to the sort of complexity that isn’t very much fun to share on Facebook.

But many charities that have been fortunate enough to experience a surge of online donations have also struggled with the after-effects. Like the lottery winners who, unaccustomed to managing wealth, find themselves broke a few years later, very few small non-profits have the skill to manage an onrush of funding that is both unexpected and unrepeatable. In the best case, they might be able to create an endowment that will yield a modest but significant annual return in the future. Those aren’t the kind of results that will get celebrities posting on YouTube, meaningful though they may be.

And for those of us not directly impacted by ALS, participating in these sorts of campaigns, rather than voting for broader medical research or supporting more substantive funding, can lead to an even more serious issue. Online campaigns are very effective in encouraging moral licensing, that phenomenon where we feel we’ve “scratched our itch” in regard to charity, and then give ourselves permission to be less charitable overall.

The most fundamental issue raised by the success of the ice bucket challenge is that ALS is an incredibly difficult disease to live with, and one that has seen few significant advances in its treatment. There is no cure. These realities are not going to change without an ongoing, extended, significant engagement by professionals who are dedicated to making progress through research.

We should never give in to cynicism, and we shouldn’t be afraid to participate in campaigns that are for a good cause. But it’s just as important we listen to the skeptics and the critics over the long run. Because ALS will be with us for a long time, but the gimmick in these videos is never going to work again."
als  charity  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  2014  icebucketchallenge  stunts  anildash  viral  lougehrig'sdisease  giving  virtue  funding  fundraising  criticism  manipulation  morallicensing  skepticism  nonprofit  charities  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Why Audio Never Goes Viral
"With a community of creators uncomfortable with the value of virality, an audience content to watch grainy dashcam videos, and platforms that discourage sharing, is a hit-machine for audio possible? And is it something anyone even wants?"
via:tealtan  audio  viral  culture  virality  stanalcorn  internet  web  radio  2014 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Flickr Co-Founder Caterina Fake on the Value of Viral Loops [Exclusive Q&A;] | Fast Company
"There's both a good and bad side to virality. Products with viral hooks that are so strong they coerce people to sign up--in order to achieve a huge initial viral rush--are obviously bad. Not only do they alienate users, they don't lead to a sustainable business. On the good side, you have organic growth, which comes as a natural byproduct of something that spreads simply because people like it--eBay, Hot or Not, and Flickr. I can't think of an antonym for it."

"The decision to make all the photos public versus private was motivated by the fact that conversations are where metadata happens."
2009  via:tealtan  metadata  folksonomy  tagging  joshuaschachter  del.icio.us  growth  gameneverending  gne  socialmedia  design  viral  flickr  technology  caterinafake 
april 2012 by robertogreco
Larry Smith's Six Word Project on Vimeo
"Larry Smith wants to know your story. Since 2006, Smith has undertaken the Six-Word Memoir Project inviting his Smith Magazine readers to tell their stories in just a handful of words. His project can now be found in classrooms, boardrooms, hospitals, churches, speed-dating sessions, and at live six-word “slams” across the world."
smithmagazine  sixwordproject  twitter  2006  via:cervus  classideas  larrysmith  simplicity  sixwords  storytelling  identity  biography  publishing  viral  books  efficiency  expression  writingprompts  hemingway  2010 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Personal projects are often worth more than professional ones. What's stopping you? - Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education
"It's all too easy to relegate our personal projects to the bottom of the pile until "the day job" is complete. The result? We nearly always end up having to leave creative, fun, new projects behind in the interest of ticking someone else's boxes, when those same personal projects could be the very innovation that make the difference. Ji Lee was fed up with his life as an ad exec when he decided to engage the public in parodying that very same world, printing out 50,000 speech bubble stickers and placing them over ads around New York City. Over time, the public took the lead in inventing political or comical speech to make the parody. The ultimate parody in this project is, of course, that ad agencies used them to further promote their products. He spins a good yarn in his 99% video. A personal project that took Ji Lee's name to the world and helped him find a seat as Director of Google's Creative Labs."

[video: http://www.vimeo.com/8596045 ]

[related: http://gelconference.com/videos/2006/ji_lee/ ]
learning  plp  tcsnmy  creativity  fulfillment  time  work  lcproject  glvo  play  fun  jilee  boingboing  viral  graffiti  streetart  humor  advertising  ewanmcintosh  joy 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Epeus' epigone: We'll be Fruitful, Virile and Fertile, they can keep Viral
"lets keep the term 'viral' for explotatative applications that violate trust to reproduce against the interests of their hosts, and we can use organic terms like 'fruitful', or if we insist on alliterative euphony, 'virile videos', 'fertile films' and maybe even 'philoprogenitive photographs'."
viral  metaphor  online  internet  via:preoccupations 
november 2009 by robertogreco
This Blog Sits at the: Issac Mizrahi on Metro North
"wonderful piece of advertising...certain emotional tonality that distinguishes it from most fashion advertising I've ever seen...has a narrative verve...But...semantics of the narrative have been withheld from us. So the fun of the ad is figuring out what's up." + comment: "There's a meta-story here, as well. In his post, Grant highlighted the Paper Monster graffiti detail, riffed a few hypotheses on what it might mean & then the actual PaperMonster wrote in clarifying that the graffito was one of his tags. So the Mizrahi ad has now become, at least for the several people involved in this interaction, a platform for dialogue & a "place where people are meeting." As with the best viral marketing, the distinctions between the realms of media & "life" have dissolved & we are left with a multiplicity of forces exerting influence on each other. Advertising in the age of the critically literate consumer & the internet has the opportunity to create this mechanism & the chance to exploit it."
advertising  isaacmizrahi  fashion  grantmccracken  internet  medialiteracy  literacy  viral  marketing  dialogue  discussion  metastories  graffiti  conversation  meaning  storytelling  understanding  dialog 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Derek Powazek - Online Advertising without Douchebaggery
"This is just one of many examples that show you can participate in online community without having to pretend to be something you’re not. In fact, participating with authenticity is not just morally good, it’s measurably more effective. The “view” is YouTube’s only real measure of currency. Bike Hero’s fake ad has chalked up 1.6 million views. The EA Tiger Woods video scored 2.5 million. Maybe honesty really is the best policy."
viral  advertising  youtube  ea  tigerwoods  marketing  guitarhero  community  participatory  media  via:rodcorp 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Digital Ethnography » “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” video of Library of Congress presentation
"The video of the presentation I gave at the Library of Congress last month is finally ready. This was tons of fun to present. I decided to forgo the PowerPoint and instead worked with students to prepare over 40 minutes of video for the 55 minute presentation. This is the result." ... Direct link to video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU [choose 'watch in high quality']

[Now at: http://mediatedcultures.net/projects/youtube/an-anthropological-introduction-to-youtube-presented-at-the-library-of-congress/ ]
michaelwesch  culture  internet  anthropology  socialmedia  youtube  ethnography  research  presentations  video  viral  web2.0  readwriteweb  education  community  web  online 
august 2008 by robertogreco
textually.org: Verizon & The Network
"Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now” Guy and The Network stalk a real person."
humor  viral  verizon  advertising  marketing 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Ship’s Biscuit » Viral Marketing Review: Using and Identifying Design Patterns
"Well, the best appear to exhibit similar patterns and by using these patterns in your own campaigns you could be on your way to a free buffet and a drunken snog at next Summer’s Revolution Awards."
viral  video  marketing  advertising  patterns  filmmaking  memetics  youtube  videos  storytelling  branding 
july 2008 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe - The Loopt SMS Mess
"If Loopt chooses not to see this nonsense as an invasive and potentially costly breach of many peoples’ privacy, then I pity the actual Loopt users who agreed to let these people publicly announce where they are all the time."
loopt  sms  privacy  usability  viral 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Everything Is Happening - "What’s changed is the speed of communication and the speed at which new music can be experienced...
"..So today we no longer wait for the breakers to hit every 11 years (roughly: rock, 55. Psychedelia, 66. Punk, 77. Acid, 1988). Instead, micro-movements pop up every month...Everything is happening, all the time, very fast. I like that"
music  internet  culture  future  speed  viral  communication  warrenellis  learning  change 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Deyemon - MyMiniCity
"To improve Deyemon, you only have to give the following links to your friends or post them in your blog. Each different click will improve Deyemon!"
cities  web  online  simulations  viral 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Is the Tipping Point Toast? -- Duncan Watts -- Trendsetting
"Marketers spend a billion dollars a year targeting influentials. Duncan Watts says they're wasting their money."
socialnetworking  networks  tippingpoint  malcolmgladwell  advertising  marketing  trends  viral  money  waste  revisit  socialmedia  economics  culture  sociology  clivethompson 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Secret Websites, Coded Messages: The New World of Immersive Games
""future of advertising isn't writing better slogans, using cool photography/video. It's creating interactive stories people can explore over phones, on web, maybe even through flash drive hidden in bathroom. It's new art form. Just ask Nine Inch Nails' T
advertising  future  interactive  play  games  gaming  storytelling  marketing  mobile  music  sms  webdesign  viral  videogames  arg  culture  immersive  ads  webdev 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Dove Viral Draws Heat From Critics - Advertising Age - News
"Dove's viral video attack on beauty ads has produced surprisingly strong, enduring blowback against Unilever from activists, newspaper op-ed writers, bloggers, videographers who see it as hypocritical coming from same company that markets Axe."
advertising  dove  marketing  transparency  video  viral  socialmedia  social  health  consumer  beauty 
november 2007 by robertogreco
The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos
or how marketers and advertisers ruin popular social networking sites..."I will post a longer response to this later, but frankly I’m disgusted by this." -Michael Arrington
advertising  ads  branding  business  spam  youtube  viral  marketing  socialnetworks  socialsoftware 
november 2007 by robertogreco
russell davies: dawdlr - a twitter for the long now
"I've tried to make dawdlr way slower than twitter. I reckon most people I know twitter about twice a day, so dawdlr is going to update twice a year. To try and get people to say what they're doing, you know, more generally."
slow  longnow  twitter  analog  messaging  viral  overload  parody  humor  blogging  socialsoftware  blogs  tumblr 
november 2007 by robertogreco
dawdlr
"dawdlr is a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: what are you doing, you know, more generally?"
slow  longnow  twitter  analog  messaging  viral  overload  parody  humor  blogging  socialsoftware  blogs  tumblr 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The New Advertising Outlet: Your Life - New York Times
"We’re not in the business of keeping the media companies alive. We’re in the business of connecting with consumers.” "much of the company’s future advertising spending will take the form of services for consumers, like workout advice, online comm
nike+  ipod  advertising  marketing  viral  change  media  consumers  experience  branding  brands  wk  future  ads  wieden+kennedy 
october 2007 by robertogreco
GENERATION C | An emerging consumer trend and related new business ideas
"The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the an avalanche of consumer generated 'content' that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis. "
consumer  content  creative  creativity  crowdsourcing  culture  customization  diy  advertising  education  ethnography  future  generations  ideas  innovation  internet  longtail  marketing  media  online  trends  technology  students  sociology  society  socialsoftware  research  social  reference  participatory  video  viral  web  business  user  remix  lcproject  schooldesign 
october 2006 by robertogreco
CUSTOMER-MADE | Co-creation, user-generated content, DIY advertising and more!
“The phenomenon of corporations creating goods, services and experiences in close cooperation with experienced and creative consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital, and in exchange giving them a direct say in (and rewarding them for) what act
content  creative  creativity  crowdsourcing  culture  customization  diy  advertising  education  ethnography  future  generations  ideas  innovation  internet  longtail  marketing  media  online  trends  technology  students  sociology  society  socialsoftware  research  social  reference  participatory  video  viral  web  business  user  remix  lcproject  schooldesign  consumer  collaboration  design  entrepreneurship  usability  community  news 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Guerrilla video gives power to the people | csmonitor.com
"'Film your issue' turns videocameras into tools of social change, part of a wave of influence from mini movies."
video  film  online  entertainment  social  software  socialsoftware  viral  internet  web 
april 2006 by robertogreco

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