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July 10 2011

June 25 2011

June 24 2011

Top 10 Most Memorable GoDaddy Ads [VIDEOS]


In honor of GoDaddy’s rumored $2.5 billion sale, we’re humoring your curiosity by featuring its most controversial and memorable ads. Enjoy discreetly. And just like the disclaimer at the end of every GoDaddy commercial, “Warning: web content is unrated.”

What the heck are they selling? What’s the product? What’s “love” got to do with it? No doubt, you and millions of others have asked these questions after watching a GoDaddy commercial. The web host and domain registrar’s superlative ads have raised eyebrows since 2005, when the first GoDaddy girl graced television screens.

SEE ALSO: GoDaddy Eyeing $2.5 Billion Sale [REPORT]

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons calls their campaign “edgy advertising.” But just when people thought their ads couldn’t get more risqué, GoDaddy managed to create several more commercials that networks deemed too racy for primetime ad space. In the past few years, Super Bowl viewers especially have anticipated GoDaddy ads which feature leggy, toned beauties like WWE diva Candice Michelle and “America’s Toughest Trainer” Jillian Michaels.

Do you think GoDaddy’s lowbrow ads are harmful to its image? We invite you to share your opinions in the comments below.


1. “New Go Daddy.co Girl," Super Bowl 2011


With 1.7 million YouTube views, the latest GoDaddy Super Bowl ad introduces the new GoDaddy Girl. The camera pans over the woman's hot body, but her face is kept in the shadows. Finally, after much anticipation, they reveal a surprise celebrity...


2. The First Ad, 2005


At this point, GoDaddy had had no previous TV ad experience. GoDaddy Girl Candice Michelle appears in front of a C-SPAN spinoff panel to argue her case for a Super Bowl ad. She demonstrates by doing jumping jacks and dancing amidst wardrobe malfunctions. FOX pulled the spot from Super Bowl programming.


3. "The Contract," Super Bowl 2011


In this ad, GoDaddy Girls Jillian Michaels & Danica Patrick are “obligated by contract” to appear in a racy commercial despite their protests. The end shows their bare legs walking on set in high heels as onlookers' mouths drop.


4. "Exposure," would-be Super Bowl 2008


Another GoDaddy ad not permitted to air during the 2008 Super Bowl, this video shows "celebrity" women as they arrive on the red carpet -- with pet beavers. Soon GoDaddy Girl Danica Patrick reveals a double entendre advertising slogan...


5. “I Own You,” Super Bowl 2007


The second GoDaddy Super Bowl ad to be banned, this video follows two office workers who easily register domain names. One guy punks his friend by buying domains for all of his family members. That is, until he reaches his mother...


6. "News," Super Bowl 2010


Although this ad is probably the corniest of the corny, news anchor Mimi performs a strip tease on live TV in GoDaddy spaghetti straps and booty shorts. Drooling men look on.


7. "Lola," would-be Super Bowl 2010


The Lola commercial profiled a retired football player who hit the jackpot by selling lingerie on his GoDaddy website. Although the spot didn’t reveal as much skin as commercials past, CBS deemed the overtly effeminate Lola unfit for Super Bowl audiences, and it was consequently banned.


8. Bedtime


A husband and wife are joined in bed by GoDaddy Girl Amy Weber, who’s there to promote the site, and ultimately to say that GoDaddy “does it all.”


9. “Enhanced,” 2009 Super Bowl


Four well-endowed women sit before a C-SPAN spinoff panel claiming they’ve never “enhanced,” except GoDaddy Girl Danica Patrick who “enhances” her website with GoDaddy.


10. “Shower,” 2011 Super Bowl


This ad follows GoDaddy’s key demographic, three young men who watch a video of GoDaddy Girl Danica Patrick in the shower.

More About: advertising, business, godaddy, List, Lists, MARKETING, television, web hosting

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


June 11 2011

May 11 2011

Celebrities on Twitter: 30 Famous First Tweets


When Twitter was born in 2006, it asked a simple question: “What are you doing?”

In November 2009, the prompt changed to “What’s happening?” The subtle difference paved the way for Twitter’s explosive growth and use as a real-time information network. The site has grown into a platform whereby people exchange links, share photos, break news and learn. No one cares if you’re eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; we do care what article you’re reading, what products you’re playing with, and what you think about President Obama’s latest speech.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter enables us to engage with public figures, from bubble-gum pop singers to heads of state — they’re all on there. We thought it’d be fun to take a look back and see what celebrities first tweeted when they joined the site. Some got the hang of it, others poked fun at it, some were witty, and one didn’t even know “wtf i’m doing” (thanks, Snooki!).

Read on for some of our favorites.


Neil Patrick Harris




The actor formerly known as "Doogie Howser" who's experienced a comeback of sorts on How I Met Your Mother joined Twitter with a comedic message that pokes fun at the 140-character limit.


Ashton Kutcher




Kutcher, who's acting career has taken a backseat to Nikon peddling and his interactive agency, Katalyst Media, is one of the early Twitter celebrities. Two years ago, Kutcher was in a race with CNN to be the first person to reach one million followers, which he did on April 16, 2009. This moment was an indication that Twitter had gone mainstream, and Kutcher went on Oprah that week to help Winfrey post her first tweet.But Kutcher had humble beginnings -- his first tweet merely expressed that he was sharing his first tweet.


Oprah Winfrey




Oprah came on board on April 17, 2009, with the help of Ashton Kutcher and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Days later, it was announced that Winfrey's segment generated a 43% spike in traffic on the microblogging site.


Tom Hanks




Veteran actor Tom Hanks made a charming entry with his first tweet on January 11, 2010 -- the classic mic joke.


Britney Spears




Like much of her career, Britney Spears' first tweet on October 10, 2008, seems to have been handled by her management team. It's a straightforward welcome to Britney's Twitter world.


Barack Obama




Obama joined Twitter two months after he announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election. Appropriately, his first tweet was optimistic and self-promotional, including a plug for his website.


Roger Ebert




Film critic Roger Ebert is one of the more insightful, poignant tweeters on the social platform, and he's been that way since he joined the network. His first tweet on October 4, 2009, was a touching comment on aging.


Conan O'Brien




Funnyman Conan O'Brien first tweeted on February 24, 2010. It was in the aftermath of the NBC shakeup that booted the redhead from The Tonight Show and launched his fan-powered social media presence.


Charlie Sheen




Sheen launched a #winning social media campaign by joining Twitter on March 1, 2001. He went on to garner a Guinness World Record for "Fastest Time to Reach One Million Followers" in just over 25 hours.


Queen Rania




The beauty of Twitter is that it enables us to communicate with celebrities, politicians and even royalty. Queen Rania joined Twitter on May 7, 2009. Since then, she has explored Twitter as a diplomatic tool, even posting a Twitvid to promote tourism in Jordan.


NASA




NASA launched a Twitter account to share news of space exploration, historical tidbits and shuttle updates. Its first tweet, on December 20, 2007, reminisced about the launch of Apollo 17.


Clarence House




Clarence House's first tweet came on November 15, 2010 -- just one day before the announcement that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged. It's almost like they knew word of the Royal Wedding would spread quickly on Twitter...


Lady Gaga




Lady Gaga loves her "little monsters," but her first tweet came before she knew of "The Fame" that would come her way. Gaga tweeted about rehearsing for a music video and performing at a party -- appropriate for the "What's happening?" prompt.


Hugo Chavez




Twitter, of course, isn't just a tool for English speakers. Last year, a study found that just 50% of tweets are in English. Thus, it's no surprise that just as President Obama tweets, so too does Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. His first tweet, on April 28, 2010, reads: "Hey how's it going? I appeared like I said I would: at midnight. I'm off to Brazil. And very happy to work for Venezuela. We will be victorious!!"


Snooki




The Jersey Shore's most famous guidette made a splash with her honest and oh-so-typical first tweet on April 3, 2009.


Zappos




Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has himself become a brand, and though he peddles shoes, Zappos has become synonymous with impeccable customer service and "delivering happiness." Zappos first tweeted on March 8, 2008, during SXSW, although Hsieh's first tweet indicates confusion about how to follow.


David Pogue




New York Times tech reporter David Pogue first tweeted on October 19, 2007, dropping a line about heading to a tech expo in the morning.


Steve Martin




Steve Martin's first tweet on September 11, 2010 proves that Twitter is a great platform for pithy punchlines.


Kesha




Kesha of "Tik Tok" fame took her 'tude to Twitter on March 23, where her handle is @keshasuxx. Keeping her habits of odd characters and intentional misspellings of words, her first tweet makes little sense.


Bill Gates




Tech honcho Bill Gates jumped on the bandwagon relatively early. On February 9, 2007, he suggested that Microsoft get in on the Twitter game, perhaps foreseeing the platform's rise to prominence.


Jack Dorsey




Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet on March 21, 2006 - the first of many billions to come.


Dalai Lama




Though the Dalai Lama is known for peace, serenity and holiness, that didn't stop him from joining Twitter. His first tweet, on February 22, 2010, served as a modern day press release -- he announced an appearance and provided a link.


Martha Stewart




The domestic goddess Martha Stewart could barely contain her excitement about "using Twitter for the first time!" on February 20, 2009. It's reminiscent of the tone she used in Twitter's fifth birthday video.


Bill Cosby




Jello-peddling, sweater-sporting Bill Cosby changed "sweet" to "tweet" in his first 140-character update on July 7, 2009.


Richard Branson




Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson is known for being an outdoorsy thrillseeker, but his first tweet shows a softer side. On October 22, 2008, Branson tweeted about his children, Holly and Sam, and how they're "coping" as they sought to break the trans-Atlantic sailing record.


White House




President Obama has his own Twitter account, and so too does his home. On May 1, 2009, the White House established that @whitehouse is the official feed of the presidential residence.


Twitter




It seems pretty meta, but Twitter tweets, too. On July 11, 2007 -- more than a year into Twitter's existence -- the company tweeted about working on mobile apps Hahlo and Pocket Tweets.


Mark Zuckerberg




Zuckerberg joined the Twitterverse on February 12, 2009, but it seems like he's chosen his own social network over Twitter -- he hasn't tweeted since March 13, 2009.


Justin Bieber




Before Bieber Fever infected the Twitterverse, the teen idol used Twitter to direct fans to his MySpace page. His first tweet, on May 12, 2009, was a promotion for his then-new single, "One Time."


Sarah Silverman




Sarah Silverman jumped right into the jokes when she joined Twitter on April 13, 2009.

More About: celebrity, twitter

For more Social Media coverage:


November 11 2010

Jimmy Fallon Talks “Late Night” and Social Media [INTERVIEW]

jimmy fallon image

Jimmy Fallon may be the latest addition to the late night roster, but he was one of the first talk show hosts to take social media seriously. From Late Night hashtags to viral video mashups, to LNJF, a mobile app featuring clips and joke-apps, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has staked its ground as a tech-friendly kind of show.

Does that make it a little nerdy? Sure it does, but it’s hard to argue when contest prizes include Xbox Kinect or skits like #thatwouldbeawesome start trending worldwide. We got the chance to sit down with Fallon to talk about social media, his tech roots, and what he hopes for the show.

Fallon’s office is in a corner of the 30 Rock building. Dark couches and a heavy wood desk give the room a seriousness that is swiftly cut by the predominance of shiny, wall-mounted screens and a giant TV showing bit.ly analytics for Fallon’s most recent tweet promoting a video of “Remix-the-Clips,” a segment where his band leader, Questlove from The Roots, mashes together viral videos to form a song.

Fallon did his best not to worry about the results. This is what he had to say.


Interview


When did you first hop online in a serious way? Your background was in computing, right?

Fallon: Yeah, it just got too hard for me. But my dad used to work at IBM, so we used to get discounts on computers and stuff, and I did have a ThinkPad. I went and moved out to L.A. and that was like the one purchase I made payments on and staff employee discount, you know?

Doesn’t hurt.

Fallon: … I remember we had Prodigy and I was like, “Come on, please, can we just do it? It’s blah, blah, blah, I’ll pay for it, it’s blah, blah, blah, a month,” so we did it and we all just sat around it like it was old timey, sitting around a radio listening to, you know, Little Orphan Annie or whatever and we were like, “Oh my gosh, Prodigy!”

And I know there was this kid in my high school that was kind of a geek. He was a major geek, like, he loved Chuck Yeager and video games so he had all the King’s Quest games you know, Space Quest, all those Sierra games, so we became friends. But he was a major geek — he had so many social issues. But he got me into some weird … kind of chatting, blogs? It was creepy. Like yellow blinking cursor, and you type something and you go on some database and see all the other things people have typed. It felt illegal. It felt like War Games to me and I was like, whoa, so I had played around in that space for a while … It almost felt like buying a pornographic magazine going on these blogs. It wasn’t dirty, but it just felt like it was illegal.

When did you see all the interactions and stuff like that as a way to actually help your career, not just as a fun thing? Was there a point where it kicked in?

Fallon: On Saturday Night Live what I remember was kind of looking at the blogs and seeing reviews … so that was ’98?

Sure, yeah.

Fallon: You just say, “Oh my God, people are watching and reviewing shows and saying, “Look at this new guy. Who’s this new guy who did a great impression of Gilbert Gottfried?”… I had to give my sister some long web address like, “No, you’ve got to type in 8, 0, 5, slash, this, you’ve got to read this, this person thought it was good.” So I kind of became aware of it there and I remember sort of looking at different web shows and getting web cameras and going, “Oh, that’s going to be something” and I remember we wrote “Jarret’s Room” [for Saturday Night Live], which is our version of Wayne’s World.

Yeah, you and Horatio [Sanz]?

Fallon: Me and Horatio, yeah, and I remember everyone going like, “Does it have to be a web camera? Can’t it just be a dorm room? You know, a show in his dorm room?” And I was like, “No, the whole idea is that kids are doing this in their dorms.” … And they’re like, “Uuuh, well, uh, whatever. Let’s just try it out.” And we did it, and it was OK, it didn’t really take off. Whatever, but, it was super fun and I think that was kind of like what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to push what was going on technology-wise, you know, what people are doing social media-wise.

… And then the show was starting and I teamed up with Gavin Purcell [from Attack of the Show] who you know from, um… [looks up at the analytics of the Remix-the-Clips tweet he just posted] Ah, this did not do well …

Do you check every time you send a tweet? Do you check to see how it does?

Fallon: Sometimes, if I think that people should be checking it out. Like, we did the Zach Galifianakis one.

With the arms?

Fallon: Fake arms, that went pretty good.

So when we were starting, I didn’t even know what Twitter was, and I was interviewing different producers for our show and I loved Attack of the Show. I thought that was a cool show. So I said, “Can I meet with that guy? Like can I just pick his brain?” He said, “No, I’m happily married. I have kids. I’m very happy with my job.”

Go do something else.

Fallon: Yeah, he was like, “Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds great. I think you’re going to be a good host, it’s just — no thanks.” And then two days later his manager called back and said to my manager, “Yeah, I’ll meet with Jimmy.” So he came and he had like a three-page outline of… you know, what he likes about late night, what he doesn’t like about late night, and what should change in late night and one of the things was that no one’s really embracing technology in any of the late night shows. I mean I don’t think Conan [O'Brien] talked about Twitter once. I mean he, you know, he was the youngest guy out there.

Yeah, I mean it was theoretically his demographic to own and he wasn’t talking about technology, or at least not nearly as much as people are now.

Fallon: No. On The Tonight Show, they did something, they made fun of it even.

Yeah.

Fallon: I forget, but he didn’t use it. They didn’t make jokes about it, they didn’t use it. And Letterman — it just doesn’t fit if he’s talking about Twitter. Leno doesn’t; it’s like me talking about cars. It just doesn’t fit, I don’t know anything about cars.

So I think it was just a hole that was like, “Jimmy, do you think we should fill this hole?” I mean, no one’s embracing video games even, and they’re opening bigger than movies. No one’s mentioning these things and I was like, “Let’s do it.” I totally love video games. I mean, if we can do this and get paid for it? This is our job? This is hilarious, this is great. So then we just kind of jumped in. I started Twitter. You can find out right, when’s your first tweet?

Ah, I think so…

Fallon: Yeah I think so, right? … “I’m getting started on Twitter.” Brilliant.

fallon first tweet

Appropriate, at least. Topical.

Fallon: Really, what a great — oh man — comedy genius. That was on December 4, 2008.

That’s now in the national library, along with the rest of Twitter.

Fallon: Yeah, that’s in the Library of Congress.

When you’re president in 2080 they can look back and say, “And what was your first declaration to the public?”

Fallon: “He was the one who said, ‘Just getting started on Twitter.’ A man who needs no introduction.” And then they don’t introduce me. ‘Cause I’m so famous … So anyways, we started on Twitter before the show started and I remember saying to Gavin, “Right now we have like almost a hundred followers, this is so cool.” I’m like, if we start the show, my goal is I want to have 3,000 followers, and then, that’s 3,000 viewers that can watch the show! We’ll tell them when we’re debuting and it’s so good! And now, you know, it’s up there. It’s like — I don’t know what it is.

How much of [your social media presence] is appealing to that sort of demographic and how much is just sort of fun for you? Or is it a bit of both?

Fallon: Good question. It’s super fun for me. It’s not work at all … The one thing that I learned again from Gavin is really one of the main connections between our show and using social media is we were talking with [Late Night producer] Lorne [Michaels], we were figuring out what to do with the show and all this stuff, and … Lorne Michaels in some interview, goes, “Yeah and, um, Jimmy’s going to debut on the web.” And we’re like, “What?”

Surprise.

Fallon: I’m so glad he did it, because me and Gavin … went and got this Panasonic camera … over at B&H, and we got a tripod and we just shot me talking. And me talking for 40 seconds took us three hours because I was stuttering. I was sweaty, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was like, I can’t believe I [don't] know how to talk into a camera, but I was embarrassed to kind of, you know, talk and just be open. And the thing is, with the Internet it’s like, you can’t … be phony if you’re going to do this. If you’re going to do this type of thing, you can’t have a fake bone in your body because they’ll catch you and bust you on it. Like, “Dude, what was that about? That wasn’t you.”

You really gotta be honest about it, and I think that’s where you succeed … So then slowly it became easier, but we would edit it on final draft ourselves — we had nobody working. We had just me, Gavin, this kid Justin Ulbrich who still edits the show. Three of us. And Michael Shoemaker from SNL who’s producing, and we’d just sit there and edit.

Well, “Weekend Update” [from Saturday Night Live] must have prepped you a little bit for that sort of stand-and-deliver, where you’re not specifically playing a character, even though you’re of a fake newscaster. Did that help at all or it’s just a totally different beast?

Fallon: No, it definitely helped, because after doing movies and stuff like that … you miss the live [audience]. I never thought of myself as a ham or somebody that just wants to be in front of the crowd, but then when you’re done doing it you go, “I think that’s what I do. I guess that’s what I should be doing.”

I don’t want to admit it, but I do enjoy the feedback from the audience. It’s instant feedback. It’s like, you could do a movie, shoot it for a year, wait six months, it comes out and you gotta do three weeks of marketing. Three weeks of that, and everyone goes, “It sucks.” And it’s like, God, that’s a year of my life, f***k. You should have just told me that when we were doing it.

I would have stopped, had I known.

Fallon: Yeah. Like if I do a bit on my show and it’s not funny, the audience doesn’t laugh; you’re like, yikes, that didn’t work.

Well, how’s [technology] changing the actual show? I know you have a computer on your actual desk, but is social media, or technology in general, playing into what you’re doing?

Fallon: It is, I mean, our show’s not “live” live. We tape it, so that’s the only bummer that if we do a Twitter thing it has to be the next day, which is still quicker than most.

One of the interesting things about doing a live show and actually having people either call in or have sort of hashtags and responses is that … it is very much spontaneous. How do you deal with that random element and the live element of social media?

Fallon: Well, like right now we’re doing a thing called hashtags where we tell everyone a hashtag on Tuesday night and then they type whatever joke they want to type and put the hashtag in there and then Wednesday we read our favorites. Like 10 of our favorites were trending worldwide with “#thatwouldbeawesome.”

Yeah yeah, it’s awesome.

Fallon: It’s crazy, for like three days, trending worldwide, it’s crazy. So we got thousands of #thatwouldbeawesome tweets. Now and then they’ll slip in some dirty ones, some are the same, like some people just have the same jokes so you can’t [say], “Ah, which one is funnier?” They’re not. A lot of the people aren’t comedy writers so they’re not all guaranteed, but some of them are just quirky enough and genuinely funny that you go, “This is just genuinely funny and you want to read it and it’s cool.”

I look at them and Gerard [Bradford] and [Mike Dicenzo], two other writers that do hashtags, we all just look through them. [He mimes looking through his phone] Like, “This is a good one, did you see this one?” We saw one this morning, this girl was like “This is my one thousandth tweet, how boring” and I was like, “We should make a big deal about her tweets.”

Why not, right?

Fallon: Yeah, it’s like, well you say it’s boring but we don’t say anything is boring.

But there’s got to be some other challenge to doing it live like, having that day to say, “Maybe not that one, but this one?”

Fallon: It’s extra work, but I mean, we could not even embrace social media at all and do our own list of things that would be awesome. It might even be funnier, but there’s something about the involvement of everyone around the country, or the world … it’s so cool that you can do that, that technology can do that now. It’s so weird. People from Australia and India — Brazil? It’s crazy, people, it’s just nuts, it’s like, it’s so fun.

Well it was interesting when there was one Late Night hashtag and the woman was actually there that night.

Fallon: Oh my God, yeah! Dude, that was weird. Like, I said “This one’s from @blahblahblah,” and you hear like, “Woo hoo!” It’s like, “No way, you’re here?” That was unbelievable … That was so fun. I go, “I can’t believe you’re here!” She was freaking out.

It seems strange that we would think it was strange that the person who tweeted that would be a real person.

Fallon: Yeah

As opposed to, “Oh you’re just a thing in the ether.”

Fallon: Yeah, exactly, it is. Everyone does have a face, all these people. Yeah, it’s so fun … and NBC’s been great to us. We’re on so late you know, I don’t even know what exact time we’re on. I want to say 12:36?

Sure.

Fallon: Why? It should be 12:30. I don’t understand this, but 12:36 we’re on, which is just crazy. But I mean, at that point you’re either in it or you’re not in it, so it’s like we’re trying whatever we want to try. We’re trying new things all the time and we just want to keep playing with different stuff and seeing how how far we can take it… I gotta crack Facebook. I don’t [know] what to do with that yet.

How did these ideas or skits or bits get developed? You know, either Remix-the-Clips or Late Night hashtags, or potentially what happens with Facebook. Do you all sit down and say, “We need something on YouTube. We need a YouTube one.” Or is it much more free-form?

Fallon: Yeah, no, it’s free-form. We have pitch meetings and just, we go around to all the writers and they just say what things they’re pitching. I mean there are just no assignments. I think Mike Dicenzo — he was from The Onion — he was the one that came up with hashtags; him and Gerard.

Yeah, yeah.

Fallon: You know, I think that’s what I realized when you do those things… I think one of our first videos we did, some comment was on there, [and] it was like, “Jimmy Fallon is a douche,” and then it was like, the next video we did was me reacting to it and I just went up to the roof and contemplated life, and we played this NBC sad music that we could get from the [NBC music] library.

Fallon: It was like a piano, and I had this jackass jacket with a fur collar, like a faux fur collar on it, just thinking about everything and then just cut [snaps fingers] back to me going “Alright everybody, that’s the webisode for the day and uh…” But it was kind of honest because I was like, God, I mean the critics can be brutal on the web, but it kind of prepares you for, you know, magazines and newspapers. It’s like, oh, that’s it?

Has the staff been cool with it as far as when you say, “OK, we’re going to do Remix-the-Clips or we’re going to do late night hashtags”?

Fallon: They love it.

Everyone’s been on board?

Fallon: On board, always. With those guys, they’re always on board with anything and like any idea we have. We try to support every idea … until it doesn’t work, then we don’t support it.

But it’s good, at least going into it, everyone seems to be…

Fallon: Everyone’s on computers, everyone’s on iPads, everyone’s on BlackBerrys, everyone’s on Twitter, in my whole office. I mean, we have the best bloggers in … sorry, we have the second-best bloggers in the whole world. In television. We have the best bloggers in television. I can say that. Can I?

But these guys are the greatest. They, Sarah Schaefer and Cory [Cavin] and Jon Friedman. They get together and they just — they make a great blog … Which is why I’m psyched we have this [mobile] app that’s coming out on Monday [November 8].

Yeah, I was hoping you’d put some of those in there. That the actual mobile app would have the fake ones [from the show].

Fallon: Yeah, Lint Brush, Axl Rose Relaxation Tapes are in there. What else is on there? Moldova: Yes or No? That’s a great app, and we actually used the geo-locator on your phone so if you are in Moldova it will say “Yes, you’re in Moldova.” I’m so excited. People need that. That’s the whole point. The whole reason you buy a $500 phone is to see if you are … in Moldova. Or not.

What I’m hoping is that whoever actually reviews the app has to send someone to Moldova to see if it works. Because, journalistic integrity, you have to check.

Fallon: Oh my God, I would love that. If you Fedex-ed an iPhone to Moldova, yeah and just like…

Yeah, with instructions saying, “Please click on this and just…”

Fallon: Yeah…

Let me know…

Fallon: Yeah, and I think all it does is just say “Yes, you are in Moldova.” But I don’t know. I mean, no one knows until you do it. But it will work, I know that.

With the spontaneity and the craziness of social media, has there been anything that’s been surprising?

Fallon: How helpful people can be, I think, and nice. It’s really awesome, I think it shows how good we can be … as a world, as a country. I mean, people are really thoughtful and nice if you just ask them. Like, I go to this guy, Steve Garfield, when we were doing our videos on our blog. I was like “Alright, welcome back, this is our third vlog and, you know I’m going to send another vlog.” And he sent in a thing and he goes, “Hey Jimmy, I just want to say you’re doing a great show, this is really cool what you’re doing, but uh, they’re not called ‘vlogs.’ You have a blog and what you’re doing is uploading videos to you blog, so hope that helps you.” And I was like, “How cool is this dude?” That really does help me. I did not know that that’s the terminology.

So then how do you distinguish, just even in your own head, the ability of people to be so helpful and the sort of categorical awfulness of [trolls]?

Fallon: Yeah, I think it’s overwhelmingly nice now compared to what it was a long time ago… I mean, I could bring up my Twitter feed right now and see what people are saying [goes to his computer]. It’ll just take an hour to load.

… I gave out tickets once … someone said “Dude, I’m in town, I’m with my wife, is there any way?” and I was like, “Uh, yeah. Great. Where are you now? I’ll send someone down right now.” And he was like, “Are you serious?” … How cool is that? If I ever tweeted David Letterman, like, “Dude, I’m outside 30 Rock and I’d love to come see,” or Conan O’Brien…

It’d make your year, right?

Fallon: I wouldn’t understand what was going on, it’d be so fun. But it’s cool that you can do that now. And it’s not a big deal.

What’s next? Do you have anything coming up that you’re either looking forward to or excited about either in social media or otherwise?

Fallon: … I think what’s next is video games maybe? Somehow? Making our own? I want to get into that. Make our own games and then we could do interactive fun games that we could play with our audience, you know?

Right, right. That’d be really cool.

Fallon: Right? With some Xbox Live thing or something like that, but I’m interested. We have a couple ideas, and I just think that’s fun. I think that could be super fun.

More About: #thatwouldbeawesome, interview, jimmy fallon, late night with jimmy fallon, LNJF, saturday night live, social media, talk show, television, twitter

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How Many Celebrities Does it Take to Make a Hit Web Series?


What kind of web series sends you a giant salami in a red and grey tube sock as a promotion? One where said salami actually plays a crucial role in its off-the-wall comedy and even odder plot lines.

Backwash is an entirely strange and utterly surreal new web series premiering on Sony-owned video site Crackle this November 15.

The 13-episode series largely follows three hapless companions (played by Michael Ian Black, Michael Panes and Joshua Malina, who also wrote and produced the series) after one of them accidentally robs a bank armed with naught but a large salami.

The show features a humongous list of guest actors, including Jon Hamm, John Stamos, Sarah Silverman, John Cho, Allison Janney, Hank Azaria, Michael Vartan, Steven Weber, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Dulé Hill, Fred Willard and others. While some only appear as guest narrators, others will figure into the story arc itself.

backwash image

Despite the bloated roster, each episode will still run less than 10 minutes. The idea for Crackle, however, is to craft those small segments into something that could stand on its own.

“We’ll have 90 minutes of content, released episodically, at a calibre and quality where we can put them out on DVD, sell them on cable or satellite,” said Eric Berger, Senior VP of Digital Networks for Sony. Backwash is just one of the four original series exclusively produced for Crackle each year.

Berger sees one of the key differences between a video site like Crackle and competitors such as Hulu or YouTube is demographic targeting.

Backwash is another way Crackle can reach out to target demographic of males ages 18 to 34. Crackle provides editorial content through its blog and curates video lists that might appeal specifically to that demographic.

backwash cast image

The show has taken a while to become reality, according to Malina.

“I initially just started writing it as comic material,” Malina said. “It went through many iterations. I thought it should be a screenplay, onstage, as a sitcom pilot. I never really completed it, I hadn’t really found the right medium for it.”

It was only when Ken Marino, another actor in the series, suggested trying a web series that Malina felt he found its home. “There’s a surreal aspect to it that’s well suited to the Internet.”

Malina said he enjoyed being able to cast and shoot the show without creative restriction, even though web series have historically low budgets and short shooting times. “A big negative is how you make a living doing [a web series],” Malina said. “We just sort of accepted that it was this new area and we’re not going to get rich off of it.”

It seems like this is the standard for most web series regardless of size: Fiscal gains are given up for a tremendous amount of creative freedom. Hopefully shows like Backwash, with its high production values and star-studded cast, can help elevate web series in the mainstream eye.

We’d love to get your thoughts on this subject, especially when the show comes out on the 15th. Is Backwash a one-off celebrity project or can it help to bring exposure to smaller web series that might not have the same resources or talent? Are you looking forward to Backwash? Let us know in the comments below.


Reviews: Crackle, Hulu, Internet, YouTube

More About: crackle, hulu, joshua malina, michael ian black, michael panes, sony, video, web series, web video

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November 10 2010

5 Captivating Personalities From Across the Social Web [Mashable Awards]

Mashable Awards Image

As part of the ongoing Mashable Awards, we’re taking a closer look at each of the nomination categories. This is “Must-Follow Personality.” Be sure to nominate your favorites and join us for the Gala in Las Vegas! Sponsorships are available. Please contact sponsorships@mashable.com for more information.

personality imageIn a world where social media and pop culture collide, 2009 might’ve been most remembered for a certain race to 1 million followers. While 2010 has had its share of popularity contests too, we’ve also seen a myriad of innovative uses of digital media that have both catapulted some previously unknowns to “must follow” status and re-invented the careers of others.

Whether it was playing a key role in shaping the news, creating online personas that went viral and became much more, or using the Internet to connect with fans in new ways, several personalities stood out in terms of leveraging social media in irresistibly catchy ways.

Below, we take a look at some of those people who have made a major splash in the online world in the past year.


1. Ben Folds


While it looks like Chatroulette’s 15 minutes of fame might be up, no one was a bigger part of that 15 minutes than musician Ben Folds.

What started with the singer-songwriter broadcasting improv piano tunes from his concerts onto the random video chat site quickly became an Internet meme, especially after the “chatroulette improv piano guy” named Merton emerged.

Because Merton rather closely resembled Folds, speculation ran rampant that the two were actually the same guy. Numerous YouTube videos — some of them originating here on Mashable — added fuel to the fire, though the fable was ultimately disproved once and for all (we think) in a video that the two created together last month.

What started as a clever play on a pop culture phenomenon ultimately became a blueprint for sustaining social media buzz.


2. Conan O’Brien


When Conan O’Brien took over as host of The Tonight Show in mid-2009, one of his first sketches poked fun at Twitter for its banality. Little did he know at the time that mere months later, he’d become the center of a massive user-created digital movement (“Team Coco”) as NBC pivoted to shift Tonight Show hosting responsibilities back to Jay Leno.

Following his ouster, Conan quickly moved to capitalize on his Internet momentum, establishing a Twitter account that would serve as his comedic outlet while he sorted out his next career move, which he ultimately decided would be a new show on TBS.

Whereas Conan’s Tonight Show played the traditional willfully ignorant-of-technology card, Conan’s new show has made social media the centerpiece of a campaign to try and get the masses to shift their late night viewing habits to cable. As a result, we’ll soon find out if digital loyalty translates to television ratings.


3. BPGlobalPR


This year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was one of the biggest environmental catastrophes in recent times, and the company’s much-maligned handling of it had some speculating that bankruptcy might be imminent for the petroleum giant.

Providing comic relief through the whole ordeal, however, was @BPGlobalPR, a satirical Twitter account pretending to be BP’s public relations department. With updates like “Sadly we can no longer certify our oil as Dolphin Safe,” the account quickly amassed tens of thousands of followers.

As for his inspiration, the man behind the account, “Terry,” told Mashable in an interview that “They pay people like me a TON of money to make it look like they’re doing stuff, but really we don’t have to do much except talk. Our talking buys them time to figure out how they are going to sweep it all under the rug and go back to making lots of money.”

While BP eventually closed the oil leak and activity on the @BPGlobalPR account has slowed, the feed served the dual role of both entertaining and reminding the world that BP was not doing a very good job at either closing the leak or communicating effectively with the public.


4. Dan Savage


In recent months, one of the most prominent social issues in America has been the bullying of gay teenagers. In response, sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage launched the “Its Get Better” YouTube channel, where everyday people have uploaded hundreds of videos providing encouragement and inspiration to gay teens, telling them they have much to look forward to.

It didn’t take long for the channel to go viral with openly gay celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres contributing video messages. Within about a month of launching, the channel attracted a video from President Obama broadcasting the “It Gets Better” message.

The campaign has been nothing short of inspiring, and we will be following Savage to see how he uses his various social media channels –- which also include a popular blog, Twitter feed, and podcast –- to raise awareness for important LGBT issues going forward.


5. Darren Rovell


It’s been a spectacular year for stories about the business of sports, and sitting at the center of it has been CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

There was simply no better feed to follow on Twitter than Rovell’s as the world of Tiger Woods came crashing down following a car-accident-turned-sex-scandal turned tens of millions of dollars in lost endorsement deals.

Then, when LeBron James made the universally mocked decision of broadcasting “The Decision” on ESPN, Rovell again was the point man for assessing brand and consumer response as one of the world’s most highly paid and previously admired athletes suddenly became one of the sporting world’s biggest villains.

In between, Rovell’s Twitter feed and blog has broken news on everything from TV ratings to jersey sales to free agency moves. To an extent, he’s also made the business of reporting on sports sexy, as evidenced by some of the competitors he’s now attracting.


What’s Your Take?


Which personalities do you follow via social media? Let us know in the comments or nominate them for the Mashable Awards.


The Mashable Awards Gala at Cirque du Soleil Zumanity (Vegas)


In partnership with Cirque du Soleil, The Mashable Awards Gala event will bring together the winners and nominees, the Mashable community, partners, media, the marketing community, consumer electronics and technology brands and attendees from the 2011 International CES Convention to Las Vegas on Thursday, January 6, 2011. Together, we will celebrate the winners and the community of the Mashable Awards at the Cirque du Soleil Zumanity stage in the beautiful New York New York Hotel. The event will include acts and performances from our partner Cirque du Soleil Zumanity. In addition, there will be special guest presenters and appearances.

Date: Thursday, January 6th, 2011 (during International CES Convention week)
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm PT
Location: Cirque du Soleil Zumanity, New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas
Agenda: Networking, Open Bars, Acts, Surprises and the Mashable Awards Gala presentations
Socialize: Facebook, Foursquare, Meetup, Plancast, Twitter (Hashtag: #MashableAwards)

Sponsorships are available. Please contact sponsorships@mashable.com for more information.

Register for Mashable Awards Gala at Cirque du Soleil Zumanity stage (Las Vegas - 2011 International CES convention) [Ticketed Event] in Las Vegas, NV  on Eventbrite

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Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to nearly 100 million spectators in 300 cities on five continents. In 2010 Cirque du Soleil, will present 21 shows simultaneously throughout the world, including seven in Las Vegas.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com

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Mashable Awards Partner:

Join us at the 2011 International CES®, the global platform for inspired ideas and innovation. With 2,500 exhibitors, CES continues to be the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and always reflects the dynamic consumer electronics industry. The International CES is not open to the general public and all attendees must be in the CE industry to be eligible to attend the show. Register FREE for the 2011 CES with priority code MSHB, an exclusive promotion for Mashable Readers.

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About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

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Aro Mobile is an intelligent mobile experience that includes better email, connected contacts, smarter calendar and improved browsing.

The Aro system automatically learns what’s important in your life—the people, places, dates and organizations you care about most. In your communications, Aro automatically identifies people, places, events, dates,organizations and locations. From any recognized term, Aro offers quick action menus to speed up your day.

The unique Aro experience is powered by advanced web services: next generation natural language processing and semantic data analytics services. Aro gives you the power to see through the clutter and focus your mobile life.

About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

Mashable Awards Gala VIP Lounge sponsor:

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Influxis specializes in the deployment of creative streaming solutions. Services include large scale deployment, mobile streaming, turn-key applications, and enterprise support with custom network options. With the unique combination of a worldwide network, knowledgeable developer support and nearly a decade of streaming media experience, Influxis is an essential partner to businesses, advertisers, developers, educators, and others who seek expertise in innovative streaming.

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About Research In Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications including the BlackBerry® wireless platform. For the latest on BlackBerry products join us at www.facebook.com/BlackBerry.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, jgroup

More About: ben folds, bp, BPGlobalPR, celebrities, celebrity, conan o'brien, dan savage, darren rovell, internet celebrities, List, Lists, mashable awards, mashable awards 2010, personality

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October 27 2010

How the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” Nailed Social Media

rally stewart colbert image

“Jon [Stewart] wants to harness the public’s frustration. I want to bombard the public’s frustration with gamma rays until it turns on its master with a lust for blood.”

So sayeth Stephen Colbert in support of his upcoming “The March to Keep Fear Alive,” a mock political rally taking place October 30 on Washington, DC’s National Mall. That rally is being met by Jon Stewart’s own mock political rally called “The Rally to Restore Sanity.” While the sides could not be more starkly drawn, the two rallies share an increasing awareness of how social media can help fans across the world become part of the sanity/fear-mongering/hilarity.

The two rallies, occurring at the same time and jointly held by Colbert and Stewart as one event, have managed to mobilize their fans and people across the country in just one month. In roughly 30 days, the event has spawned a number of sites and mini web-campaigns.


Engaging Through Social Media


jon stewart image

The sites offer surprisingly robust options for such a quick turnaround. Fans of Stewart can head to the Sanity site for updates, merchandise (proceeds go to charity), and to see if rally signs are suitably “sane.” Fans of Colbert can head to the Fear site for its own Halloween-themed app called “Spooky or Dooky” where fans can upload and vote on people dressing up as their worst fears (examples include hippies, tanks and ninjas).

Both sites also have dedicated social good options, with Stewart offering a link to donate to the Trust for the National Mall and Colbert directing people to DonorsChoose.org. Rather than serving as simple news pages, the rallies’ individual websites have taken active roles in galvanizing their fans to participate while offering real value.


The Main Attraction


stephen colbert image

The event itself has loaded on social media features with a planned, uncensored livestream through Dailyshow.com, ColbertNation.com, and ComedyCentral.com that will also work on mobile devices. Foursquare badges will also be available on October 30 in both Sanity and Fear flavors.

Anyone somehow unable to access the livestream can follow the action through the live tweets from the competing Twitter accounts — @Rally4Sanity and @StephenAtHome — offering info up-to and throughout the event. Don’t like Twitter? Text RALLY or MARCH to 44686 for text updates or check out their Facebook pages: Sanity, Fear.


How They Did It


rally poster image

Social media is too often an afterthought — a detail stapled onto traditional media. The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has taken the most traditional form there is — speaking to a large group of people in person — and made it a social media vehicle. The websites each offer all the updates and news that users have come to expect from event sites. The addition of unique apps, like Stewart’s sanity signs or Colbert’s spooky costumes show a desire to engage the users.

“It’s hard to imagine pulling something like this off where you couldn’t have the underpinnings of Twitter or Facebook to rally the people that are participating,” said Erik Flannigan, EVP of digital media at Comedy Central/Spike TV.

The goal was to use social media to help fans feel like they were participating in the rallies.

“We want to memorialize what’s happening on the [National] Mall, not just what’s happening on stage” Flannigan said.

By reaching out to several social networks, the team at Comedy Central hopes to see the rallies trending in several fields, allowing users to connect however they like. Don’t have Twitter? Sign in with Foursquare, post to Facebook or simply snap a photo to share later.

Of course, it helps when your spokespeople are two of the brightest, funniest, fake-newscastiest people on television. The faux competitiveness of the event encourages fans to pick a side and fight for it. The naturally-engaged fans of Stewart and Colbert are prime examples of how to do social media right: Rather than selling a product, the shows and their respective personalities are building communities. There are currently 1,000 related meetups planned worldwide, while the email blasts for the two shows have jumped by more than 150,000 new subscribers, combined.


Conclusion


As a lampoon of the bipartisan silliness of American politics, Stewart and Colbert’s competing rallies were guaranteed to be a success. As a way of engaging with their audience, earning new followers and maximizing the reach of social media, The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear might just be setting the model.

What do you think of the rallies? What have they done and what could the event do better? Will you be participating? And more importantly, do you settle on the side of Sanity or Fear?


Reviews: Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, foursquare

More About: daily show, entertainment, funny, humor, jon stewart, march to keep fear alive, politics, Rally, rally to restore sanity, rally to restore sanity and or fear, stephen colbert, The Colbert Report, tv

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April 29 2010

Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters

Dealing with negativity online can be tough, which was why we were all ears when Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week, took the stage at The Next Web ‘10 event in Amsterdam to discuss how to learn to love haters.

While Mashable recently offered you advice on how to deal with negative feedback specifically in the social media realm, Ferriss takes the concept a step further with advice on how to contend with — and benefit from — criticism across all platforms.

We caught up with Ferriss backstage at the event to find out more about his seven principles for dealing with haters.

Read on for some interesting ideas and let us know which work for you — as well as your own strategies — in the comments below.


1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.


“It’s critical in social media, as in life, to have a clear objective and not to lose sight of that,” Ferriss says. He argues that if your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.”


2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.


“People are least productive in reactive mode,” Ferriss states, before explaining that if you are expecting resistance and attackers, you can choose your response in advance, as opposed to reacting inappropriately. This, Ferriss says, will only multiply the problem. “Online I see people committing ’social media suicide’ all the time by one of two ways. Firstly by responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own, and by responding to things that don’t warrant a response.” This, says Ferriss, lends more credibility by driving traffic.


3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)


“If you treat everyone the same and respond to everyone by apologizing or agreeing, you’re not going to be recognizing the best performers, and you’re not going to be improving the worst performers,” Ferriss says. “That guarantees you’ll get more behavior you don’t want and less you do.” That doesn’t mean never respond, Ferriss goes on to say, but be “tactical and strategic” when you do.


4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” (Scott Boras)


“This principle goes hand-in-hand with number two,” Ferriss says. “I actually keep this quote in my wallet because it is a reminder that the best people in almost any field are almost always the people who get the most criticism.” The bigger your impact, explains Ferriss (whose book is a New York Times, WSJ and BusinessWeek bestseller), and the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you’ll encounter. Ferriss jokes he has haters “in about 35 languages.”


5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” (Epictetus)


“Another way to phrase this is through a more recent quote from Elbert Hubbard,” Ferriss says. “‘To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Ferriss, who holds a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive tango spins, says he has learned to enjoy criticism over the years. Ferriss, using Roman philosophy to expand on his point, says: “Cato, who Seneca believed to be the perfect stoic, practiced this by wearing darker robes than was customary and by wearing no tunic. He expected to be ridiculed and he was, he did this to train himself to only be ashamed of those things that are truly worth being ashamed of. To do anything remotely interesting you need to train yourself to be effective at dealing with, responding to, even enjoying criticism… In fact, I would take the quote a step further and encourage people to actively pursue being thought foolish and stupid.”


6. “Living well is the best revenge.” (George Herbert)


“The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you,” Ferriss advises. “That, and [show] how much fun you’re having!” Ferriss goes on to say that the best revenge is letting haters continue to live with their own resentment and anger, which most of the time has nothing to do with you in particular. “If a vessel contains acid and you pour some on an object, it’s still the vessel that sustains the most damage,” Ferriss says. “Don’t get angry, don’t get even — focus on living well and that will eat at them more than anything you can do.”


7. Keep calm and carry on.


The slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally produced by the British government during the Second World War as a propaganda message to comfort people in the face of Nazi invasion. Ferriss takes the message and applies it to today’s world. “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers,” Ferriss concludes. “Keep calm and carry on!”



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Reviews: Facebook, Twitter

Tags: four hour work week, social media, tim ferriss


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