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The news of Major League Baseball manager Ron Washington’s affinity for cocaine Wednesday did little to quell the League’s drug-induced reputation. Heckled by steroids for the past decade, America’s past time has quickly become the ‘who’s who’ of cheaters we love to judge. What has Washington done but elevate criticism to a level surely surpassed by the next scandal? It seems to me Ron and his dope fiend pals should rise up and stage some sort of coup against Bud Selig, storm into MLB headquarters, and accidentally burn it to the ground with one of Tim Lincecum’s misplaced joints.

Ok, that’s simply awful to suggest. But it is an interesting idea for a youtube video. Whether you like it or not, a short like that is bound to generate some serious traffic to your flick. After all, the point of uploading web videos is to get the most people to see them, right? The problem is most people don’t understand how to do this. Well, let’s use Mr. Washington as an example and see what we come up with for ideas to make your video as viral as skinny jeans and ex-girlfriends.

1. Be timely. Everything runs its course, and you want to be on top of things in a hurry. By the weekend we’ll all be talking about the health care vote or looking ahead to April Fools, not a ‘breaking’ story about another millionaire hooked on coke.

2. Be visible. A unique thumbnail to draw some interest is important. A headline combining wit and relevance is a must. i.e. Coach or Crackhead?

3. Be creative. If we wanted to watch a linked news interview, we would consult CNN, not youtube.Viral video fail here. Take some liberty and distinguish yourself from the others. You can do this with music, personal opinion, or some finely tuned Final Cut Pro skills. Most popular videos are filmed by the person posting anyway.

4. Be risky. What’s the worst that could happen? One to two hundred negative comments but enough interest to grow your viewership greatly. If you aren’t sure what your niche is, upload into all kinds of categories and develop a theme, it will help keep your viewers loyal.

5. Be yourself. Probably the most important aspect is showing why people need to watch your video. If you aren’t interesting enough (you know who you are), don’t waste the webspace. Find the Numa Numa guy you know and film the heck out of him until you get something useful. Not every video will be a hit. You never know what people will find amusing, but it’s guaranteed to be real or outrageous enough to appear so.

Now, back to Ronny and his habits.

I would be amiss to not use Dock Ellis as an example for a great viral video. James Blagden & No Mas developed a video from Ellis’ incident involving LSD and the most unlikely no-hitter in all of baseball. 950,000+ views in four months is not so bad. The video can be seen below.

Ron Washington, beware the power of viral…and stimulants.

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As of March 15th, the fourth most visited website in the US was Youtube. Given the popularity of videos online and the fact that it is mainly user generated content, it seems like a logical pitstop for many internet users. Later on this year the site will celebrate its fifth anniversary making it the most – – – well there are just too many superlatives to put here so we’ll simply call it five years old.

It took just half a decade for all nearly apt internet users to become aware of the video upload giant. But just how popular is Youtube? Is there actually a group in the online community content to avoid it?

According to Alexa Internet ratings, Youtube is (to no surprise for any parent with a teenager) over-represented among the 18-24 demographic of the general internet population. I shudder to think of time spent differently among this age group…Studying? Working? Cleaning the pizza/beer/weird stain off the dorm room carpet? We understand the recreation side of videos for teens and undergrads, but what of their parents, or even their grandparents?

Between the ages of 25 and 54, traffic to the

Euchre Champ or Youtube Fanatic?

site is average, telling us they don’t lean to either extreme. However, once you hit the 55-64 demo., things

get interesting. This group (all prepped and groomed for retirement) visits Youtube much less than every other age range. More intriguing is the turnaround once you get into the numbers for 65+.

Audience ratings from Alexa tell us the 65 and older crowd is commonly over-represented at Youtube. This could mean a lot of things, but I’ll limit us to the most plausible.

1. The small number of grandparents exploring cyberspace have quite a fondness for online media.

2. The older generation uses it to keep in touch with extended family.

3. There are a lot of grandchildren with unlimited access to their grandparents internet.

Number 1 is by far the most likely simply because of the really helpful things on Youtube many people don’t ever think to use. If you have a chance or are in a bind, try a few of these links and see how Youtube can start being a resource as well as entertainment. And not just for the kids anymore!

Youtube How-to And Style

Cooking

Dance

Outdoors

Technology/Electronics

Photo Courtesy of Konstantin Sutyagin.

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