Each month engagement centered around the hottest current events. For instance, conversations about the Royal Wedding were really popular during April. Mentions of the marriage shot up 600-fold, according to the Facebook post.
This is what your status updates revealed:
The blog post also looked at the memes that emerged this year.
In it, you’ll see planking — you know, where people lie down in an unusual place. It hit a spike after Max Key, the son of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key uploaded a photo to Facebook, then celebrities gave the meme a second wind, but then it just sort of disappeared.
If you don’t know what “lms” is or “tbh” — then you’re clearly not spending enough time on Facebook.
We recently met with Adrian Constantin, the founder of video startup TV Links.
TV Links is a video aggregator and search engine, serving up videos from hundreds of sites, similar to US startup Clicker.
It’s not the most innovative business in the world, but here’s what you should know about it: it’s bootstrapped, profitable, it claims 37 million monthly unique visitors, and it has only 5 employees.
TV Links is not just impressive, it’s interesting because it’s a combination of two important trends: globalization, and the extreme capital efficiency of online businesses.
Globalization: the company has developers in Romania, servers in Spain and in the US through Amazon, and most of its users coming from the US, UK and Canada.
Extreme capital efficiency: the company basically outsources everything: hosting, advertising and even some development.
TV Links’ one weak spot is that it gets the vast majority of its traffic from Google and so will live and die by SEO. But the company has ambitious plans; it’s even starting to produce its own original video.
We once wrote that Instagram is the future of startups in part because of its extreme capital efficiency: it has over 10 million users and half a dozen staff (the other reason is distribution via app stores and social media). TV Links is another example of this extreme capital efficiency; unlike Instagram, it gets distribution through the more “traditional” medium of search engines, but unlike Instagram it’s also profitable.
This new reality has broad implications beyond startups. If you’re wondering about the sky-high valuations of companies like LinkedIn or Twitter, part of your calculus should also take into account the fact that it’s now possible to build these very efficient businesses with huge global markets, something which wasn’t possible 10 years ago when “clouds” were still things in the sky and the internet population was counted in millions, not billions.
We will see many more of these ultra capital-efficient, globally-distributed online businesses in the future.
Charleston, South Carolina might be famous for the eponymous knee / hand dance, but this week sees it become the second location in the US to get Comcast’s MyTV Choice. Rather than buying all the channels, or paying á la carte for just the ones you watch, you pick a platform and then bolt on a package of channels, grouped by theme — you get “Entertainment & Lifestyle,” “Movies,” “Kids” or “News & Info.” These smaller, cheaper bundles are in response to being forced to carry channels owned by the same group, if you’re paying for MTV, you’re also paying for TV Land, for example. Still, those in the city (when not dancing their knee joints away) should be interested to know that the Get Started platform costs $25, Get Started Plus $45 and each additional package is $10.
We oftentimes hear raw numbers of apps bandied about in mobile OS comparisons, but we rarely get any idea of just how many developers are behind the scenes working for each platform. This is the void of knowledge filled by AppStore HQ today, who have gone to their dev directory — claimed to be a complete listing of all 55,000+ coders whose work is currently available for consumption in the Apple App Store or Android Market — and stacked them into neat piles of Apple, Google and Gapple programmers. It’s immediately apparent that single-platform development is the norm (with Apple holding the predictable edge), but AppStore HQ also provides a list of some of the most well known (and well funded) apps doing the cross-platform dance, and suggests that a movement is afoot toward making software available for both sets of users. Then again, the BNET article below points out the difficulties faced by smaller outfits, who might struggle to find the resources required to port their content over and maintain the skills required to be multi-platform, resulting in them sticking to one environment, irrespective of what allures others might throw their way. Give them both a read, we say.
originally investigated and reported on Friday July 31, 2009 by Augustine Fou, with Tugce Esener @tesener
Several friends and colleagues had the same reaction when they found out about this video — that it was at such a high view count already and we were late to the party of finding out. Then we did some more digging — digital forensics :-) And this is a case where a viral hit was indeed successfully manufactured. There’s something to be learned from all this – how to successfully manufacture a viral video sensation and make viral profits.
Chris Brown is successfully tapping into the viral halo of a funny video that coincidentally used his song.
ReadWriteWeb article on how rights owners (Sony, Chris Brown) can make viral profits on other people using their work instead of suing them - http://bit.ly/KA3HI
The video was real. But promotional activities (possibly/likely paid) created the initial viral effect (led to the tipping point of the viral effect) which then got carried a further by people thinking they were simply late to the party, including myself (e.g. 440k bit.ly clicks and 3k detectable retweets out of the 13M views). The numbers don’t jive.
The viral halo has added 1 million more views to the video from August 1 – August 2. (13.1 M to 14.5 M)
Ten ELEVEN TWELVE THIRTEEN proof points to follow, each with screen shot to illustrate.
1a. anyone notice that the “Forever” soundtrack is remarkably consistent throughout the video as if it were dubbed or added in after the original footage was shot. The sound is too consistent in volume and loudness to have come from a built-in, on-camera microphone. At the very end of the video, once it cuts back to the couple at the altar the sound quality goes back to the echo-y, tinny sound of an on-camera mic.
1b. The “TheKHeinz” user on YouTube was registered on July 19, 2009, the day the video was posted. We usually look for clues like this to detect “plants” by PR agencies. This is an issue of trust — a user “CmdrTaco” on Slashdot has been around the forums for years, made hundreds of posts, and was rated by the community very highly. PR agencies trying to seed stories have to create new user accounts during the PR campaign (recent registration date) and have made no other posts or uploads before (no history).
2. The social intensity detected in all of the top social venues like Technorai, Delicious, Reddit, Digg, etc. indicate there was not enough organic sharing to support a view count of 13 million views in 11 days (updated: 14.6 million today August 2, 2009).
a) Bit.ly shows only 447k clicks on the shortened URL
“At Fortune’s Brainstorm:Tech conference Ashton Kutcher effectively took credit for boosting the views from – in his words – 12,500 views before he tweeted the link – to some 1.2 million views 12 hours later…”
Well, unfortunately he used a bit.ly link which provides public analytics on how many people clicked. Most tweets result in immediate traffic, which then tails off immediately after the tweet falls off the first page. In his case, look at the following bit.ly stats URL and click “past month” to see the peak clicks on July 23. All he can actually claim is that his tweet drove a peak of about 100,000 clicks on that day not 1.2 million
too bad Ashton. next time you make a BMOC claim, be sure to use a non trackable method, so analytics won’t “out” you so easily.
after only 3.5 days of retweets the twitter intensity died off to next-to-nothing; if this were a truly viral video, carried forth by real people (and not by paid PR support and paid media) the retweet intensity would remain high. As of August 21, there are over 21M views on the video and the 505k retweets does not show actual organic support for that number.
b) Twitturly shows only 3 thousand retweets on the YouTube URL itself
c) Delicious shows only 447 bookmarks of the video itself
d) Reddit only shows 673 thumbs up for the video itself
e) Technorati shows only 277 blog mentions of the video itself — this could be undercounting if blogs used URL shorteners. But if you look at the blog intensity results (below) sorted by blogs with most authority the blogs have very little authority (i.e. influence or size of audience).
– these are real indications of interest by real people. The social intensity of the passalong for this video does not substantiate the huge number of views in 11 days.
3. Twitter shows nothing in the top “trending topics” related to this video – indicating few people are actually tweeting about it — if this video is SO viral (13M views in 11 days) then it has GOT to show up on a scan of social intensity. (see screen capture below)
July 31 (Friday) August 2 (Sunday)
4. The original video was posted July 19, 2009. The people from the video appeared on NBC’s Today Show and danced around Rockerfeller Center on July 25th (6 calendar days after posting). Today Show staff may be great at spotting news, but to get all the wedding party from the wedding to re-enact the dance on the Today Show in 6 calendar days — too good to be true? Hmm…
5. Out of all the wedding videos on YouTube, how did Chris Brown detect this particular one that used his song. @glenngabe noted that there are song detection mechanisms - ContentID - which detect the pattern of the copyrighted song and report that to the rights owners. We know there are hundreds, if not thousaands, or really funny wedding home videos — America’s Funniest Videos has been running for years and years on TV showing funny wedding blooper videos that people submitted to them.
6. ALL TEN of the top viral videos on AdAge’s Viral Video Chart took around 3 – 6 months to achieve full viral effect — not 6 days. See all 10 videos’ stats, as reported by YouTube at the following link. This video has not shown up at all on the list of Adage viral videos.
9. For a top-trending topic on twitter, there is usually correspondingly high search volume that is detectable. At first glance, terms related to this viral video like “jkwedding” or “jk wedding dance” all seem to spike. But if you put it against even “Corazon Aquino” (one of the top trending topics NOW on Twitter) those JK wedding search volumes are dwarfed. (see chart below).
10. Google only reports 366 links to the video and most of them are not even important websites (see Alexa blue bar)
12. see the fine print in the YouTube description — For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/ – why would a normal wedding video ask people to make a donation towards violence prevention? (see screen capture below), the WHOIS record shows the domain jkweddingdance.com was created 29-Jul-09 — today is 31-Jul-09
Updated: This was circumstantial evidence. A source confirmed that Jill is studying patterns of violence propagation for her PhD. Their choice of charity was their own choice. And the site was set up to help that cause.
Conclusion? The video itself is real, made by those nice people in the wedding. They may not even realize why or how their wedding video went viral (and the tens of thousands of other wedding videos on YouTube did not). On the Today Show, “The couple told Lauer they were surprised at the video’s popularity” (also see NY Daily News article – http://bit.ly/OA3iG )
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.