I know, I know. It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. I’m sorry. I’ve missed you, too. As most of you know, I’ve been working a lot. But have no fear, I’m still here. (Oh, and I’m only working TWO jobs now!) But what many of you may NOT know, is that I am a proud staff member of the 2010 North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival (#NCCAF).
I was honored to perform at NCCAF (as a guest) last year in 2009. This year, I have the honor of performing again AND the privilege of serving on the volunteer staff. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and the festival hasn’t even started yet. I was charged with being the Sponsorship Coordinator. What does that mean? Well, basically, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival (the largest comedy festival of its kind in the COUNTRY) takes A LOT of work to put on… and we can’t do it alone. So, I have been working with local media outlets, businesses, and individuals to coordinate sponsorships, coupons, and discounts for our over 500+ comedians that will be arriving throughout the ENTIRE month of February. This is one of those positions that is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when resources are tight… for everyone. It has definitely been a learning process, but I know that I’ve worked hard and represented the festival well.
What else am I excited about?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with NCCAF (formerly the Dirty South Improv Festival/DSIF) – this year is the 10th anniversary and it is bigger and better than ever. Executive Producer, Zach Ward has put more time, money, blood, sweat, and tears into this festival than you can imagine – all to make it what it is. A condensed timeline: (DSIF) Festival was started in 2001 showcasing ONLY improv comedy, went to TWO weeks in 2009 adding standup comedy, and in 2010 has added sketch comedy and film and video taking the festival to an entire month.
In addition to that, something that I had wanted to do for Zach and DSI for a long time also came to fruition this week. I spoke with both the Mayors of Carrboro and Chapel Hill and talked to them not only about how important the festival is for the arts culture in the community, but also the impact is has fiscally on local businesses. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to do anything, but I had high hopes. And then I got the good news. I take that back, AWESOME news. It’s OFFICIAL: both Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill and Mayor Mark Chilton of Carrboro have formally and officially proclaimed February 2010 DSI Comedy Arts Month in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. (And Mayor Mark Chilton will be at OPENING night this Thursday the 4th to read his proclamation before the start of the first show.)
Oh, and DSI won 2009 Small-Business of the Year last week. Pretty cool, huh?
We’re kind of a big deal.
Okay, okay. So why am I rambling and what is my point? My point is that this Thursday, February 4th marks the start of a HUGE month of comedy here in North Carolina.
Do you live in and around the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, and parts of Virginia area? Do you love comedy? Do you want to laugh… a lot?
Then you should come see shows.
Support you local, national, AND international comedy this month. Support your local comedy festival. Support #NCCAF.
Be jealous: I went to Las Vegas a week and a half ago.
But even when I am on a short (but awesome) vacay, a part of my brain doesn’t leave work/writing mode. Well, I’m not a gambler and I have much more interest in partaking in spa services than any of the other “activities” that “sin city” has to offer. But the one thing that continually impresses me about Las Vegas is their use of social media and the way they use it to engage residents, visitors, and potential travelers.
Everywhere you go in The Vegas, social media follows. Almost every resort, spa, casino, and store has some sort of “get connected” signage encouraging people to… well, get connected. (Example to the right).
Even a mention of Vegas on Twitter and you’re going to be followed and @replied by a few casinos and/or shows that might want to help you out.
When I checked into Planet Hollywood on @FourSquare (a location-based social media application), a nearby special popped up. Just for checking in on FourSquare, I got a free drink from the bar at KOI, an uber-nice Japanese restaurant inside Planet Hollywood. (Screenshot to the left.)
If you have Vegas-related questions about discount show tickets, hotel reservations, restaurants, whatever, there is going to be someone in the social media space to answer it for you.
I had a huge breakfast mishap the first morning I was there. I tweeted to them about it, I was taken care of, and @PHVegas checked in with me on Twitter about it.
It was nice to know that if I had a problem or a question, there was going to be an answer, in real time, no matter where I was.
Vegas does social media right.
I know Vegas isn’t the ONLY city that uses social media to such heights, but it sure is a great example of how it should be done.
Need more examples? Look at some of the MANY Vegas venues on Twitter:
By using these tools, Las Vegas is able to reach out to an international audience. People come from all corners of the world to The Vegas and Vegas needs a way to connect with those people. And they do.
Question(s):What other cities do you think utilize social media tools as effectively as Las Vegas? Have you have a negative experience with Vegas social media? Do you think they could improve? What do you think engages you the most when a city uses social media? I would love to hear your thoughts and/or other examples.
Sure, all of us have spent many an hour perusing YouTube for that hilarious video of kittens on a roomba, or a dad getting hit in the nether regions, or that SNL sketch we all loved…And I’m sure some of you know about the advent of “career YouTubers” – people who are literally making a killing just by putting up YouTube videos.
Many people love incorporating video into their campaign, or message, or event, or whathaveyou. But you can’t just create a YouTube video or a YouTube channel and expect it to go viral in 24-hours. You can’t expect to become a YouTube celebrity overnight. Sure, creating video content is great, but if no one is watching it, then why do it? I’m by no means claiming that I am an expert. I love video blogging and putting up videos on YouTube, but my videos get a couple hundred views, maybe 1,000 views at best. I continue to do it because I love the work I do and frankly, it’s practice. I want to get better and the only way to get better is to screw up. [At the Social Media Business Forum I attended in October, I attended a panel on creating video content. Zach Ward wrote a great blog post about it to sum up.]
Well, “YouTube Celebrities” have become an entire niche and an entire industry. So, I just wanted to share a couple of the Rockstar YouTubers I, personally, follow and why I think they are so successful.
Who: Okay, so the PS22 chorus isn’t making money through YouTube, because they are a bunch of 5th graders. They are phenomenal singers and are so incredibly inspiring. I just wanted to give them a shout out here because I think they rock. PLUS I wanted to share one of my favorite videos they have done.
Subscribers: 494,071 – Videos: Too many to count – Channel Views: 24,268,468
Who: Natalie is an Australian video blogger and YouTube personality. She talks about anything and everything. She does all her own filming, editing, writing, etc. She is the #1 most subscribed YouTuber in every category in Australia and she is in the Top 10 Most Subscribed on ALL of YouTube in the entire world.
What makes her so successful: Aside from her sick Australian accent, her appeal is definitely in her charisma and her charm. However, she is savvy and knows what works. Her videos are solid and consistent, she puts a lot of work into the quality of her videos, and she engages with her community… She ends EVERY video with a shoutout to her fans, she’ll feature fan questions and give answers, etc. She is involved. She also generates a ton of content – thus, getting people hooked and bringing them back again and again.
Why I like her: Of course I think she is really funny, but what I like best about her is that I try to learn from her. Obviously I don’t have the camera or editing skills that she does, but she is incredibly creative in that arena which is an arena I am not as comfortable in. I gain something new every time I watch one of her videos.
Who: Blair “JuicyStar07″ is a 16-year-old (yes, 16) beauty guru. I had no idea until recently there is an entire niche on YouTube of “beauty gurus” who do make up tutorials, share products, do reviews, etc. It totally makes sense. But anyway, Blair is 16-years-old, and is a beauty guru. She posts a video anywhere from every day to twice a week. I just happened upon one of her videos one day, watched it, and actually learned something. (I am totally not ashamed to say that I learned something from a 16-year-old. By all means, she knows more about this stuff than I do. Teach me!)
What makes her so successful: She has only been on YouTube for a little over a year. She posted her FIRST beauty tutorial in July of 2008. Wow. She really became almost an overnight sensation. She has been featured in Seventeen magazine and in the New York Times. She is adorable, quirky, and honest – which I think are 3 attributes that make her appealing to a crowd of teenage girls (and quasi-makeup-inept 20-somethings) who want to know what the must-have eyeshadow for Fall is. She creates a ton of content and keeps her content fresh. She is now getting sent free makeup and hair products and Coach bags from different companies to review and talk about in her videos. She is a 16-year-old entrepreneur and incredibly smart. Way to go, Blair.
Why I like her: What I think is interesting about her is that she is not afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something about a product. She doesn’t claim to be an expert which I think is really admirable considering the world we live in where people are afraid to admit defeat. I think the other reason I like her videos is because she talks about something that I really know nothing about. And every girl secretly wants to be super girly. Yeah, I love to write. Yeah, I love comedy, Yeah, I love social media. BUT, I’m also a girl and I love to do my hair, and I love makeup. But I want someone to teach me how to do it. (Totally not ashamed in the least).
Subscribers: 775,325 – Videos: He posts one every day Mon-Fri for like 3 years. So, a lot. – Channel Views: 27,375,711
Who: Philly D is a video blogger who creates short (2-5 minutes), fast-paced, news-like videos. He talks about the headlines, celebrity gossip, his own life, anything. He is frank, abrupt, honest, and doesn’t take sh*t from anyone.
Why he is so successful: Aside from the fact that he posts SO much (like I said, he posts a video every day Monday-Friday), he is hilarious. His content is original, fun, and incredibly insightful. But he get straight to the point and doesn’t sugar coat anything. He isn’t afraid of offending anyone… he just tells it like it is. And I think that whether people love him or hate him, people respect him.
Why I like him: I’m not going to lie, I get a lot of my news from Philly D. What I also love is that he keeps his videos short and sweet. Sometimes I am way too lazy to sit and watch a video that is 16 minutes long. I like that I can count on Phil’s video to be less than 5 minutes, funny, and get me up to date on the latest headlines/news/gossip/stories/fun. And I like the standard-issue monkey poster in the background.
Who: iJustine is a video blogger, YouTube personality, internet geek, APPLE LOVER (she seriously LOVES Steve Jobs), techie, and all around rockstar.
Why she is so successful: She has an awesome balance of quality content, hilarious videos, and originality. She lets her personality shine through in every video or blog post she does. (She also loves to dance). She found her niche: she loves Apple products, Steve Jobs, dancing, technology, photography, social media, and videos. So she takes all of those things and makes them her own. Again, consistency is key.
Why I like her: In a totally non-creepy way, I want to meet her and be friends with her. I think we’d get along. I’m fun. She’s fun. I’m cool. She’s cool. I’m saying, together, we could do some serious damage (in that we would crush the business world with our genius powers… or something like that). But in all seriousness, her content rocks. When I mentioned earlier that I wish I were better at creating videos and editing (etc.), I have learned a lot of easy to implement techniques from her.
And no YouTuber blog post would be complete without mentioning… Fred. I am not officially including him in my list. I am simply going to link to his channel and let you decide for yourself. Fred is the #1 most subscribed YouTuber of all time on all of YouTube. This is a link to Fred’s channel. I want to know: why do YOU think he is so successful?
TAKEAWAYS: So all of these YouTubers are not alike, yet they are all video rockstars, and all for completely different reasons. BUT there are a few common threads:
Quality content = people will want to watch your stuff
Consistency = the more you post on a consistent basis, the more people will return
Subscribers = the more people subscribe, the more they will keep coming back
Quantity = the more you post, the more there is for people to find
So, what do YOU guys think? Why do you think some of these people are totally rocking YouTube? What makes them so successful? Are there any YouTubers you, personally, follow? Why do you like them?
I have decided to listen to my own advice and do a blog post with my Twitter #FollowFriday suggestions this week. YAY! And I’m even going to break it down into categories. Oh man, who’s excited?! I know I am.
COMEDIANS & ALL-AROUND FUNNY PEOPLE
@BeauCribbs – I have known Beau for almost 3 years and his tweets make me laugh every single day. In fact, if he posts a tweet that isn’t funny, he immediately tweets after that apologizing for the unfunny tweet WITH a funny tweet. It’s ingenious. Oh, and he loves the Red Sox (boo) and The Office. What’s not to love? Well, the Red Sox for me…
@CallMeKP – Kristen and I took an improv class together at the Second City Training Center in NYC a couple summers ago. She, like Beau, loves the Red Sox, The Office, and is incredibly witty. You won’t regret following this girl.
@Pijornification – An awesome graphic designer. An incredible web developer. An even more incredible improviser, David Pijor is awesome. He’s so creative and always has something to offer.
@zachward – He is the founder, executive producer, and director of the Dirty South Comedy Theater. He loves improv, he loves performing, and is the smartest, most business-savvy comedian I know. (I promise, I’m not biased on this one… )
SOCIAL MEDIA AWESOMENESS
@WayneSutton – Wayne is a rockstar. No doubt about it. He’s a blogger, strategist, and social entrepreneur. He speaks all over the country, yet he calls Raleigh, NC home. How awesome is that? He offers great tips and always has great insight.
@1918 – Not only is @1918 a Buckley (which makes him super awesome – no relation) Phil Buckley is funny, smart, and has a great sense for social media.
@JeremySaid – Jeremy is the owner and CEO of Twine Interactive – and awesome media firm here in the Triangle. Jeremy is awesome. For reals. Trust me. Incredibly insightful, honest, and savvy.
@DanSchawbel – Dan is THE personal branding guy. His tweets offer AWESOME resources and he offers GREAT advice. You’ll learn A LOT just by following him.
I JUST LOVE THEM
@PunkRockHR & @lruettimann – Punk Rock HR IS Laurie Ruettimann. Laurie is my new BFF here in the Triangle, but that does not go without saying that Laurie is THE go-to woman for ANYTHING HR/job related/employment related. She speaks all over the country and writes an awesome blog called Punk Rock HR. I even had the honor of guest-posting on her blog last week. It was awesome! We enjoy getting drinks and eating olives. We’re fancy like that.
@DSIWN – I would be lying if I didn’t say that I write for DSI Witness News, but DSI Witness News is awesome. Get hilarious updates and headlines – subscribe to the podcast. You love news? You love to laugh? You’ll love DSIWN.
@GregLee – the marketing director for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, Greg is an avid runner who has really inspired me to start running. He is going to help me as I start to train for a HALF-MARATHON. Holy crap, I can barely run 3 miles let alone 13.1… but Greg is awesome and is going to be a great source of inspiration for me.
@colettewh – Colette is my comedy-duo partner in our awesome improv team FEMMEBOIS. She is a funny lady and also a great inspiration. She just completed her first half-marathon this past weekend and also raised over $2,500 (on her own) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Awesome. GO COLETTE!
PHEW! That was a lot. If I didn’t give props to you, don’t feel bad. I love you too! If I wrote about all the people I loved, well, that would take a long time. But I hope this helps.
You guys are awesome. Who are YOU #FollowFriday’ing?