Why I Love Twitter and Became ProBlogger/YouTube Famous

Last month, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net asked his Twitter followers — that includes me — why they loved Twitter. He took those responses and turned them into a video slideshow on YouTube enhanced with a rocking instrumental track.

Check me out around 4:03 AND AGAIN at 4:17. Yeah, that’s right — twice. Don’t worry. I’ll sign autographs at the end of this post. I just couldn’t capture my thoughts in 140 characters.

While most people highlighted Twitter’s ability to create a virtual water cooler or bring a bit of social to the desktop of those who work solo at home, my response was simply this:

I love twitter b/c it keeps me up to date on the latest happenings and makes it easy to share interesting finds.

Before going a little deeper to say…

Most people I talk to are outside of the contacts I have in real life, so I get exposed to things I may not have seen otherwise.

To expand on what I twittered — see, I told you I couldn’t keep it to 140 characters — Twitter has thus far been my forum for geeking out and releasing my blogosphere-hugging link monkey. It satisfies my fear of missing something by allowing me to listen in and respond to the conversations of hundreds of individuals that I admire/watch/read but never meet for coffee.

The real value in Twitter for me is being able to listen in on the thoughts of like-minded Internet junkies. It’s like being a talking fly on the wall in a Web 2.0 startup or a major blog. I find things on Twitter that I wouldn’t catch anywhere else, and I follow others who have interesting things to say even if I can’t keep their blog in my RSS reader due to the overload.

Twitter is also my release for early-adopter-itis. Despite what the walking-two-miles-in-the-snow, non-Internet types might believe, friends from my own generation have not completely jumped aboard the twit-train or the Internet. While Facebook has gone mainstream, I am, for the most part, alone among my off-line friends in my Twitter usage and social network-aholism. I often explain Internet memes to friends and co-workers, but in Twitter, I get to join a cloud of people that know what’s up online. Is Twitter the Cheers bar of the Internet future?

I haven’t gotten the return value of a Scoble just yet due to the “friend divide” that Scoble defined. My growing army of followers don’t yield the huge number of responses that a ProBlogger can amount, but regardless, I have found value in Twitter because the people I follow keep me in the loop and make me, as Scoble said, “smarter, richer, cooler, and funnier” — and better looking.

“Dear Sister”: The Anatomy of an Internet Meme

First, it was just a silly scene at the end of The O.C. episode “Dear Sister” — I know, of all TV shows to create a meme, The O.C.

Then Saturday Night Live (SNL) made it into a digital short.

After seeing it spoofed on SNL, YouTube users made remixes of popular Internet videos based on the “Dear Sister” spoofs like this “Charlie Bit My Finger” remix

From there, it esploded all over the Internet. Just look at how many search results you can find for “Dear Sister” now — many of them completely recreated by users.

Has it now come full circle with a remix of scenes from The Office into a series of “Dear Sister” spoofs?

That’s a sample anatomy of an Internet meme — or in this case, a viral video — that I discovered today.

The things I do with my evenings. *sigh*

How to Game YouTube and Go Viral

Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s guest post on TechCrunch sparked heated discussion about the ethics of gaming YouTube to get more views.

I am not a fan of gaming the system with fake comments and trickery like changing titles, tags and thumbnails, but there is no doubt that many “viral video specialists” use these tactics to get their videos viewed.

If you really want to generate a following and positive karma for your brand, I think it’s best to let the good videos rise to the top and go viral. Call me a dreamer. Natural selection FTW!

Here’s a little tongue-in-cheek video that shows you how it’s done by the people that brought us Ooh Girl!:

I personally miss the “Wild West days,” as Greenberg termed them, when a great video on YouTube would rise to the top with no tampering. I think the best videos still do, but the space will certainly be cluttered by those who will try to manipulate it in the coming years just like the blogosphere.

Web Culture 101 via South Park

If I am going to open a conversation on social media and community building on this blog, we are going to have to discuss Web culture from time to time. Hence, a new category!

Want to know what makes a video go viral? Just look at the history. Here’s a quick Web culture test to start off your education–or continue it. South Park recently tackled the life of an Internet superstar in the “Canada on Strike” episode.

Can you name every meme/viral sensation featured in this clip?

WARNING: This clips is not entirely “family friendly.” It IS South Park after all.

Bonus points if you knew what a meme was before reading this post. Maybe we can all learn something from South Park after all.

via Veronica Belmont’s Pownce sharing 🙂 (You do know Pownce, don’t you?)