Make Going Viral Work for Everyone

From the minute the world was introduced to “free” music downloads (via the World Wide Web) thanks to Napster, we’ve expected everything else to be given to us without a price; or at least at a reasonably low price. These days when something goes viral over the internet, it’s usually the result of a combination of forces (even though it’s no exact science):

  • Epic memes
  • Really funny parodies (sketches, songs, etc.)
  • Media stories
  • Celebrities sharing all the above

The trick to keeping viral content viral is to get out of its way and allow it to takeoff organically. The fastest way to kill viral content is to try and exploit it in a manner that takes it out of the hands of the viewing audience. Remember them? The ones who I mentioned up top would love free content.

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We’ve all seen it before; a video goes viral and the next thing you know, the owner of said video wants it removed by anyone who had been posting or sharing it “illegally”. Now we’ve entered into the territory of copyright infringement and a whole host of legal jargon I won’t get into here.

Let’s examine Katy Perry’s performance at the Halftime Show at Super Bowl 2015. Not the best of performances when compared to previous years. But the one thing everyone remembers weren’t her hit pop songs, oh no, what we all remembered well was that “Left Shark”; the one who just couldn’t seem to remember the dance moves. You can refresh your memory here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcLuCyrvc1M [Video]

Left Shark was an instant meme sensation! Not only that, but merchandise was being produced all over with t-shirts and toys popping up everywhere. We all loved it! What happened next was the end of a viral moment.

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Katy Perry’s legal team stepped in to cash in on the viral success of Left Shark by introducing fancy legal jargon like “intellectual property” and “trademark infringement”. Well that was the end of that.

Most recently, one of the biggest viral moments of 2016 has to go to Birdman from Cash Money Millionaires after what goes down in history as the shortest radio interview on the hit program, The Breakfast Club. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. The awkward exchange between Birdman and all “t’ree” of the hosts was so funny that even parodies haven’t come close to making viewers laugh as much. The memes on the other hand are hilarious. Now the rumours are that Birdman wants to cash in.

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If the rumours are true, for Birdman’s sake, let’s hope he’ll be smart with his approach in trying to capitalise on his renewed popularity. Allow viral content to stay viral. Do not introduce a legal team to make moves on trademarking anything he said in that radio interview like “Put some respek on it!” or “Are y’all done or are y’all finish?”

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Like I said before, people like free over the net. Use that to your advantage. Consider viral content millions of dollars’ worth of free advertising. Cash Money gave the world “Bling! Bling!” and that term has been immortalised into pop culture and has even made it into dictionaries as an actual word. If Cash Money that included Birdman had decided in the mid-1990s to trademark that expression, it would’ve died in that era and would’ve been long forgotten.

Let viral content take on a life of its own. The minute you try to rein it in, is the minute it will all end.

 

Old 2005 Interview of Mark Zuckerberg Proves You Should Always Believe in Your Idea

How big is an idea? Just two week ago, Facebook launched its platform “Facebook Live” with the goal of giving users the “power to broadcast from a smartphone to anyone in the world”. An early interview of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg proves that it’s important to remain focused on what your ultimate goal will be.

Here we see a young Mark, 21-years old to be exact, discussing his then “new” social media startup “The Facebook” in Palo Alto and holding a beer no less.

When asked by the interviewer “What was The Facebook?”, Mark explains that it was “An online directory for colleges” and also that it was interactive. “Growing from one university (Harvard) to three other schools (Columbia, Yale, and Stanford) gaining thousands of users in a couple of weeks. Closed with 29 schools and “came out to the mythical place of Palo Alto”. From here on we all know how the story goes.

It’s a short video, but it has some great gems for newbie entrepreneurs. Here are the most important lessons from this early interview in my opinion:

  1. Define your goal.
  2. Refine your goal.
  3. Run quickly!
  4. Forget world domination.
  5. Don’t think about being acquired.
  6. Make a difference in the world.
  7. Stay focused!

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Meet Kevin Richardson, the Lion Whisperer and Learn How He’s Saving African Lions

Meet the man known to South Africa and the rest of the world as “The Lion Whisperer”. He’s a self-taught animal behaviourist who seems to have broken every rule in the book when it comes down to working with animals. His methods are unorthodox, but the results he produces are nothing short of incredible. Learn how he’s trying to save some of Africa’s top predators and most magnificent creatures.

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Kevin Richardson, one man on a mission to raise the awareness around Lions. It still blows my mind how some people can connect with wildlife.

There are reports of lions surviving in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran until well into the 19th or 20th centuries. Africa alone, during this long ebb, remained the reliable heartland. New surveys and estimates suggest that the lion has disappeared from about 80 percent of its African range. No one seems to know how many lions remain in the wild. National Geographic even throws out a number at 35,000, but lions are hard to count.

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The causes are multiple—including habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching of lion prey for bush meat, poachers’ snares that catch lions instead, displacement of lion prey by livestock, disease, spearing or poisoning of lions in retaliation for livestock losses and attacks upon humans, ritual killing of lions (notably within the Maasai tradition), and unsustainable trophy hunting for lions, chiefly by affluent Americans.

The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary’s mission is to provide a self-sustaining African carnivore sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation through education, awareness and funding, especially pertaining to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, unscrupulous hunting, disease and their illegal trade.

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To raise awareness, Kevin has now set up his YouTube Channel ‘LionWhispererTV’. The channel is all about raising awareness about not only the declining numbers of lions, but also how this rapid decrease is happening. By watching these videos, you are directly contributing to their scheme of land acquisition.

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Kevin captures the majority of his footage on GoPro cameras, allowing the viewer to get as close as possible to the lions. By doing this, Kevin hopes to give people an insight into the lives of these beautiful creatures and to let them see just what they can do to help. You can nearly touch them.

Subscribe to their YouTube and Instagram channels and learn how you can help support their work.

Buy The Latest Quick-read eBook for Budding Entrepreneurs

I just released my new eBook entitled A Bunch of Random Insight, Advice, and Inspiration: For Budding Entrepreneurs” on Amazon.com. With 37 pages of content, my eBook costs around the price of your average mobile app. That’s value for money at only 2.99 USD. It doesn’t hurt too that it makes for a quick read. 

Here’s what you can expect to find:

After more than 12 years in the graphic design industry freelancing my way across some interesting projects, I have learned a lot of good and bad lessons. Within that time I have spent over the last three years blogging on freelancing, starting a business, running a business, getting paid, and avoiding “bad” clients.

Entrepreneurship can be a tough journey and some days are worse or better than others. For the bad days, I try to find inspiration and motivation to keep the dream alive.

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This edition will be focused on tips, advice, and lessons, in addition to uplifting words for budding entrepreneurs. The topics and content will be varied, but it is my hope that the take-away will help you to improve your own entrepreneurial pursuits. These include the following:

  • Scratch “Fake It” and Instead Chase It Until You Make It As Entrepreneurs
  • How to Quickly and Successfully Name Your New Startup
  • How to Get Your Winning Idea to the Finish Line
  • Why It’s Important to Be At Your Strongest
  • 12 Entrepreneurial Lessons from Richard Branson’s Autobiography, “Losing My Virginity”
  • 10 Ways for You to Approach a New Year of Business
  • There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Too Ambitious

I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’ll be using your feedback to improve the next release. Buy it and enjoy it!

Available for Kindle and other devices (iPads, etc.): http://amzn.to/1PuHHNi

now-available-at-amazon

Give Respect to All Beings: The Death of Cecil the Lion

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Some of us would rather dedicate our lives to being the voice of the voiceless; in this case a lion. I spend some of my days signing petitions, donating to organisations like The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Air Shepherd who are undertaking actions in geographical areas where I may never travel to.

I also spend time writing blogs, creating posters, and posting stories focused on animal rights issues to help raise awareness across social media. I’m sure my friends get tired of my posts some days. However, I find that it’s also important to use your “soapbox” wisely and spend less time criticising others for the attention they give to something they deem important to them. It take all kinds of people to make the world a better place.

Cecil and one of his lionesses
Cecil and one of his lionesses

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard the selfish and senseless killing of Zimbabwe’s (if not the world’s) most popular lion, Cecil at the hands of a dentist from Minnesota, U.S. of A. A dentist!! A man of science. An “educated” man. He paid the “grand” sum of $50,000 to kill an innocent animal who was one of the biggest attractions in wildlife reserves and worth millions to the local tourism industry. Ahh yes! A wildlife reserve was where Cecil and his pride spent their days hunting, raising their cubs, and fending off the challenge of other male lions who crossed his territory for a total of 13 years.

On July 1st, Cecil was slaughtered after being baited by Dentist Walter J. Palmer who claimed he had no idea the lion was collared and protected under law. A spotlight was turned on him and then Palmer fired a bow and arrow that initially injured the lion. After tracking Cecil for a total of 40 hours (almost two freakin’ days!), he was found and finally shot and killed with a rifle. Man is not and has never been “superior” to other animals, as that superiority is quickly diminished if we were weaponless and face-to-face with a lion. We were meant to be stewards of this planet.

Walter J Palmer is notorious for killing large and endangered animals and has been fined for poaching in the past
Walter J Palmer is notorious for killing large and endangered animals and has been fined for poaching in the past

Primatologist and quite possibly the world’s most famous Conservationist, Jane Goodall released a statement today on Cecil’s murder that read, “I was shocked and outraged to hear the story of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s much loved lion. Not only is it incomprehensible to me that anyone would want to kill an endangered animal (fewer than 20,000 wild lions in Africa today)…”. The entire world has come out in full support of Cecil and some, like Talk Show Host Jimmy Kimmel put into words what so many of us have been thinking. You can watch that video below.

“We were meant to be stewards of this planet.”

Cecil was being studied by the Oxford University who monitored his movements and activities with a GPS collar. Had he not been wearing that collar, no one would’ve found out who took his life and all in the name of what trophy hunters like to tag as “sport”. I watch sports all the time on TV, it never ends in a beheading and anyone getting skinned. To date, the authorities in Zimbabwe have only brought charges to two men involved in this incident, the safari operator and a local farmer. With the release of an arrow with the intent to kill, we were all denied the opportunity of being able to see this magnificent big cat in all his glory.

Cecil the lion in happier days
Cecil the lion in happier days

What some people fail to recognise is the grim reality that face endangered lions in Africa when it comes down to being driven to extinction be trophy and canned hunts, poaching, habitat fragmentation, and conflict with locals over livestock. As the estimates stand, there are 20,000 to 32,000 lions left throughout the continent. Cecil’s story will end with his cubs being killed or driven from the pride by the lion next in the hierarchy, Jericho. It’s the circle of life in the wild as Jericho will try to have the lionesses carry on his own bloodline. On the flip-side, with Cecil’s death and Jericho as the lone adult male lion in the pride, he could also be killed by another group of adult male lions who sense weakness. In that instance, both Cecil’s and Jericho’s cubs could be killed, further exacerbating the decline of these majestic big cats.

“Killing one dominant male lion is the equivalent of killing generations’ worth of lions. All three men deserve to go to prison for a very long time.”

To bring about real change in stopping trophy hunting will involve changing in laws, enforcement, mindsets, cultures and traditions, and creating real employment opportunities for poor families like those throughout African countries like Zimbabwe. Only when people have financial independence will they shift their thinking from surviving for the day to embracing long-term practices that promote sustainability. Governments will need to promote responsible tourism and prosecute those who continue to break their laws. It’s not too late to do all we can across social media and in our daily lives to help be leaders and revolutionaries. Every great movement started with ONE person who gave respect to ALL beings.

JoeySalads’ Child Abduction ‘Prank’ Will Remind Parents to Warn Their Kids about Strangers

He goes by the name JoeySalads on both his Vine account and YouTube channel and is a certified web video star. Described as a Video content creating phenomenon, he’s made a living from creating funny prank videos on strangers in public. With a following on YouTube of over 274,663 subscribers and a total of 14,483,089 views, he’s made videos stealing dogs to FBI Drug Deal pranks. Joey can be described as both brave and foolish for some of the pranks he’s pulled over the years.

Photo taken from Joey Salads Facebook page
Photo taken from Joey Salads Facebook page

His latest video, however, released May 2, 2015 is what I want to talk about. It’s titled the Child Abduction Prank”, but in my opinion it does more than just play a trick on strangers in public, it highlights a serious and life-threatening issue. I wouldn’t have tagged it as a “prank”, because Joey’s managed to create awareness around a global issue that a lot of us take for granted on a daily basis. The parents featured in his video are surprised at their children’s choices when Joey approaches them with his dog in an attempt to lure them away. It’s a lesson and a grim reminder for a lot of parents about the importance of talking to their children every day about avoiding conversations with strangers.

Here are some Child Abduction Facts:

  • Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted.

  • In 2001, 840,279 people (adults and children) were reported missing to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The FBI estimates that 85 to 90 percent of those (roughly 750,000 people or 2,000 per day) reported missing were children. The vast majority of these cases are resolved within hours.

  • In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home.

  • Most potential abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.

An AMBER Alert or a Child Abduction Emergency is a child abduction alert system established in the USA in 1996
An AMBER Alert or a Child Abduction Emergency is a child abduction alert system established in the USA in 1996

You can never talk to your children enough about the dangers of talking to strangers and emphasise that kidnappers come in all race, gender, age, and body type. There is no one look to a wrongdoer. It is also imperative that children be properly supervised wherever they might be and that we should focus less on our smartphones and stay alert. It only takes a few minutes for a child to disappear.

JoeySalads’ social experiment makes that abundantly clear. It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our nations’ children and to bear in mind that “it takes a village to raise a child”. It’s a noteworthy video to be shared with everyone you know. One share may just help to save someone’s life.

A Haven for Animals Nestled in Jamaica’s Famous North Coast

Today in my Do Good 365 series, meet Montego Bay Animal Haven, the friends of dogs and cats (and some smaller animals and birds) in north-west Jamaica.

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Please visit their website and learn how you can donate, volunteer or adopt a furry friend: http://www.montegobayanimalhaven.com/

Meet the Man Who Is Making a Difference by Walking for Elephants

Today in my Do Good 365 series, we meet Jim Justus Nyamu, a conservationist and elephant research scientist who started a campaign dubbed Ivory Belongs to Elephants”.

His campaign has seen him walk 2,500 miles across Kenya and 560 miles in the U.S. with the goal of raising awareness and increasing people’s involvement to save wildlife (particularly the endangered). Last month he completed a 283-mile walk in Kenya.

Jim Nyamu (left) is joined on one of his walks by a local supporters
Jim Nyamu (left) is joined on one of his walks by a local supporters

Learn more about Jim and his campaign via a Q&A on National Geographic.

Why You Should Join My Social Experiment on Facebook Dubbed Do Good 365

So it’s all rather simple really; I want to highlight as many inspirational and uplifting stories as I can as often as I can.

I think it’s important since every day each of us is inundated with so much information we sometimes barely read the body of the article. Furthermore, we’re constantly reading and ergo consuming a tremendous amount of negativity.

My hope is by creating a platform (a cause) on social media I can bring about some balance in your day so I started Do Good 365. I’ll feature stories on business, design, art, tech, science, environment, and entertainment all with one theme in common… good news! Each story will be written using 60 words or less (rather hard to do!), but I’ll give it my best shot.

Below is the first story I’ll feature next Monday on a social enterprise called Orange Sky Laundry. It’ll all be done in that format. Just consider it an enlightening meme.

I more than welcome your feedback on what I’m attempting and I’d love your support as well. Like the Facebook page, share it with your friends and comment. Maybe we can start a movement of positivity.

For more information on Orange Sky Laundry, click the link http://www.orangeskylaundry.com.au/
For more information on Orange Sky Laundry, click the link http://www.orangeskylaundry.com.au/

When History Goes Mainstream: ‘KEEP CALM AND…’

Have you ever seen the words ‘KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON’ emblazoned on a graphic t-shirt, meme or a poster? Odds are you’ve just answered “yes”. If you’re in the minority who probably said “no” then let me introduce you to one of the trendiest designs and give you a very brief history lesson to top things off.

This is a design that captured my attention the first time I saw it in 2012. I loved the simplicity of it all and how powerful and memorable the statement was. Having seen it so much in the mainstream on social media platforms especially, it has managed to peak my curiosity and that made me want to find its origin. Albert Einstein once said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” I’ve never lost mine. Life’s more fun that way.

After doing some reading, this is what I stumbled across… one of the two remaining originals. A rare find, considering that there was once over two million prints. Below is my summary of the genesis of this remarkable poster in three sentences.

The image shown is a scan of an original 1939 Keep Calm and Carry On poster. A propaganda poster produced by the British government during the start of WWII. The goal was to raise British morale in the event of a Nazi invasion of Great Britain.

Pretty cool huh? Now you know the history.

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