This almost seems unreal - maybe it is. Dan, a Stanford student, has a chance to make a guest post on TechCrunch about his viral video company. What does he do? He proceeds to make it stunningly clear how misguided and irresponsible his "viral video" tactics are. It reads like a manual for new media douchebaggery.
Blogs: We reach out to individuals who run relevant blogs and actually pay them to post our embedded videos. Sounds a little bit like cheating/PayPerPost, but itâ€™s effective and itâ€™s not against any rules.
Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users.
MySpace: Plenty of users allow you to embed YouTube videos right in the comments section of their MySpace pages. We take advantage of this.
Commenting - Having a Conversation with Yourself: A great way to maximize the number of people who watch our videos is to create some sort of controversy in the comments section below the video. We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this).
Dan finishes with this bit of perspective and advice...
You simply canâ€™t expect to post great videos on YouTube and have them go viral on their own, even if you think you have the best videos ever. These days, achieving true virality takes serious creativity, some luck, and a lot of hard work. So, my advice: fire your PR firm and do it yourself.
I think I speak for you when I say O_M_G. Dan has the nerve to call his advice ways to acheive "true virality". Doesn't he know that what he's doing is blatantly artificial? I'm floored.
Update: Dan posts again TechCrunch. This time he's saying that he doesn't use all those techniques, he was just saying that that some do. I don't buy it, though I do know Dan has big regrets about his original post. I'm not sure why, but his words and those that support him eat at me in a fundamental way. I've wasted too much time on it already, but I may have to write more just to get it out.