inspirational comedy, talking to colleges and businesses
about change and how your choices can help you
create the life that you want.
While developing my act, I was brainstorming
ideas with some friends, when someone commented,
“Dancing has changed a lot—you could do a bunch
of different dances.” I immediately responded, “You
know, you’re right! It would be funny to see a bunch
of those together in a medley. It would be funny to
see some of those dances in order!” The Evolution of
Dance was born and after watching videos of my high
school prom and every wedding I ever attended, the
moves started coming together.
Here, I should note that my video was far from
being lightning in a bottle. I started working on the
routine back in 2002. The video you see on the Web
is from the National Association for Campus Activities
showcase in Oklahoma, which helps colleges decide
what artists they want to bring to their respective
schools. That clip didn’t hit You Tube until 2006, and
the rest is history.
Come On In, the Water’s Fine!
Honestly, it’s hard to believe that 1994 was the year
that Netscape released its first browser (ah, the good
old days of the dialup connection), or that the dot-com
bubble burst nearly a decade ago. Today’s is not your
grandfather’s Internet. In an era of widespread broadband and free citywide wi-fi, the rise of online videos
is astounding: More than 100,000 videos are uploaded
daily with over 50 million videos being watched daily.
And it still blows my mind that my video received 10
million views in less than two weeks and landed me
gigs on CNN, The Today Show and Oprah.
Of course, your mileage may vary indeed. I’m not
JUDSON’S 10 DOs AND DON’Ts OF VIRAL VIDEO
Don’t be a talking head! Unless you
are as compelling as Jay Leno, Conan
O’Brien or David Letterman, don't just
sit there—after all, if you were as funny
as those guys, other people would be
posting your online videos for you.
Do adapt your approach to the
medium. We don’t go to a movie to see
the writer reading the script; we want
it to unfold in real life. So, it can be a
story you already tell, but be aware of
telling it via video rather than on stage.
Do create a video that relates to your
expertise. There has to be some con-
nection from your video to you. What
is the point? Why should the viewer
seek out more?
Don’t just upload a clip of your show.
C'mon, that's just lazy!
Do create a “live” portion of your show.
Recreate the scene. Go to your local
college or high school acting or drama
club and find people to act it out.
Don't be disappointed. The average
online video does not get millions of
views. If you can get more than 10,000
views, you are doing very well.
Do increase your numbers by learning
“tags.” Associating your video with
relevant words or phrases increases
your odds of being found in a search.
Do aim for the funny bone or "awww"
factor. We watch videos to escape.
Funny is good. So are things that
cause people to go “awww” (children,
furry animals and personal feats of
Do live by the two-minute rule.
As speakers, we know the power of
two minutes and how it can seem
like forever from the stage. It is even
longer when watching a video online.
Shorter is sweeter.
Do include contact info. Have your
Web site address imposed in the
video somewhere, not just at the
beginning or end as a separate
screen or few-second clip. Studies
have shown that people won’t watch
a video with preroll and click away
when the video has ended.