Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Want to go viral? Learn from Alex Tew & Charlie Simpson

Ah, the secret of viral success. Snake Oil 2.0 for sure. However, I am 100% sure that the following is a key factor.

I saw it happen before in 2005 when Alex Tew successfully created the Million Dollar Homepage.

I've seen it beautifully replicated five years later when little Charlie Simpson wanted to raise £500 for Haiti and so far has hit £160,000+.

The secret (well, one of) to viral success, or indeed any success online, is...narrative!

To capture the imagination you need to tell a good story. You need a great hook and the more universal that story or hook the better your chances of hitting the motherload.

Alex Tew needed to raise money to go to university...

Little Charlie Simpson just wanted to raise money for Haiti...

Never before has the power of a good editor or story teller been so valuable. Without winning hearts those campaigns would have gone nowhere. By winning hearts they have been given 5, 6, and even possibly in Alex's case, 7 figure PR budgets...absolutely free.

So want to go viral? How are you going to make people care like Alex & Charlie?

NB: Ironic isn't it that whilst people predicted that the coming of the internet would hasten the death of the book that the oral tradition seems to be making a comeback.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

My Top 4 ways to deal with Telemarketers

This morning, a Sunday morning I might add, fellow tweeter and digital guru Marshall Manson received an unsolicited telemarketing call. He tweeted thus:
Just received an unsolicited telemarketing call on my home line. Telemarketing on weekend mornings? Inappropriate and shameless. Go away. @MarshallManson
I feel his pain. However I totally love these calls. You see, I can be a bit of a phone prankster on occasion (blame it on The Jerky Boys) so I use these calls to play games back. We are on an unlisted number so if I get a home call at any time, let alone on a Sunday morning, I like to let rip with one of these beauties. Feel free to add your own suggestions below.

My Top 4 ways to deal with Telemarketers

#4 Safe but boring: How did you get my number, please remove me yada yada yada.

#3 The Mirror: Simply repeat everything they say until they hang up - requires a bit of time but very satisfying when they give in, and they will.

#2 Say yes to everything: like #3 requires time but the extra bonus of leading them on, on top of wasting their time gives an extra burst of happiness.

The all-time, fast, painless, effortless, 'making my point whilst ruining your day and scoring one for the good guys' is:

#1 The Jerry: Nuff said!

Got any to add?