Parker Higgins and Erica Swallow Win #SurprisedSXSW

SurprisedSXSW Goodies from the "How to Create a Viral Video" Panelists

My favorite panel at the 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference was “How to Create a Viral Video“, which featured Damian Kulash, frontman of OK Go, Margaret Gould Stewart of YouTube and Jason Wishnow, director of film and video at TED. The panelists introduced the secret ingredients (boobies and kitties) and took it a step further by creating an homage to the popular “Surprised Kitty” video. The video starred Damian Kulash of OK Go tickling the 700 panel attendees and was filmed by Jason Wishnow of TED. After creating the video, they announced the SurprisedSXSW video contest, in which audience members were challenged to create more homages to “Surprised Kitty”.

Parker Higgins, my buddy and co-worker at the time, and I decided to up the ante by creating three videos, chronicling the big elephants in the room of SxSW: hangovers, the need for energy and celebrities. The original “Surprised Kitty” video, the homage filmed during the panel, and our three entries are below. It all paid off! We won!

The prize packs came in the mail this week. Thanks to the panelists for the awesome prizes:

– YouTube tube  socks (compliments of Margaret Gould Stewart of YouTube)
– OK Go flipbook (compliments of Damian Kulash of OK Go)
– The Decembrists Here Come the Waves DVD (produced by and compliments of Jonathan Wells of
– TED2009Global DVD Box Set (The complete archive of all 4 days, compliments of Jason Wishnow of TED)

McCafe Mocha Mondays at McDonald’s: Free Coffee!!!

(Above: NYTimes interns, Naishi and Biff, and I took a quick coffee break with free mochas from McDonald’s)

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Free things keep me going every day. Today, the freeness just kept coming with McCafe Mocha Mondays at McDonald’s. That’s Right! Free mochas from McDonald’s new McCafe coffee line. Get them while they’re hot (or cold)!

The bottom line: Every Monday from July 13 through August 3 2009, participating McDonald’s restaurants will hand out a free sample size of Iced Mocha (7 oz.) or Hot Mocha (8 oz.) between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. Limit one free sample per person, per visit, while supplies last.