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)

Spin the Pen Revisited: Spin It to Win It

Last summer, my friend, Daniel McCoy, and I entered the Pentel Recycology Student Campaign of the Year contest, hosted by Alloy Media + Marketing. Our entry to the contest was called “Spin the Pen. Save the Planet.” Among our many campaign strategies, we utilized a Facebook group, YouTube page, Twitter page and website. We featured pen spinners JC and Xero spinning the Recycology products.

As winners of the contest, Daniel and I attended the John Caples Awards, were offered internships at Alloy Media + Marketing to further the Spin the Pen campaign, and received a lump-sum of $5,000 to split among ourselves and those who helped out, JC, Xero, and our cameraman, Josh. Great prizes, right?!

Unfortunately, I was unable to take the internship, but Daniel did a great job there. He continued the Spin the Pen campaign, but focused on the Pentel RSVP, a pen that many pen spinners consider to be the best pen to get started spinning with. I think that was a great move, as many spinners kept telling us that the Recycology products were too light and had too many protruding functions to spin.

His new campaign is called “Spin It to Win It“. The main video is shown above. Check out the website for a tutorial, an introduction to Xero (the featured spinner), and more. You can even upload your video for a chance to win $500! Here’s Xero’s entry:

My congratulations go out to Daniel and Xero! Great site, videos and campaign!!!

My Top 10 Karaoke Songs

Above: Matt and I belt out Bohemian Rhapsody

Above: Maria finds a tambourine to dance with.

My friends and I found the most awesome karaoke bar in NYC: The Watering Hole. For the past two weekends, my friend Maria and I have been karaoking our heads off until morning! So, I thought it was only appropriate to share my top ten karaoke song picks!

1.) Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen: It doesn’t matter if you can sing it (which I can!). It’s a true crowd-pleaser! It’s numero uno on my list!

2.) Don’t Stop Believing by Journey: Yet another crowd-pleasure, this one’s a great way to start the night off!

3.) Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake: First of all, I love Cake and cake. And second of all, this song is awesome.

4.) Wannabe by Spice Girls: I’m not ashamed to say that I was a huge Spice Girls fan in junior high, and I still love this song! (and pretty much most of their other songs!)

5.) Mouth by Merril Bainbridge: Who doesn’t love this song? And it’s sexy as hell! Love it!

6.) Low by Flo-Rida (featuring T-Pain): This is probably just a phase… BUT, in the meantime, I’m flowing with it. While I can’t sing this song, I love it when others do!

7.) Summer Nights from Grease: Sometimes this song gets annoying when a bunch of stranger high school girls are singing it at karaoke night, but it can be fun when my own group sings it.

8.) I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles: The Beatles are one of my all-time favorite bands, and this is one of their most uplifting songs, in my opinion. It always makes for a good karaoke song.

9.) Knock ‘Em Out by Lily Allen: If only I could sing this entire song, it would be the best song ever! It’s upbeat and oh so pertinent for the bar scene!

10.) Shake Your Bon Bon by Ricky Martin: No karaoke list could be complete without a little Ricky Martin, and this songs the right prescription for a hot karaoke night!

Maybe I’ll be seeing you folks at The Watering Hole for some late-night karaoke!