My long-neglected lens #13 was Web Flotsam: Viral Videos and Funny Memes, posted on 6/6/07. (Too bad it wasn’t a year earlier — 13 and 6/6/06?) It was a good idea, but I didn’t know what I was doing when I made it, so it’s never been successful. Now, with extensive revamping, it may be.
What This Lens is About
Many famous funny videos, memes and major humor websites that people have been sharing since the beginning of the web.
Carson Williams’ famous Christmas lights display synched to Trans Siberian Orchestra became a Christmas 2005 viral video sensation — not to mention a Budweiser commercial. Like many viral videos, it launched a trend — many people now do this!
Why I Made This Lens
I wanted to share the humor sites and early memes that entertained me and friends in 1994-1995, when the web was new and gangly. More recently, I’ve been adding the modern popular memes and videos that attract more notice nowadays.
Things I Learned Making This Lens
People don’t vote on Plexos. People also don’t click on long lists of links. This lens had good content, but didn’t present it well. Now I’ve divided it into logical sections: Viral Videos, Movie Mashups, Flash Mobs, etc. I’ve trimmed out some of the less-funny stuff and added some full-sized video modules to attract quick clicks. Organization is key, especially on a lens this long.
Last year I tried an experiment: giving an annual award to the best viral video. People like awards and badges. But I didn’t publicize it. This year I tweeted the winner hoping for a RT, and also emailed the site. We’ll see if I can get a little viralness of my own going with that award.
Things I DIDN’T Learn Making This Lens
Originally the title was, “Web Flotsam: A Connoisseur’s Collection.” That has NO keywords in it — nor does the url, “web flotsam.” I was similarly ignorant with tags. I did zero keyword research in an incredibly competitive niche — there are MILLIONS of web humor and funny video sites. I wasn’t even using jargon like “viral video” and “meme” when I started; I was calling it by my pet name “web flotsam.”
It would’ve been better if a) I’d done SEO and b) I had focused in on a narrower topic. Web humor is too broad for a short lens.
Lens Stats and Milestones
As of today: Lensrank # 30,723, 8 ratings, 2 favorites, 1406 lifetime visitors.
Best lensrank achieved: #3004. Lifetime earnings: $4.13.
Poor little lens. It deserved a kinder fate. Let’s see if it does better now that I’ve fixed useless tags and headers, done basic SEO, reorganized the content and added more video.