SXSWi News Briefs: OK Go, Ustream, Naked Chicks

To quote The Princess Bride: “Let me ‘splain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” I’ve been having a great time and learning a lot at SXSW this year, but while I process some of the bigger ideas, here’s just a taste of what’s been discussed and shared.

How many cuts are there in the OK Go Rube Goldberg video for This Too Shall Pass?

Damian Kulash of OK Go appeared on a panel discussing the secrets of viral videos on Saturday, and while This Too Shall Pass played, he responded to a couple of questions shouted from the audience, including mine: How many hidden cuts are there in the seemingly one-take video? The answer is two, which were both done for camera reasons.

Ustream by the numbers: Not too shabby

Ustream president Brad Hunstable mentioned some interesting numbers during his talk about improving social media with the use of live streaming (though he didn’t exactly recommend using any other service but Ustream). Some interesting data: viewers will watch a live-streamed feed for an average of 28 minutes.

In addition, when Ustream live streamed the red carpet for the American Music Awards in 2009, it had about 2.1 million viewers — and the viewing audience for the AMA broadcast on old teevee  went up by 2 million views. The next month, Ustream brought in 1.7 million viewers for the Golden Globes’ red carpet, and the broadcast viewership went up by 1.7 million people as well — a pattern similar to what we’ve seen with the online strategy for this year’s Grammy Awards.

However, he also called Nick Jonas “a modern day Beatle.” I’m not sure how much I trust him.

At least they’re admitting it

In two different panels — the How to Make a Viral Video panel and a panel featuring Andrew Steele and Richard Glover of Funny or Die — panelists said flat-out that female nudity is key to spreading a video. Steele coined the pithy slogan “swears and skin,” while Kulash broke it down as “boobies and kittens,” which he illustrated with the video embedded below.

YouTube’s Margaret Gould Stewart had a less depressing take on it: “Viral videos are always tapping into something human — love, food, sex, failure… Something that people can relate to and share with others.”

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