My Reddit Journey with Advice Animals

Reddit is known as The Front Page of the Internet. It is a place where people can post interesting links and start interesting conversations. Reddit has its own unique culture and community. It is different than Facebook, Twitter and other social networks in that content can be upvoted and downvoted by members of the community. Based on your upvotes and downvotes you get points known as karma. The content that gets the most upvotes will end up on the front page of the sub-reddit it was submitted to. The video below does a great job of breaking it down, even further.

One of my favorite sub-reddits is r/AdviceAnimals. Advice Animals are a type of internet meme (also called image macros) that have taken off in recent years. It’s basically a picture with text on the top and the bottom of the image that helps people make funny observations about our culture. About a year ago, after seeing hundreds of Advice Animal posts, I set a goal for myself of getting to the front page of Advice Animals. Seemed easy enough.


I submitted my first Advice Animal, featuring Bad Luck Brian, around March 2013, with the utmost confidence. I was sure that everyone would love it. The post got 4 upvotes and 9 downvotes.  That’s -5 votes! Everyone that thinks that Facebook should have a dislike button should join the Reddit community. Reddit has the downvote button and it is not fun. My first attempt at getting some “Reddit karma” on Advice Animals was disappointing to say this least.


I did not post my next Advice Animal, until December 2013. I didn’t have a new idea and to tell you the truth, I was still recovering from the initial blow from my Bad Luck Brian fail. I decided to give my take on  Futurama Fry. It got 4 downvotes but 6 upvotes! That’s 2 points total.  At least it wasn’t negative!

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Next, I submitted this,  Super Cool Ski Instructor Advice Animal in February 2014. I based this Advice Animal on the play “Waiting For Godot” by Samuel Beckett. I thought it was funny, but Reddit not so much. It received 5 downvotes with 9 upvotes. Net 4 points total.

At this point, I started to try and analyze why my posts had not taken off. I thought this would be a lot easier and realized that my next post had to be super relatable and something that people could get behind. I wasn’t getting my hopes up but had a good feeling about this That Would Be Great Advice Animal.

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It totally took off. In a few hours, it had several hundred upvotes and they continued to grow. I’ve never refreshed my browser so many times in one day. I excitedly shared the link with my brother, a fellow Redditor. He wrote back, “You made that? It’s on the front page of Advice Animals!” I clicked on Advice Animals and sure enough, there it was. Number 24. I was completely floored. The post peaked at position 22 out of 25 on the front page of Advice Animals with 1,722 points. To date, it has 2,730 points, with  3,288 downvotes… but 6,018 upvotes!

Front page of Advice Animals … Achievement unlocked!

After my 15 seconds of Reddit fame had ended, I started to think, “Why did my last post get so much traction?” And “What makes a good Advice Animal popular?” Here are some of my thoughts, and some questions you can ask yourself when creating an Advice Animal.

– Is the subject or situation relevant, current or topical?
– Is it something that can resonate with people/is it relatable?
– Is there any kind of emotional connection? Sad or funny? Humorous memes tend to work better?
– Is it opinion based?
– Can it be controversial?
– Can a wide audience appreciate it?
– Is it specific?
– Are you using the meme correctly? Go to to make sure.

Reddit can be intimidating at first, but stick with it and you might get yourself some upvote love.

To explore which reddit community is right for you there’s even sub-reddit about sub-reddits.   Check it out!

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The 5 Step Social Media Infographic

Do people really finance shows from Kickstarter? Results revealed!

It has been almost two years since I blogged about the kickstart of Kickstarter (read the original post here).    There’s no question that this previously little and now big dot-com has had a serious impact on how money gets raised for all sorts of different types of projects.  (And hey, it was one of the inspirations for The People of Godspell.)


Hashtags and TV


Twitter Hashtags are taking off and  becoming part of the TV watching experience. TV networks are now assigning hastags (#) for their shows. A hashtag creates a searchable topic or conversation on twitter. At the beginning of the CBS show How I Met Your Mother, for example, #HIMYM flashes on the screen. Any one that uses that hashtag in a tweet can add to or participate in a threaded discussion.

In addition to sharing what you are watching by using hashtags on twitter you can also check-in using GetGlue. GetGlue is an application and website that is getting some popularity. It is similar to FourSquare and allows you to check into movies, music, television, books, sports and more. You can share what you are reading, listening to or watching. GetGlue also gives you recommendations on other content it thinks you will enjoy based on your check-ins. The mobile app runs on iPhone, iPad, Andriod, Blackberry and other devices.

Our on-line and off-line lives are constantly getting closer to being one of the same.

What do you think?


Shazam is one of my favorite apps. It runs on iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows, Nokia and iPad.  It’s magic in your hand. It can detect pretty much any piece of music. Great for parties or when you hear that song  and don’t know what it is.

A few weeks ago I saw a Shazam logo in a commercial for the ABC show Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t like Grey’s Anatomy but had never seen Shazam use in a commercial so I paused my TV. Got my iphone and Shazam!

I was brought to a new screen with the option of watching  two Shazam exclusive sneak peak videos and the music video for the song featured in the commercial on YouTube. I could also purchase the song and season 7 on itunes.

What would an app like this be without sharing possibilities. You can share your discoveries on Twitter and Facebook directly through the Shazam app. No need to copy or paste anything. Very convenient

The exclusive content and sharing model is key and makes it worth using.  Do you Shazam?  Have you seen it in other commercials?

Photo (1) Shazam

Interactive Seat Maps


Yesterday I talked about how Ticketmaster is using email to
leverage communication with their patrons. Facebook recently joined Ticketmaster and now makes it easier to communicate with your friends to find out where they are sitting with interactive seat maps. Interactive seat maps have been around since 2009 but the Facebook integration launched in August.   It will be interesting to see what type of events will use this new feature most. For a short tutorial go here. What do you think? Will you use it? Let me know in the comments below.

Practical Communication


Over the weekend I saw Roger Daltrey at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. He performed The Who’s classic album Tommy in its entirety.  It was an awesome show and my seats could not have been better!

Ticketmaster and the Prudential Center both have a nice way of communicating before and after events. 5 days before the concert, I received an email reminder from Ticketmaster. 3 days before, I got an email from the Prudential Center, including some event and venue information along with public transit directions. This being my first trip to the Prudential Center it was nice to have basic travel information with links to the New Jersey Transit website. Two days after, I received another email from Ticketmaster asking for me to review the concert. Once reviews are posted, they can be shared across twitter, facebook, myspace, digg and

This communication and feedback model can be beneficial for everyone. The customer gets to share their experience, getting to the venue can also be part of it. Roger or someone on his team has the option to read fan reviews and decided to change anything.  Ticketmaster now has more information that they can use internally and share with the venue to improve future events.

Communicating with customers is key. But listening is even more important. If we don’t listen and react then we are not doing our jobs.

Got a comment? I’d love to hear what you think, so comment below!


OK GO tags on

OK Go rose to popularity in 2007 with their music video for  Okgooooooo
Here it goes again.  It’s the one with the treadmills. They
are constantly thinking out of the box and doing their own
thing. Just watch their videos. They left EMI and formed their own label after EMI blocked embedding of their music videos on YouTube.

Everything they do is innovative. They take the fun spirit of their music videos on the road and it totally shows.
At every OK Go concert a  crowshot is taken and posted to their Facebook Fan Page.  The band asks everyone who attended to tag themselves. Not only are people tagging themselves, they are also adding to the comments section talking about their concert going experience and continuing the conversation.  This is a fun and interactive idea. OK Go is connecting with their fans.

People like to be part of something. We like to participate and OK Go makes it easy. Can a picture on the internet replace a concert t – shirt, a ticket stub or a memory? Probably not, but it sure will last a lot longer.

Picture taken from this blog.

True Fans

In the social media world there is often too much focus on numbers.  ROA
I have x number of fans or followers. I’ve reached 5,000 friends on Facebook. Please join my fan page. Social media is not a numbers game. It’s a conversation game.

I think that we have a habit of liking a brand page on Facebook or following someone new on Twitter and then we forget about it,choose to ignore it or are passive. I know I’ve been guilty of this. reported on a new study this morning based on how consumers interact with Facebook.

  • 77% of consumers said they interact with brands on Facebook primarily through reading posts and updates from the brands.
  • 17% of respondents said they interact with brands by sharing experiences and news stories with others about the brand
  • 13% of respondents said they post updates about brands that they Like.
  • 56% of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 51% of consumers said they are more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan on Facebook
  • 78% of consumers who “Like” brands on Facebook said they “Like” fewer than ten brands
  • 76% of consumers said they have never “unliked” a brand on Facebook

Don’t focus on numbers. It is about the quality of your fans and followers opposed to the quantity. You want people that are engaged and interested in what you do and what you have to offer. Kevin Kelly says it best in his article 1,000 True Fans

Rock of Ages is a 1980’s themed Broadway jukebox musical.  The show has true fans. On a daily basis Rock of Ages interacts and engages with their fans on Facebook, asking questions ranging from 80’s trivia to questions about the show and some other stuff in between. There is not one post that doesn’t get some kind of response. They are tapping into their fans and listening to what they have to say. They are a good example of someone who is doing it right.

In the beginning, it may be challenging to tap into your audience. There may be some experimentation involved and that’s okay. If something doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged. You can always try something new tomorrow.


Text and Get

We all know about text to give, what about text and get.

With text messaging on the rise, venues like Madison Square Garden  Tumblr_llrrl38xLf1qhoam5o1_500
are now using it to their advantage. Before concerts and in between periods of sporting events people can send a text message and it will appear on the jumbo screen. People use it to give shout outs to the band, sports teams, and to friends.

We all know about text to give, what about text and get.
During Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last tour when you texted your email address you received a link to a free download of their new album in your inbox the next day.

According to a 2010 report 91% of Americans have a cell phone. As of 2009 only 21% of Americans were smart phone users. Texting is here to stay. It’s not going away any time soon.