i went to a nerd meeting last week, and by nerd, i mean awesome. it’s actually the local social media club and it was so worth the time.
i met some cool people that are all about marketing on the internets and i learned some good stuff. the best part was the girl that presented; jody gnant. she’s actually not a nerd at all, she’s a singer/song writer who happens to be good at driving on the internets.
if you guys remember, a few years back there was a guy who wanted to see if he could trade a red paper clip for a house. jody was part of that puzzle that got him from red paper clip to an actual house. she traded him a house, rent-free for a year for a recording contract (see? singer/song-writer). that wasn’t the end of his journey since the house was a rent deal for a year. he wanted an actual home to live in, free of mortgage or time limit. which he got about four trades later. yeah, she’s kind of a big deal. and cool as hell.
so she spoke at our meeting and this was part of what she talked about and there were multiple points to it, at least that i got out of it.
1) start simple, but different. did kyle just wake up one day and go, ‘i’m totally gonna trade this dumb paper clip for a house and get famous and get a book deal and at some point, someone will make a movie out of my story.”? yes.
no. well, stop after the word ‘house’ and the answer is yes. simple + weird = attention. jody was on 20/20, GMA, and a few others for her trade in the trip. and yes, kyle got a book deal with random house. and yes, he got a movie deal too.
2) it grew into something other than what would get kyle his house. as the trading went on, it became more about helping someone else than with getting the house. think about it: people traded ridiculous things from snow-blowers to a day with alice cooper to a staring role in a movie. how come kyle didn’t get stuck with a snow-blower? because someone really needed one and got it for trading something they didn’t need as much…but someone else would. jody hadn’t recorded an album in years because she didn’t have the funds for the studio time. yeah, but didn’t she need her house? not really, since they weren’t recording their stuff here. but her roommate needed it, so she traded for it and gave kyle a day with alice cooper (she worked at alice cooper’s town). a guy that had been trying to get into concert photography traded the day with alice for…a KISS snow globe. WTF? yeah. but it didn’t end there because someone wanted that globe. and it happened to be an actor who traded it for a staring role in a movie. which a town in canada traded for a house. they held auditions and a 17 yr-old guy won the part, which was a paying gig, btw. and kyle got his house.
3) look at all the sweet people he met. at one point, kyle had 1 million visitors on his site. in a day. day-um. besides, how many of you reading HADN’T heard of this? yeah. exactly.
so that was one part of her story. the other part is that she ‘lifecasts’. WTF is that? basically, it’s the truman show except she knows she’s on camera and it’s really her life. how does it work? she has a little camera she has hooked up to her computer and a wireless card. the end.
she carries it with her everywhere (basically, yes). she hangs it from the rear-view mirror when she drives (it is little, people. whatever, you text and drive and you know it). she has it with her all the time. she started it as a fun experiment for promoting her record release party. then after the party, realized it was something she wanted to continue. so…she does.
and people watch. lots of people watch for long periods of time. she projected her screen up while she was presenting and the number of viewers on her site varied between 90 and 250 during the 90 minutes. how do you know? they talk in the chat box to the right of her screen. basically, she has a group of friends with her 24-7 and she can talk directly to them and read their responses. unless one of them is as ballsy as her and has their own lifecast, in which case, they can talk directly via their cameras.
yes, this concept of chatting via your computer with a camera is not new. not at all. but posting your life 24-7 for all the world to see and doing it regularly due to the viewership you’ve created is. for sure. and it’s crazy and interesting and scary and weird and innovative. i decided in about the first 5 minutes of the presentation that i wanted to be friends with this girl so we’re going to lunch on friday. i’ll let you know what it’s like having everything you say broadcast to complete strangers. i have a feeling it will be like being on a talk show. since i know exactly what that feels like…
if you want to tune in yourself, hit up jodygnant.com and scroll down on her homepage. there she will be. live and living her life as you watch. say hi and tell her durtbagz sent you. the folks there are friendly and will welcome you to the group. maybe you can join us for lunch friday?