Viral Marketing Triumph: The Guys Behind the Staten Island Clown Stunt Speak

The Staten Island Clown, pre-retirement. (Photo: Instagram)

An unlikely antihero crept into overactive imaginations throughout the New York area — and the world — last week in the form of the Staten Island Clown.

This Horrifying Clown Is Haunting Staten Island,” our sister site, the New York Observer, announced. Countless other websites and newspapers followed suit. Nobody understood where the clown came from, what it wanted or who was responsible. For a brief, creepy moment, “How ’bout that Staten Island Clown!” became New Yorkers’ go-to phrase for filling in awkward silences. Read More


How Viral Tumblr Sausage Gets Made: Law & Order & Food

Tumblr has occasionally been fruitful for writers looking to spin the germ of an idea into something viral, maybe even a book. However, the mercurial nature of the Web means few who go for it with their million-dollar Old People Sleeping On Trains Tumblr idea will ever see it morph into a dead tree version suitable for Grandma’s coffee table.

There are sometimes naturally-occurring viral Tumblrs, never intended by their creators for further, offline glory. Goofs or riffs that take off and quickly become a part of the Web’s pop culture Sargasso Sea, linked by every tent-pole blog and tech site. One big recent example: Law & Order & Food.

Law & Order & Food is a ridiculously simple idea: screen grabs from Law & Order (and its spin-offs, like Criminal Intent) made when a character was taking a drink or shoving a hoagie or bite of pizza  into his or her mouth. No commentary, just frozen moments from a show that ran for so long it practically merits its own cable channel.

Law & Order & Food grows on you with each new post–because it’s funny and also sometimes unexpectedly poignant–like this shot of the late, great Jerry Orbach, who played Lennie Briscoe, eating takeout Chinese. Read More


Former HuffPo CTO Paul Berry Building New Startup and Incubator With Lerer Ventures

Tech Wiz, Poach Perfect

The news broke today that Paul Berry, the longtime CTO of Huffington Post credited with their legendary SEO and early adoption of social networking tools, was leaving the company. Betabeat has learned that Mr. Berry will be reuniting with the old gang, Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti, as he builds out a startup called Rebel Mouse and a new incubator focused on viral and social startups.  Read More

Virality Yep, It’s Totally Viral. But Is This ‘Alive Web’ Burning Users Out?

turntablefm tweets

“The graph plotting the @mentions of over time just has a classic hockey stick shape to it,” Doug Williams, biz dev at Twitter, tweeted at TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsias regarding the site. is a browser-based and soon-to-be mobile app that’s basically a radio station where a few users “DJ” while other listeners vote on song choices and talk in a chat room sidebar.

“Screenshots or it didn’t happen,” Ms. Tsotsias responded.

Mr. Williams declined to give out the stats, of course. But we ran a semantic tweet analysis using the social media analytics tool ViralHeat and found some fun stuff from the past week: Read More


The Times Square Hack, For Realz This Time


Viral pranksters ThinkModo scored a big hit recently with their video hoax showing  man hacking the big screens in Times Square using just his iPhone.

Turns out Adi Isakovic, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Toronto, actually built technology that will do just that, he even pitched it to MTV last fall.

The buzz from ThinkModo’s video helped Isakovic score some screen time to test his product, TubeMote.

This is his second chance at redemption. Back when he was 16, Isakovic invented an interactive video screen to be installed in the back of cabs, but never got that project off the ground. New York really hates this guy. Read More