The Barack Lobster experiment

I produced this video with friends for fun and to learn more about social media and viral marketing.

We launched the video four days ago. This is what I’ve learned so far:

1. Metacafe is not good enough. We put the video up on Metacafe because they pay you half a cent per view. We thought, “Hey, we might even make some money here.”

Bad idea.

The real currency here is eyeballs. Which means you’ve got to be on YouTube. (Click to see how many views we have so far on YouTube; uploaded late evening, October 17.)

If viewers like what they see, they may try to find out more about the people who made it. And if they find us (the actor, the animators, the Web developer, and vocalist), there’s the opportunity for far more than $1.00 per 200 views!

P.S. What a thrill to work with the SNL animators.

2. Candyland is a game. We had visions of sugar plum fairies when we made this thing.

Would Obama himself see it?

Maybe we’ll get invited to the inauguration!

Maybe we’ll be famous.

Embarrassing. And educational. You just don’t know what the next Internet phenomenon will be. Maybe next time.

3. A little at a time. A thousand views in three days won’t change the world, but it isn’t chump change either. 61 visitors came to this site from the site to find out more about me. ‘sbetter than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

If 100 percent of BarackLobster views came from the site itself, that would translate into a six percent click-through rate to learn more about me.

I’d say that’s good from a third-party site that’s not about Joe Hage!

4. You CAN build a site in 24 hours. Barry Hurd is remarkable. He built the entire site in a day. I wrote the content in 15 hours. Click through. I think it looks pretty darn professional for that much effort. Do you agree?

5. More to come. We’re just a week into this thing. (The site went up last Saturday.) I’m sure there’s more to learn here. I hope you’ll subscribe to the blog to travel this journey with me. Thanks!

Would love to hear your perspectives on this. This one’s a real-time education for me.

~ Joe


  1. I don’t normally leave comments… but I really enjoyed your post! I will be leaving a link back here in my blogroll! Thanks!

  2. I agree – the click-through rate isn’t half bad. It’s great that you present lessons learned here. Marketing is fascinating, my husband and I worked together doing Internet Marketing and I learned a lot from him. In fact, I discovered I wished I had gone into marketing instead of Management Info Systems in college. 🙂

    And who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums and fairies when they put produce something? It’s not bad to dream. Sometimes our dreams don’t turn out like they want, but I wouldn’t discount your efforts. It is quality work (I agree with point #4). When I do something that doesn’t turn out like I would like, I think of Mark Warner and his success at Alltel and how he completely and miserably failed several times before making it.

    The lesson about MetaCafe is interesting. Sometimes making a few cents isn’t as great as creating a buzz and getting $$ in a more round about way.

    Again, thanks for your perspective.

    Tawnyas last blog post..Elect Obama – 2 Unique Picks Promoting Change We Can Believe In

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