Know Your Meme Finds a Home at Cheezburger Network

In a deal that combines some of the Internet’s most loved memes with the definitive site chronicling them, the Cheezburger Network has acquired Rocketboom’s Know Your Meme. The deal, reportedly priced in the “low seven figures,” will also give some much needed cash to Rocketboom.

YouTube Live Partners Get New Way to Connect With Audiences

YouTube launched a new feature with select partners that will allow them to stream programming live online. Through a two-day alpha trial with Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood, YouTube and its partners will test the capabilities of the live streaming offering.

5 Questions With…Know Your Meme’s Kenyatta Cheese

Kenyatta Cheese is the producer of Rocketboom spin-off Know Your Meme, a web series and meme database which has been documenting the oddities of Internet culture since December 2007. Here, he talks about web video’s inferiority complex, championing entrepreneurs and “brand promise.”

Video Interview: Ehrensenf Is Web TV for Krauts

Ehrensenf is one of the best-known and longest running web TV shows in Germany. We stopped by their office in Cologne recently to hear more about what’s special about producing a show for a German audience. One of the biggest differences, apparently: Everyone is speaking German.

Video Interview: How to Go Viral

Jamie Wilkinson, aka Jamie Dubs, is the go-to guy if you want to learn anything about Internet memes. He’s the brain behind Know Your Meme, and until recently used to be Rocketboom’s Internet Research Scientist, complete with lab coat and white board.
Wilkinson looked into the origin of such seminal Internet memes like FAIL or All Your Base Are Belong To Us for the show, and he also dug up a lot of interesting stuff about viral videos like Where is Matt, the Howard Dean Scream or even the Evolution of Dance.
With all that knowledge about videos that gathered millions of views and in some cases went on to become pop culture phenomenons, we thought we’d ask Wilkinson if there’s any formula to virality. What do you need to do to become Internet famous, what should you avoid, and what are the chances that you’re actually going to make any money with this?
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The Decade in Online Video, Part 2: Time to Upload

At NewTeeVee, we usually prefer to talk about the future rather than the past. In light of a decade coming to an end that brought us everything from BitTorrent to YouTube, we made an exception and chronicled the development of online video over the last 10 years.

We’ve summarized the years from 2000 to 2004 here, from the dotcom bust to the birth of user-generated content. This post will focus on the second half of the decade, starting in 2005. Once again, we’ll concentrate on a few major events and trends in an effort to make the history of online video bloggable.

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The Decade in Online Video, Part 1: The Early Years

From the tragedy of 9/11 to the groundbreaking election of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, the first decade of the 21st century had its fair share of memorable moments. However, what really set these years apart from decades before is how these moments and others were being shared digitally. Armed with cell phones, cameras and camcorders, ordinary people all around the world were shooting photos and videos and sharing them online. First on Flickr, then on YouTube.

The years from 2000 to 2009 were in many ways not only the birth of online video as a mass medium, but the end of television as we know it. NewTeeVee has been covering these developments since we launched in December of ’06, and Om kept a close eye on related trends over on GigaOM in the years before. Still, even we tend to forget sometimes that online video existed long before YouTube, Hulu and all the others that came to dominate the space even appeared on the scene.

To commemorate the end of the decade, we decided to take a trip down memory lane. Think of it as the history of online video, condensed down to the major events and trends of the last 10 years. We’re starting our little time line with the beginning of the new millennium in 2000 through 2004 and will conclude it with the other half tomorrow.

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Rocketboom Gets Subtle With Its First Scripted Series

[show=thesuffersons size=large]The Rocketboom empire today launched its first foray into the scripted scene, over four years after creating a name for itself as one of the early pioneers in nonfiction web video. The Suffersons, a low-key domestic comedy created by Blair Singer, will take the place of the daily news series for the next week (prior to Rocketboom‘s return on Jan. 4), with three episodes launching today.

For those who don’t like change, though, don’t worry — just like Rocketboom‘s hosts, the titular Suffersons spend their time sitting at a desk. However, this time the desk is in a Brooklyn apartment’s kitchen, and instead of an attractive young lass with a British accent, the principle desk-sitter is Josh (Michael Chernus), a laid-off accountant taking advantage of his new free time and writing his first novel — much to the amusement of Dana (Susan Pourfar), his curlers-bedecked wife. It’s a simple premise, simply executed, and the first three episodes are focused, for the most part, on establishing a tone in the relationship between Josh and Dana, which promises to be tested in future episodes.

Singer, a playwright who has also written some episodes of the shows Weeds and Monk and contributed to the third season of lonelygirl15, has a pretty diverse range as a writer, but it’s his theatrical background which really makes its presence known here. There are few punchlines and a relaxed pace to the proceedings; it’s a subtle humor relying on awkward pauses instead of sight gags. Which means that Suffersons isn’t for everyone, but the first three episodes, especially when watched together, have plenty of interesting moments — especially for any writer who’s been asked, mid-thought, “Whatcha writing?” Read More about Rocketboom Gets Subtle With Its First Scripted Series

Magma Finds Videos Before They Erupt


Magma, the viral video analytics startup brought to us by the folks behind Rocketboom, is still a bit raw around the edges. Its internal metrics system is a black box and the site has so many features it’s inscrutable. Magma wants to be a public analytics platform, a personal viral video collector, a Billboard chart, a social recommendations engine and a promotional tool for content producers. But it’s still very new, so we’ll give it some time.

For now, one feature I’m finding quite useful is Magma’s “Must Watch” section, which is also available as an embeddable widget (seen here). “Must Watch” highlights videos that have recently surfaced and are gaining steam on sites like Twitter, IceRocket and YouTube’s daily most popular list. Videos are assigned a “Magma score” (I don’t really get it, but higher is better), but more importantly, their view counts, comments and links are collected across multiple uploads and multiple sites, with the portion from the current day split out. Here‘s an example.

For Magma to really beat out competitors like Viral Video Chart it should do a better job of parsing and illustrating stats — after all, the data the site uses isn’t proprietary; the secret sauce is in combining it in a good UI. The company understands that and sent over a screenshot of its planned feature set. Still, what really matters is that each time I’ve checked Magma I’ve found something to watch that isn’t already overexposed.