Archive | February 2013

Going Viral: A Professional Examination by the Highly Regarded Dr. Shack

The term “viral” as it relates to internet-related phenomena (videos, memes, etc.) has become common over the past couple of years.  Just as a virus can quickly enter the human body, spread and kill someone (too harsh?) can a viral video sweep a nation within a few hours and make something, or someone, famous.  Today, Dr. Shack is going to take a quick look at some unforgettable viral sensations.

Gangnam Style

No need to go deep into the history of Psy’s Gangnam Style—it is the definition of a viral video.  It catapulted Psy into superstardom, and was the first YouTube video to rack up over 1 billion views.  Hell, there are YouTube videos of babies dancing to Gangnam Style that have tens of millions of views.  When your viral video makes other videos go viral, you’re doing OK.

 

Harlem Shake

With over 12,000 unique videos posted on YouTube between February 1 and February 10, it’s safe to say the Harlem Shake has gone viral.  They’re quick.  They’re funny.  They get millions of hits from idiots like me.   And, Baauer, the artist behind the Harlem Shake, has benefited quite a bit from the virality of these clips—his single topped the iTunes charts in the US and Australia this month.

 

Dollar Shave Club

This quick, quippy and perfectly scripted video helped launch fledgling Dollar Shave Club into a venture capital-backed business.  In the first 48 hours after the video debuted, over 12,000 new members signed up for Dollar Shave Club.  The fact that the CEO starred in the video makes it all the more meaningful.  Definitely worth a watch if you aren’t one of the 10 million people who have already viewed it.

 

While it’s hard in some cases to track exactly how these went viral, it’s not too hard to see why.  Does Team Spogo have something like this up its sleeve…?

No, to be honest, we don’t.  We’re going to start brainstorming right now.

Team Spogo thought about making a Harlem Shake video, but it would have looked too much like this.

NFL Free Agency: Our Top 5 Unrestricted Free Agents

Just because Spogo is temporarily offline, doesn’t mean we’ve ceased our coverage of sports.  While we plan on covering all matters of sports, we can’t get enough NFL.  On March 12, 2013, free agency will begin, phones will be blowing up, and agents won’t sleep for two weeks.  As fans, we’re all waiting to see if our team will pick up a missing piece of a Super Bowl puzzle.  Let’s look at the gems of this free agency.

1.    Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

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Flacco did everything right in the playoffs to earn him a monster deal.  11 touchdowns and no interceptions on the way to a Super Bowl ring, the Ravens will have no choice but to offer him a Drew Brees-type deal if they want to keep him.  News from Sports Illustrated is that Flacco’s agent is going to meet with the Ravens this week to discuss a long-term contract.  It’s also been reported that he wants more money than Peyton Manning ($19.2 million/yr), and something close (if not the same) to Brees ($20 million/yr).  It’s not really a question of whether or not he’s better than Brees, Brady, or Manning.  He’s got the hardware to be in the conversation.  If the Ravens can’t come to a long-term agreement with Flacco, they will apply the franchise tag on him, which will cost them $20 million next season.

2.    Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

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Bowe is one of the best receivers in the NFL, but people who don’t play fantasy football have no idea who he is.  Why? He’s played his entire career with QBs like Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, and Tyler Thigpen.  Has that stopped his production? No. Over the last three seasons, he has 3,122 receiving yards, with 23 TDs.  Reports from KC are that new head coach, Andy Reid, was a big fan of Bowe coming out of college, it seems like Bowe is going to avoid the franchise tag.  Some teams are weary that Bowe will have a decreased effort level if he gets a big deal.  Time will tell exactly how worried teams are.

3.    Paul Kruger, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Kruger, similar to Flacco, turned it on at the right time.  He finished the regular season with 9.0 sacks, but then piled on 4.5 more in the playoffs (including 2.0 in the Super Bowl) on his way to becoming a champion.  He is much more of a rushing linebacker, than your standard linebacker.  Rumors are that the Browns are targeting Kruger.  He would fit extremely well in new Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 hybrid scheme.  If the Ravens are forced to use the franchise tag on Flacco, they will have no chance at keeping Kruger.

4.    Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Arguably the best receiver of the class, Wallace is a deep threat any team could fall in love with. Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero is reporting that Wallace is going to be the top target of the Miami Dolphins, a team with a void when it comes to receiver talent.  I mean, Brian Hartline is their number one receiver.  Wallace, who is looking for $10-11 million dollars a year, seems like a good fit in Miami, with upcoming QB Ryan Tannehill.  He desperately needs some talent to throw to.  Well, it appears the front office has heard his cries for help, because not only are they after Mike Wallace, but Greg Jennings as well.  Could be quite the tandem of receivers taking their talents to South Beach.

5.    Dashon Goldson, FS, San Francisco 49ers

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Goldson received a franchise tag last year.  Then, he turned in his best season of his career, recording 69 tackles and 3 INTs.  He also added 21 tackles in the postseason with a forced fumble.  Contract negotiations are underway between Goldson’s people and the 49ers to try to get a deal done.  But there is no guarantee that they will use the franchise tag on Goldson again.  If tagged, Goldson will be due $7.5 million next season.  The deadline to apply a franchise tag is March 4th, so if he’s not tagged, it’s likely they have a deal in place.  I can’t see Goldson hitting the open market, but if he does, he’ll be the best defensive back available.

Hey Spogo, WHAT’S NEXT?!?

As you are well aware, season one of Spogo is officially in the books — and again, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for making it possible. But just as 31 other NFL teams are doing today (screw you, Ravens), it’s time to look ahead. Without further ado, it’s time to answer some of our users’ most frequent questions:

“So, what’s next?! Just tell us!!”
In terms of the application itself, Spogo will be undergoing a significant redesign and rebuild to make it bigger, better, faster and stronger (sorry, Kanye). Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to wait patiently for a few months while we’re working. But when we return, Spogo will be live for multiple sports at the same time. YUP, I SAID IT. I can’t tell you exactly which sports we’ll be launching for yet, but if you use your brain, you can probably figure it out. We’ll also be working hard to bring even more venues and businesses in Boston, New York and beyond to the Spogo platform. Rewards for users will only get better, we promise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Why in God’s name are you moving to Providence?”
David and I will be heading down to Providence, RI for the next 3-4 months to participate in Betaspring, an accelerator program for startups. We’ll use this time to rebuild Spogo. The rest of team Spogo will be spread between Boston and New York, working hard building the app, keeping you amused on the blog, and signing up some bad ass partners.

“Will there be more parties?”
More than you can ever imagine. You’ll just have to wait for re-launch until you can do this again.

Silly silly Spogo users.

Silly silly Spogo users.

Over a year ago, Spogo started as an idea between two friends over Gchat. Today, we can proudly say that we launched an actual app that had actual users and actual partners. But we’re not nearly satisfied. It’s just the beginning. So don’t worry, we’ll be back soon! I mean, how can you not trust these guys…

(Naming Spogo — from Gchat on September 9, 2011 — 9:45pm)

David:  sporto
fartygame
scorego

Andrew: Sportal
like a sports portal

David: thats actually not bad

Andrew: i know, could be better though

David: yea

Andrew: Spingo

David: splatform
god this is fu%##g impossible
Blonk

Andrew: think winning, rewards, prize, sport
WTF is blonk

David: just a cool sounding word i just made up
Splink, sports link

Andrew: Splinked In

David: haha

Andrew: sportle

David: too close to sporcle
sploosh

Andrew: whats that

David: im just thinking of cool words with sp

Andrew: oh ohk, splooge

Andrew: spwin
mehhhhhhhhhhhhh

David: nah, too awkward to say
sportpoint
pointsport
pointshimmpoeips

Andrew: iSport
iWin

David: eSport

David: wageplay

Andrew: SpoGo

David: Spogo
thats it

Spoogle and The Season That Was

After several months of hard work and preparation, Spogo officially launched on November 11, 2012—Week  10 of the NFL.  Since then, we’ve seen thousands of users make thousands of wagers, unlock thousands of rewards and win thousands upon thousands of points.  With the occasional (okay, frequent) bump in the road, app crash and Sandusky-related chat, you’ve stuck with us and had some fun along the way.  This week, Team Spogo would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who made this season so great.  Thank you.

A picture perfect...picture.  Spogo makes an appearance at Gillette Stadium.

A picture perfect…picture. Spogo makes an appearance at Gillette Stadium.

Your input over the past few months has helped and continues to help us mold Spogo into something great.  Who knows what it could have turned out to be without your help.   Well, looking back on Gchat conversations between me and Andrew from September, 2011, maybe this:

David: just thought of one
its called Spoogle
its a sports page/search engine
Andrew: how is it better than google
David: because the name Spoogle is more fun to say than google
Andrew: genius!

Or this:

Andrew: im gunna think really hard
David: is the absolute hardest part of the entire process
Andrew: harder than i’ve ever thunk
David: me too
Andrew: ok just start throwin things out there
socks
Andrew: SLOX
the device that keeps your socks together in the washing machine
David: if we are going to dedicate our lives for however many years to this idea, we need to enjoy it
Andrew: i love socks!

Or this:

David: we both love sports
we both love food
Andrew: ok
so
what do you hate most about going to a sports game
David: 1) traffic going in and out
2) not enough leg room in the seats
3) prices for beer
Andrew: ok here is how i solve those problems
1) we invent a “public transportation” system
2) we create “luxury boxes”
3) open the parking lots early and have a “tailgate”
David: wow
im really liking this public transportation idea
tell me more

Or this:

Andrew: we could just start a company that takes simple products and makes them better…and create a store out of that
David: yea we should think more about user-generated content
Andrew: and call it “Brookstone”

From Spogo’s acceptance to the App Store to the legendary Spogo parties at Duke’s NYC and Game On! Boston to an epic Super Bowl run by…um…I forget who won already. Weird.  This season has been filled with some great highlights.  Please be sure to make good use of the Spogo points you’ve earned this season and unlock some great rewards over the next couple of weeks.

Our beautiful Spogo girl teaches these lucky fans how to play.

Our stunning Spogo girl Gretchen teaches these lucky fans how to play.

We would love if you participated in a survey to collect your feedback on Spogo from this season.  All entrants who provide an email address will be entered to win a customized NFL jersey.  Name, number, team of your choice.  We’ll even let you pick what size you want!  Here is the link for the survey:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XZ6XHSH

Please pass it along to any friends who played Spogo this season.  Again, thank you for your support.  We hope that Spogo made the game day experience even better for you this season.  Look out for what’s next via an update on the blog later this week….

Cheers,

Team Spogo

Super Bowl Grades: Even A Power Outage Can’t Stop The Ravens

After all the hype, last night we finally crowned a champion of the NFL.  The hype was just; this game was everything we could have asked for.  Even the halftime show was great.  Coming off Madonna we had low expectations, I admit, but Beyonce was fantastic.  Because it’s the final recap, its only fair to hand out some final grades.  Time to see who’s going to grad school and who is working at Denny’s.

Joe Flacco: A

Flacco runs onto the field to celebrate.

Flacco runs onto the field to celebrate.

Joe Flacco was as cool as the other side of the pillow last night, a demeanor that he never lost throughout the contest.  He finished off his interception-less postseason with another gem, throwing for 287 yards and 3 TDs.  He was able to find soft spots in coverage after taking a few big hits during the game.  Flacco even managed to look mobile and elusive at times during this contest, something rarely associated with his game.  After finishing the year like this, there is no doubt the Ravens management wishes they had locked up this contract extension before the season.  After leading the Ravens through the toughest of AFC environments to the Super Bowl, then capping it off with an MVP award, he is going to make Drew Brees money.  There is simply no way the Ravens can get away with not paying him around $20 million a year.

The Superdome: B+

Yeah, I’m giving them a B+, because without that power outage, who knows what kind of second half we were in for.  Right before the 34-minute break, Jacoby Jones ran back a 108-yard kick return to open the half.  Nothing about this 49ers team said fight, but after that delay, they climbed their way back into contention.  We all know CBS wasn’t complaining about the extra airtime.

Jacoby Jones: A-

If Jacoby Jones had caught two more passes for around 10-15 yards a pop, he probably would have been named MVP, but with just one long TD catch, I don’t feel he was active enough throughout the game to get the votes necessary.  Regardless, that kick return was a thing of blazing beauty.  The closest person to touching him was the referee.  Great game for the little-known speedster.

Colin Kaepernick: B+

A new trend is born.

A new trend is born.

After a bit of a shaky start for the Kaep’n, he settled in to his game, and played like the dynamic football player we’ve all gotten used to seeing.  He finished with 302 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.  He also recorded the longest TD run by a QB in Super Bowl history while on his way to 62 yards rushing.  The 49ers did not lose this game because of Colin Kaepernick, and with all this young talent that surrounds him on both sides of the ball, they’ll undoubtedly find themselves in contention for many titles to come.

The Harbaugh Brothers: A

There cannot be two more animated coaches in the NFL, NCAA or even PAL leagues.  These two ran more yards than their wide receivers while gallivanting up and down the sidelines in their pursuit of referees to berate.  Momma Harbaugh must be embarrassed at the amount of curse words easily read off their lips, but at least they didn’t audibly drop an f-bomb after the game like Flacco.  At the end of the game, they exchanged a handshake that was clearly all they could muster.  These are two of the most competitive guys in the NFL, and while their mouths said “good game”, at least Jim’s demeanor said, “just wait until mom and dad fall asleep”.

Jim's stare is terrifying.

Jim’s stare is terrifying.

Commercials: C

I really missed the time and temperature by Commerce Bank this year, how else was I to know how cold it would be when I left the bar?

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