So, honestly, this is what I'm hoping you will do. It will take between 2 and 35 minutes depending on whether you actually watch the vids or not.
Any clever viral/interactive/audience-engagement marketing I might scheme up is a coded attempt to get you to do Exactly This.
For the indie artist/videomaker/content creator, this is the platonic ideal for how a viewer interacts with their videos on youtube. If you are curious about how you can support artist/creators that you like, for free, in no time at all, take this as a case study, a walkthrough.
1. Start here. Find and click the SUBSCRIBE button that is in the upper left corner of every Youtube video (or sort of near the title on the channel pages). If you don't have a youtube account yet you will be prompted to create one, it is totally free and non-intrusive and will take 30 seconds.***
2. Click the LIKE button. Copy the link, any link. Share it, embed it, tweet about it. Seriously, you don't even gotta watch it. I mean, we worked hard on it, the episode is there to be enjoyed, but don't let some convoluted sense of "I must watch the entire video before validating it with viral shares and mentions" hold you up from just pimping that link everywhere. Write it on the wall of your office building's bathroom. Email it to HuffPost. Text it to your cat. Paranormalstatus.com.
The episode is arranged with a certain narrative delicacy (if I do say so m'self), but if you just wanna know what happens, I can happily spoil it for you. The high points of this episode are Dave getting drunk and singing a variant of "God Save the Queen" and a colorful dream sequence with a terrifying/satirical cliffhanger.
Go to episode 2 to catch up on some plot points. There is an amusing Sadako gag and a tender death scene that will come up again later in the arc of the series.
3. Like-button everything. Comment on something. If you don't like something about this whole endeavor, comment on that. Create traffic. (The goal of every web-based thing is to create traffic and go viral, that is, the exact opposites of your goals in real life, haha.)**
Detour to click/view the gag reel, the gratuitous wrestling video (there's only a touch of actual wrestling in it, but a lot of charmingly posh British giggling), or this somewhat clever meta-trailer on my personal channel. Subscribe to channel dommah! too, while you're here.
Click on Episode 1, it's the pilot, so it has the most expositional lag, yes, some questionable cinematography, yes, yet you will still find moments to enjoy the buffoonish heroism of Dave and the sardonic radiance of Zoe and Elle. And again, plot points that will come up again later. And if you comment identifying the characters and context of the Dark Knight Returns reference in this episode, you win a 2012 ComicCon bag full of goodies. It's a rolling easter-egg contest that as yet no one has been nerdy enough to win. :)
4. And by gum, you can even click on an ad, because in theory that turns into $$$, of which some trickles down to the artist (me & the POO crew). You are obligated to buy nothing, yet your friend/video-creator/artist gets rewarded. Kind of an awesome deal, right?
Like this playlist, where I will maintain a curated "best of" all Paranormal Status videos, maximized for entertainment like a circus routine. This is after all, at base, not about money or fancy filmmaking (or consistent camerawork, to be sure). It's about trying to make you laugh.
And then there's our facebook page, and supposedly it is good when people like that.**
5. If somehow you have read this far, you may as well also follow @dommah @thorhulkcritic and @phearchannel on twitter, and enjoy my 140-character bursts of smile-causing sarcastic musings.
And really, that's it. Thank you!
***This is really important because YouTube success or failure (I mean, nothing really fails on YouTube, but some things are more successful than others) is judged in hard numbers of subscriptions and viewcounts. So if you just wanna click on the thing continuously while it's in the background of your monitor while you're doing other important things...that would be awesome.
**It's cool if you like the things on Facebook, but keep in mind this key difference: FB just tracks and uses your input as part of their Freaking Massive Marketing Data Collecting Machine, whereas, YouTube looks at that data and actually passes on some of its profits to its content creators. Not in a way that it's like they're giving away money, exactly, but on principle, Youtube rewards the people who, you know, make the shit that is on Youtube. No artist ever gets paid off people liking them on Facebook. (SUM-UP POINT: do the FB thing anyway, but the best thing to do on FB is share, share, share.)