In the wild west YouTube days of 2006, before the Google acquisition, before there was any such thing as preroll, before weird deep fakes and computer-produced animation, there was Will It Blend?, one of the first purely digital viral content marketing campaigns.
An odd mixture of a Ron Popeil infomercial and the physics stunts of Mythbusters, Will It Blend? became a catchphrase and a template: put an object in a Blendtec blender, press the button, pulverize, sell blenders to folks who realize that their starter Hamilton Beach from their college days isn’t going to puree either their ginger or their electronics devices.
Will It Blend? remains a popular series 14 years later, publishing plenty of videos with real recipes that you can actually blend and drink, but the physics and electronics stunts attract far more viewers. Host Tom Dickson still serves mad scientist vibes. All videos have remained under 2 minutes long, maintaining popularity and format among algorithm changes that prioritized longer videos and cultural preferences that leaned toward younger, cooler stars with more ridiculous, less predictable stunts.
Because the thing about Will It Blend? is that it usually blends. In only a few cases will it not blend. It’s still reliably entertaining to watch the blend, even when we know the outcome.
And I still ask myself, Will it blend? all the time, when I’m not using a blender.
Growing out of the professional doomscroll
Recently I’ve been trying to concoct a new online routine to avoid doom scrolling and keep the ideas flowing, something that’s more socially conscious and professionally fulfilling. All the new B2B communities I’m seeing excite me — but I’m aware of my time and brain limitations. Historically, I know that my ambition leads me to overcommit, which leads to stress. I’m in 15 Slack groups right now and that’s not sustainable.
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