Cogo + Disney

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Hello world!

We are excited to announce that we are joining the Disney Accelerator program powered by Techstars. We know that this process will shape our product in a number of different ways and can’t wait to work with some of the brightest media/technology minds in the world to do so. Stay tuned for progress and updates as we strive to find new ways for online video creators to monetize effectively each and every day. Let us know if you have any questions in the meantime!

Cogo Team

Video Boosting Podcasting: The Cogo Way

Cogo has been and continues to be built with podcasts in mind. This is done in such a way that works for both larger and smaller size podcasts. In order for podcasts of any size to have an effective show, they must combine quality content, creative rewards and an effective marketing plan. Recently, Cogo has had two very different podcasts with two extremely successful campaigns that leveraged all these aspects perfectly.

For the first event, Dan Harmon, the creator of the hit television show, “Community,” and host of the popular podcast, Harmontown, recently decided to kill two birds with one stone: clean out his house and give back to his fans (which are some of the most active and loyal superfans around). The result was an incredible live streamed garage sale.


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For the second event, Janet Varney (voice of Korra in the hit series, Legend of Korra, and star on the popular series, Burning Love) did a live episode of her JV Club podcast on Cogo and had an equally impressive experience.

What made these two different events so great?

1. Create quality content

These two podcasts killed it with some incredible content:

  • Dan Harmon put on a live QVC-style garage sale for his fans. He created a fun environment and made items available that he knew his fans would crave. The result was a one-of-a-kind event that his fans will never forget.

  • Janet Varney took a different, yet still effective approach.  She had a fan-favorite guest join her in her own living room for an hour long video podcast. They answered twitter questions and played games on the air. Her superfans interacted and played along. Everybody had an incredible time.

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Both of these podcasts knew what their superfans wanted and made it happen. That is the key for creating strong quality on Cogo: plan a unique event and utilize the above mentioned key components, while also keeping in mind the superfans.

2. Incentivize with awesome rewards

Superfans want to support the cause, but a little incentive goes a long way and donation rewards are a wonderful way to do so.

  • Dan’s garage sale was incredibly successful because he offered one-of-a-kind items from around his house and from his television show. Superfans were quick to buy these items up as they were put up in real-time. He offered another option that any fan could afford. His $10 reward for a video version of his upcoming podcast episode got over 300 donations. They loved it!

  • Janet Varney called in favors from her friends. She had some incredibly creative items available for her show. She had a few of her celebrity friend’s sign a book, had a special Sarah Silverman voicemail and everything in between. Her fans gobbled them up and they were all gone by the end of the show!

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3. Tell the world about your show

It is crucial to market your events in the best way possible for you. Superfans WANT to know about the event, so Cogo encourages performers to spread the word about their event and their causes.

  • Dan tweeted and Facebook posted to their fans many days in advance and leading up to the show. Like most podcasts, their following is spread around the world and can’t attend the garage sale in person. Finding out they could participate through the live stream created an amazing word of mouth snowball effect, which was a huge part of their success on Cogo.

  • Janet Varney has a big following for her show on Reddit, so she thought it would be a great idea to post and interact on Reddit. It was. In the days leading up to the event, she posted, tweeted, and encouraged her fans to do the same. As you would expect, her fans gladly helped out and really enjoyed playing a role in the success of her show.

Marketing is the biggest difference between making $200 and making $20,000. Tell your fans, have them tell their friends and invite them to come enjoy this unique show with you. You have worked hard to build loyal superfans and they want to know about your event. They love you!

Both Harmontown and The JV Club podcast understood what it took to make their experience both meaningful and profitable.  They both had great content, unique rewards and marketed their event wonderfully. They have laid out the blueprint on how to raise thousands of dollars utilizing Cogo.   Now all other podcasts have to do is copy that blueprint. When podcasts are on Cogo, incredible things happen!


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You can still visit the Harmontown event page at https://www.cogo.tv/harmontown. Donations are still being accepted for a variety of rewards, including a video download of episode #96 of Harmontown.



Dan Harmon Has A Garage Sale - Item List

Video download of Harmontown Episode #96

Download the professional live recording of this episode. Not available anywhere else after other than donating for this reward.

(SOLD OUT) Original Signed Polaroid of Dan Harmon and friends From The Garage Sale 

There will be polaroids taken. We will be printing and signing. You get the original picked for you right from Dan himself.

(SOLD OUT) Black Harmontown t-shirt signed by Dan Harmon

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Have everything from small to 3 XL. We will be in touch to see what size you prefer after purchase!

(SOLD OUT) iHarmon™ signed by Dan Harmon 

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Styles vary but Dan will pick one out he thinks you will like and he will sign it with love. 

(SOLD OUT) Watercolor from Daily Feelings signed by Dan, Spencer and Erin

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This is the original watercolor from the opening of ‘Daily Feelings’ from Harmoncountry. Signed by Erin McGathy and Spencer Crittenden.

(SOLD OUT) Harmon Family Glass set from the casa of Dan Harmon 

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Featuring the faces of Dan, Erin, Fiv and Harvey. Dan’s thumb is being sucked. You need this. Will also come with a digital download of Harmontown incentive. 

(SOLD OUT) Dan Harmon Signed Copy of first edition “You’ll Be Perfect When You’re Dead” 

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This is very very rare to find. There MAY be more listed during the garage sale. There also MAY not be more listed. If you want a guarantee you better snatch one now. For now it will come with video download of episode 96. 

(SOLD OUT) Limited Edition Harmontown Documentary Poster by Anthony Mauiri. Signed by director of Harmontown, Neil Berkeley, Dan Harmon and the rest of the cast.

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This is beautiful. Not easy to find. Signed with love by everyone involved with making it amazing. We all know you need it.

Starburns Pizza Box M Signed by Dan Harmon

One of a kind!

Pathfinder Pawns Bestiary 2 Box SIGNED by Dan Harmon

This Pathfinder Pawns box will be SIGNED by Dan Harmon. You can cherish it forever!

Black Groom Converse Size 10 1/2 Signed by Dan Harmon & Harmontown Crew

Dan was almost married in them! He has worn them you can be sure of that.

Ryan Stiles Character Sheets Signed by Dan Harmon

Laughs were had and fun was milked!

Jim Rash Yearbook Framed Poster Signed by Dan Harmon & Harmontown Crew

Dan has one hanging on his own wall. It is great!

Harmon Leaky Flask Signed by Dan Harmon & Harmontown Crew

Handmade Dan Harmon flask! It is an incredible item that has been through a lot (notepad not included).

Rick and Morty Skate Deck Signed by Dan Harmon

One of his favorite skate decks! It looks beautiful. Dan is bitter about letting it go, but he will still SIGN it for you.

Superfans: How Glee Raised Money for a Great Cause on Cogo

A few weeks ago, February 22nd, The Young Storytellers Foundation organized the 3rd annual Glee Big Show. The show brings in cast members from the hit television show Glee. The cast members performed live skits from scripts written by 5th graders that are involved in the Young Storytellers foundation. This was the first year that the event utilized the Cogo to raise money and stream live.  Prior to using Cogo, the event was only available to a select number of Glee fans that could attend in person. Because of this, Glee and The Young Storytellers had amazing events the first two years, but couldn’t reach Glee’s mass following and made fundraising limited. Fortunately, Cogo is a platform that can turn a small event into something much larger as it creates an opportunity for every single fan to get involved. 

With no advertising dollars and no promotion from the cast members, the 3rd annual Glee Big Show was able to raise tens of thousands of dollars in just a few hours! This was due largely to the strength of Glee’s superfans.  They actively spread the word to their friends and family, generating enough buzz to help Glee and Young Storytellers raise a staggering amount.  We were able to see the incredible activity through our Twitter widget on the event page that helped to snowball the effectiveness of the event. Here’s a look at the data:

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Figure 1 illustrates some of our activity. With zero promotion dollars spent, there were 1,213 total tweets generated. This lead to roughly 1.5 million Timeline Deliveries, as shown in Figure 2. Using the Cogo platform, the Young Storytellers foundation was able to show up on roughly 1.5 million more timelines than they would have if they would have kept the event offline and strictly an in-person event. 

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These numbers led to an increased amount of traffic driven to the site. This was not just during the time of the event, but even after the event had ended, which allowed for donations to continue to roll in over the course of the following days.

As we look back on the event, one thing is extremely clear: the power of superfans cannot be denied.  The superfans want to see the exclusive event, the superfans want to donate to the cause and the superfans tell other superfans about the event. The Glee Big Show was a perfect example of that. Around 10,000 visitors watched the show, which led to each donator contributing roughly $100 towards the cause.  We want to extend a great big thank you to all who helped Glee and Young Storytellers achieve their goal of raising awareness and money for a great cause. 

 

You can still visit the Glee Big Show event page at https://www.cogo.tv/glee. Donations are still being accepted for a variety of rewards, including a digital download of the entire event. 

Interview: Caleb Bacon from Sullivan & Son

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Caleb Bacon is a television writer currently writing for the TBS hit show ‘Sullivan & Son’, which is executively produced by Vince Vaughn amongst other big timers in the entertainment industry.  Caleb has written and worked behind the scenes on a host of television shows including Deadwood, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Luck, John From Cincinnati, Big Love and Animal Practice. So it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about the industry.

Above all, Caleb is a great guy who recently did an awesome show on Cogo.

Okay, lets dive into this. Can you tell me a little bit about your podcast and describe it in your own words?

Yeah! Can I use your words?

Yeah, you can use whatever you want.

[Laughs]

It is called Man School with Caleb Bacon and it is a show where I talk to a variety of men about their real life experiences. Things that they personally have been through, whether they be difficult, unique or interesting and we will have an honest conversation about what that experience was like. Then, hopefully the conversations are something that people find to be inspirational, motivational or at a very minimum entertaining.

Yeah, I listen to your podcast a ton and to me it feels almost like a dad to a son relationship, if that is possible in a podcast. Something like rules you leave to your son sort of vibe. This made me wonder, when did you decide to do this & what made you want to do this podcast?

That is cool and interesting thought!

I got sober from drugs and alcohol a little over six years ago and I found that the biggest thing that helped me was just talking to other men about what they had been through. This was the first time in my life where it wasn’t like people lecturing me. Like the school principal or people just telling me what to do. It was about people who have had similar experiences and were to put things out in a way where it was like “Oh! That makes sense for me. I will listen to that” I just kind of took that and tried to apply it to as many areas of my life as I could with whatever problems I wanted to get over or get through. But, I also found that it was a really fun and entertaining thing to do. Just having a real, honest conversation with other guys, which most people do not do.

You know, podcasts are great because it is almost like hanging out with the show.  The Man School Podcast really seems to have that feeling.  You are hanging with Caleb Bacon and his guests every time you listen to the podcast. But okay, lets get into something a little less serious. Star Trek or Star Wars, do you have a preference?

Star Wars.

Yeah me too!  I never got that into Star Trek.

Nah, no. It didn’t speak to me to.  I am afraid of the new Star Wars movies, but I will see them.

I feel the exact same way.

When you have been working with us and on previous podcasts raising money, you have been delivering pizzas to anybody who wants one for a donation. I was just wondering, what kind of pizza do you deliver?

It’s not up to me. It is whatever they want from the deliver.  So far that has meant either going to someone’s house or meeting at a pizza place of their choice. They do have the option of me just giving them the pizza and me just walking away.

But that’s not fun.

Yeah. But everyone has decided to eat the pizza with me. I am open to be just a delivery boy though!

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You are a pretty established TV writer. Could you just dive into your journey and how you got started in that, as well as how you reached to where you are at now?

I am currently writing on a TBS sitcom called “Sullivan and Son” produced by Vince Vaughn and I am at my office at Warner Brothers as we speak. I had a lot of jobs behind the scenes of shows and dramas. I worked on a lot of HBO one-hour dramas (Big Love, Denver, John From Cincinnati), but I had always loved comedy. Then as soon as a I got a chance to work on the comedy projects, as I had been moving my way up the writing ladder a little in Drama, I decided to entirely focus on comedy. I had some support staff positions and was able to turn that into full-time writing.

Are you happy that you went down this comedy field?

Yeah, it is the best thing ever because you get to laugh all day long.

I imagine that is a blast.

You get to work with hilarious people and your job is to be funny. I get to laugh. I get to make other people laugh. The hours can be really long though.

What sort of advice would you give to aspiring TV writers?

Write your balls off or write your ass off. Pick one and just write it off, because it is really easy on trying to come up with a strategy of how to have a career in it, as opposed to putting in the right kind of work. A lot of people think you just need that one good script, but if you write one good script the next one should be even better.

“It takes time to perfect your craft” sort of concept?

Yeah, yeah. Another thing would be to know as many people as you can. People want to hire someone who they want to spend time with, because you spend so many hours together. You cannot be anonymous.

If you have to single somebody out: who has been your favorite person to work with? Either with Man School or while writing?

I would say Rob Long, who is the co-creator of Sullivan and Sons. He is one of the funniest people I have ever known and is one of the smartest people I have ever known. He is full of great stories and very supportive of me. So you cannot beat that!

He sounds like a great guy. 

He has bought me a lot of nice lunches! He was one of the head writers on ‘Cheers’, which is my favorite show of all time.

Okay, I cannot help but ask. Your name is Caleb Bacon, are you a snobby bacon eater or do you enjoy all types?

I will try all types, I won’t necessarily enjoy them, but I will have a go. We have this thing on set we refer to as ‘crack bacon’. It is bacon glazed with maple syrup and black pepper. It is sweet, spicy and addictive as hell.

Everyday on set we have three types of bacon for pickup. Regular bacon, turkey bacon and crack bacon. So, I am pretty happy.

Any shout outs or plugs or anything you would like the readers to know?

I just want people to listen to Man School and when you hear an episode you think would resonate with a friend, send them that particular episode.

Caleb Bacon is a great guy and that kind of person who is a joy just to talk to. He is currently working on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son. In 2013, he launched his own podcast called “Man School with Caleb Bacon.” If you listen to just one episode you will get hooked and listen to thirty. Check them out at http://manschoolshow.com out and on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/man-school-with-caleb-bacon/id596163957.

We were Laffster. Now we’re Cogo. Here’s why.

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Today we’re extremely excited to rebrand Laffster to Cogo, as we expand our offerings beyond comedy.

We started Laffster because we were (and still are) comedy superfans. We wanted to connect with the people that made us laugh in a whole new way and let others do the same around the world. We quickly learned that comedians also wanted new and exciting ways to connect with their biggest fans while simultaneously involving them in projects they are passionate about. 

Our goal was at Laffster and now is at Cogo to be at the intersection of live streaming and crowdfunding. Think of us like the modern day version of the telethon. The crowdfunding side of things is built for superfans that want to follow artist’s passion projects and causes that are near and dear to them, and the live streaming component is for superfans who want special access and interactivity with the artists they love. Cogo is a place where the most interesting and followed people with dedicated fans can turn on a camera, hang out and raise money for causes they care about, all while exciting their core fan base to spread the word about projects they want to market. 

Over the past six months we have seen the most amazing usage of the product and nearly 100 goals reached.  Those goals where literally reached overnight, since the events occur during live streams in a single day or evening. The streams have been unique and memorable - from Zach Galifianakis eating cupcakes while fans bought Ke$ha shirts he signed to benefit Smile Train, to Bruce Dern, Angelica Huston and Tim and Eric hanging out to fund a movie theatre, to YouTube sensations DeStorm Power and Timothy DeLaGhetto hanging out with fans to support the growth of their channels and favorite charities. Most importantly, fans from Australia to Germany to Japan tuned in all hours of the night to join the conversations, tweeting and posting all the fun they were having buying items to support celebrities’ favorite causes. 

We couldn’t be more excited to open our platform to amazing gamers, actors, athletes, authors and others and improve daily on how we help these amazing people raise money for what they care about and connect with fans in a brand new way. 

To kick it all off in the coming weeks Cogo will feature everyone from the cast of GLEE to Questlove to Ken Burns to Fred Armisen using our tools to raise money for causes they love. We look forward to the challenge and are incredibly excited to share the amazing experiences with superfans around the world!

- The Cogo Team