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Ze Frank On The Keys To Getting People To Participate Online

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I love how today’s guest, Ze Frank, describes what he does: He creates online play spaces.

He is the creator of, colorwars, The Show (one of the Internet’s earliest and most popular video blogs that inspired peeps like Gary Vaynerchuk), young me/now me, and many other online play spaces.

And he has a brand new project called

And Ze has, to put this lightly, super fans. People that follow him (hopefully not in real life) and are seemingly down to participate in nearly everything he does. I wanted to know what the heck his magic sauce is and set to find out in this interview along with all the juicy details of Star.Me.

About Today’s Guest, Ze Frank:

Ze FrankZe Frank (pronounced “Zay”) is one of the most influential online entertainers, turning out one online hit after another for years. He brings audiences an experience they will never forget, a truly entertaining and yet insightful look at how technology and creativity intersect, especially in web design, marketing and new forms of media.

He has frequently appeared at such annual technology events as Pop!Tech and the TED Conference and his online projects have attracted international attention. He created a series of video commentaries for entitled That Makes Me Think of …

Ze has unique experience doing new media design and marketing for important customers, helping them understand how to create contagious and viral media, how to leverage social media, and how to think about creative development in general.

He has filmed a pilot for the Discovery Channel and written a feature film script for Universal Studios. He was Artist in Residence at MSN, helping them develop strategies for creating and maintaining online community spaces – his specialty.

He serves on the advisory board of and and consults to a wide range of clients on a wide range of issues, from the future of television to online marketing to social media.

Ze has been an adjunct at New York University, Parsons The New School for Design, SUNY-Purchase, and has guest lectured at Pratt Institute and the Royal College of Art in London.

Connect With Ze (and tell him you saw him on RISE!):

On His Website
On Twitter
Check Out

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  1. Facundo says:

    Fantastic David. I saw Ze in Dublin when he came with Jonah Peretti. Two bright minds, very inspiring.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Thanks! He is a great guy. Super smart and creative. It was great chatting with him.

  2. Mars Dorian says:

    I seriously think that Ze Frank is a goddamn genius. It’s sooo inspiring to see how he build his unique online brand on every level – his crazy ideas, projects and humor are almost legendary !

    I have signed up for, and I have yet to find out how to really use it.
    Haha, but I appreciate him breaking through the clutter and starting NEW things.

    thanx David and Ze for doing this, much appreciated !

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Mars – Thanks for the suggestion my man (Folks: Mars was the one who told me I have to get Ze on the show 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

    I loved this line by Ze, “Real and viable currency around emotion.” 

    I think that is one thing that many miss that I have been thinking a lot about as of late…a true sense of community and belonging…especially as a site grows larger…it seems that the people who were the originators get further and further from their audience, which seems backwards to me.

    I have seen many get big and disappear.  They don’t comment anymore, they don’t answer emails etc. 

    I like what you are Frank were trying to hammer out here.  I think there is tremendous opportunity for those who really focus on the community aspect of things online…is largely ignored (and it’s not the same as slapping up a forum either…I find forums helpful in some ways but not the way most think).

    Well done senor Garland!

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Good pick up, Dean. So glad you picked up some insights.

  4. David after 200 something episodes it seems like you are still nervous.

    1. David Siteman Garland says:

      Anthony – And after one comment you come off as a huge asshole 🙂

      Why would you stop in here and say something like that?

      1. Hey Dave! Didn’t mean to come off as a huge asshole. Was making an observation. I do enjoy your show, or I wouldn’t watch your videos from time to time. 

        Outside perspectives are important. How do you know how your audience is viewing you unless you had some feedback? I wish someone was more honest with my videos, as not even my mom tells me the truth.

        You bring me interviews with the biggest people in marketing, which is AMAZINGLY valuable to me. But sometimes I wish you would be more assertive with them. 

        “Ze, what is it that makes you great?”

        Simple question that could have gotten his points across much quicker. It just seemed like he was beating around the bush most of the time until you finally told him the point of the interview: to provide actionable/practical advice to your viewers.

        I understand theres a lot of flaming going on in internet comments, but please don’t think of me in that way. I wanted to let you know how the end user was taking your vibe on camera. To me, it’s a bit nervous. You don’t need to be that way. Just get a little more assertive with the point of the interviews.

        1. David Siteman Garland says:

          Anthony – Was trying to see if you were an evil troll or not. I gotcha. Understandable and I’ll try to do a bit better job with that. And I’m always appreciative of honest feedback. Thanks man.

        1. David Siteman Garland says:

          Definitely 🙂

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

Unlock the Offer!