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Damian Kulash of OK Go at Open Video Conference

Damian Kulash, lead singer and guitarist of the rock band OK Go, will give a talk at this year’s Open Video Conference.

OK Go is perhaps best known on the web for its mega-viral “Here it Goes Again,” the famous music video of the band dancing on treadmills. OK Go choreographed and shot the video themselves, and posted it to YouTube in 2006 without the record label’s permission. A legion of bloggers and positive word of mouth helped popularize the video and launched the band into the stratosphere. “Here it Goes Again” has been transmitted over 200 million times and counting.

Since then, OK Go has produced a number of other massively viral videos, each more creative than the last (be sure to check out the amazing video for “This Too Shall Pass,” for which the band built an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine). The videos have been an effective promotional tool and have continued to earn the band exposure. But earlier this year, a decision by the band’s record label to forbid embedding videos on blogs and other social media created a small controversy. The move frustrated fans and followers, and views dropped precipitously. “When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000,” Kulash explains in a recent New York Times op-ed.

As one of the bands to most successfully leverage the web, OK Go are at the center of a discussion of how artists can reap success from sharing and open networks. In addition to being a major creative force, Kulash and company are also outspoken advocates for an open internet—in 2008, Kulash served as a lead witness for a House judiciary committee hearing on net neutrality.

Join us this Fall to hear from Kulash about the relationship between artists, their fans, and the new distribution channels. And keep an eye out for more information about Open Video Conference. Registration begins next week!

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