HouseholdHacker

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HouseholdHacker
HouseholdHacker.jpg
Web address householdhacker.com
Type of site Blog
Available in English
Launched November 5, 2007; 6 years ago (2007-11-05)

HouseholdHacker is a YouTube channel and website that posts videos of various "hacks", or quick solutions, to common everyday problems. As of June 2010, the channel was the third most subscribed "guru" channel on YouTube, and the 35th most subscribed overall. The group is primarily known for its 2007 hoax video which claimed one could charge an iPod battery using an onion and Gatorade. The video fooled normally reliable sources, and drew the attention of the Myth Busters among others. A couple of additional hoax videos followed, but drew less attention. More recently, HouseholdHacker has aimed to publish more truthful content.

HouseholdHacker manages to draw an undisclosed significant revenue [1] through their YouTube activities, and is one of the more significant partners of Google and YouTube.[citation needed] It is organized as HouseHold Hacker LLC.

HouseholdHacker is also branching out, one of the offshoots being HouseHold Gamer.[citation needed]

Background[edit]

The HouseholdHacker YouTube channel is dedicated to making "videos about everything geek".[2] The videos, which are cross-posted at householdhacker.com, are the work of two anonymous editors known as "Traveler and Frosty Brain" or "Spencer and Dylan" who reside in San Jose, California and Peachtree City, Georgia.[2][3] Justin Matthew the channels business manager for over 2 years makes over 30 appearances and also negotiated deals with Revision 3 and Break Media. He played a role into developing the hit show Scientific Tuesdays.[1] Each video features a simple hack, or "a quick and/or clever creation for a method of solving of a problem."[2] HouseholdHacker makes money by offering subscription downloads and T-shirts, but the duo told the LATimes that they do not make enough money to "live off comfortably at this point."[3]

HouseholdHacker was launched in November 2007 and quickly attracted interest, becoming YouTube's most subscribed channel for the month of December 2007.[4] By January 2009, HouseholdHacker was the 22nd most subscribed YouTube channel.[3] The channel's popularity began to wane and by July they had fallen to 27th place overall.[2] As of July 2009, HouseholdHacker is the third most subscribed "guru" channel on YouTube.[2]

In 2013 HouseholdHacker has trended into a series of "Life Hack Videos" that illustrate simple and often reliable techniques to tackle situations commonly needing attention all around the house, with just the aid of readily available household items. Portland, Oregon is the new center point of production from filming to editing and collaborations with other YouTube personalities and channels becoming more prevalent. Major U.S. and international corporate entities are regular sponsors of the content produced, but in often subtle ways. HouseHoldHacker passed 2 Million subscribers in October 2013 and is consistently ranked in the top 200 by subscriber count on YouTube. Science, Pranks and other more obscure topics are often visited by the producer.

iPod Onion[edit]

In November 2007, HouseholdHacker released a video entitled "How to Charge an iPod using electrolytes and an onion." The video, which claimed to demonstrate how one could recharge an iPod using little more than Gatorade and a white onion, was an overnight success. The video drew the attention of the Unofficial Apple Weblog, which reported it as fact,[5] and hundreds of other blogs. Within its first week, the video had been viewed over 4 million times.[6]

The Household Hacker setup for charging an iPod

By the following November, the video had been viewed more than 7 million times and attracted the attention of ABCNews.com, who asked "Can an Onion Charge an iPod?"[7] ABC put the video to the test, but failed to obtain the promised result. Reporter Emily Friedman remarked "this appears to be an iFraud."[7]

The TV show MythBusters also put the onion video to the test in 2008. In a segment dubbed "iOnion", Grant Imahara was unable to get any charge from the onion setup found in the HouseholdHacker video.[8] He explained that the setup lacked the crucial anode and cathode that would be required to get the electrolytes found in Gatorade moving and concluded the video was a complete hoax.[8] In an interview with ABCNews, Adam Savage called the video "complete horseshit."[7]

Appeal[edit]

The iPod onion video fooled a number of normally savvy folks, or at least had them trying the technique out for themselves,[9] which has led to several theories as to why it was so appealing. Farhad Manjoo of Salon.com speculates that it is the style in which the video was delivered. "He's got a friendly, helpful voice, but he's not casual – he speaks in the formal, confident manner of a TV how-to guy," says Manjoo.[9] Anna Solana of La Vanguardia, on the other hand, speculated that it was the "science" itself that attracted the viewers, remarking that something so magical "freaks" people out and makes them want to believe.[6]

Follow up videos[edit]

Following the iPod onion success, HouseholdHacker has released a number of videos that have generated some attention, but none that have risen to the level of the iPod onion. A March 2008 video entitled "How to Cheat on any Test" has attracted 4 million views and the ire of some school teachers. Another video entitled "How to Create a High-Def speaker for under a buck" again drew the attention of the show MythBusters. Tory Belleci followed the instructions in the video, but when it came time to plug in the speakers nothing happened. In addition to disproving the video, he pointed out that the "under a buck" part of the claim was also false, noting that a single minijack alone typically costs about $10 retail.[10] However, it is possible to get minijack cables for under a dollar online.[11] Another one of HouseholdHacker's hoaxes was "How to make hover shoes" which attracted 15 million views.

In addition to high profile hoaxes, the HouseholdHacker channel hosts a number of less provocative videos such as "How to Prank your Roommate on April Fools" and "How to make a secret, disguised safe."[2] More recently, the channel has focused on more truthful content with its "Scientific Tuesdays" series, and has made fun of itself for previous hoaxes.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Swift, Mike (September 20, 2011). "YouTube becomes entertainment destination". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "HouseholdHacker YouTube channel". Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Milian, Mark (January 11, 2009). "YouTube video creators make money, but not a fortune". Technology: The Business of our Digital Lives. LA Times. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ Sayer, Peter (December 26, 2007). "British monarchy makes YouTube debut". Mobilize. InfoWorld. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ Schramm, Mike (November 14, 2007). "Charge an iPod with an onion". TUAW: The Unofficial Apple Weblog. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Solana, Anna (November 29, 2007). "¿Es posible cargar un iPod con una cebolla?" [Is it possible to charge an iPod with an onion?] (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. Retrieved July 14, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c Friedman, Emily (November 26, 2008). "Can an Onion Charge an iPod?". ABCNews.com. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "MythBusters: iOnion". Discovery Channel videos. August 13, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Manjoo, Farhad (November 21, 2007). "How to power an iPod with an onion (not really)". Machinist. Salon.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  10. ^ "MythBusters: Homemade Surround Sound". Discovery Channel videos. April 29, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Cinchkabel 2x Cinch St an 3,5mm Klinke St 0,5m". Planet4One Technology store. 

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