If you did not hear about Matt Harding yet, then it is about time. He is the guy that became famous for “dancing on the Internet”, okay, there are a bunch of guys that are “famous” doing that, but he is the one who did it in public at places around the whole globe.
- A 32 year old deadbeat who was born in Connecticut, USA and ended up working for a company in Brisbane, Australia decided in 2003 to quit his job and use the money he had saved to do a trip through Asia until he was broke.
- During the usual posing for tourist photo graphs and home videos as proof for his friends and family that he was at the places he said he was, a friend suggested to do his funny dance, the only dance Matt knows and do that instead of the usual boring posing.
- He did that for the rest of his trip until he ran out of money. He published his short videos on a web site that he mainly created for his family to check what he was doing and where.
- The stuff went somehow “viral” on the Internet thanks to social media. It also caught the attention of a company called Stride Gum, who thought that doing more of this kind of videos sponsored by the Stride Gum brand would be a fantastic idea. Matt thought so too, especially when he was told that Stride pays for the whole thing, everything inclusive.
- The result is his second video, which made him even more famous.
- Seeing one dude dancing alone got kind of old when Matt had an idea. How about having people dancing with him, people who contacted Matt over the Internet. Stride thought too that it is a great idea and off he was for the third trip around the globe.
- That video is the 2008 video and made Matt even more famous. So famous in fact that he was asked to talk at social media conferences etc.
His 2006 and 2008 videos were viewed over 11 Million times EACH on YouTube alone! “Nicht schlecht Herr Specht” as we say in Germany to something like that.
Here are some interesting facts about the locations that Matt visited.
Three videos were released, labeled 2005, 2006 and 2008. Each with the results of an entire trip lasting several months to over one year. The first video from 2005 included 20 locations, the video from 2006 included 36 and the last one from 2008 included a whopping 69 places.
There is also an out-takes video for the 2006 trip with a few locations that are unique and did not make it into the final video. That means that the actual number of places visited is higher than the ones I mentioned.
Unique Places shown in his 3 Videos
Unique Countries of Islands
Places he visited Twice
Places he visited on every trip
*Tokyo actually appears three times in his videos, but only in two of them and not three. Tokyo is the only real duplicate within any of his videos. Tokyo appears twice in the 2008 video. Once in location #29 and the second time in location #42.
Also, if you look at the overall data, he rarely made it to the same place twice. 8 places that he visited more than once, out of 114. … not bad.
Here is a link to Matt’s presentation at the 2008 Gnomdex conference, which was held between August 21 and 23, 2008 in Seattle, WA, where he talks about what he did and how he did it to travel around the world not only once or twice, but three times. Once on his own expense and twice on somebody else’s.
Gnomedex is by the way the tech- or geek-conference organized by Chris Pirillo, who is also notoriously known for his online video stuff and live chat.
What is odd to me now is the fact that just when I decided to write this post about Matt, his web site went offline. WhereTheHellIsMatt.com does not resolve at all. There is a cached version of the site in Google, with a date of either November 8 or 9, so the site was up about a week ago. I hope that this down-time is only a temporary glitch. However, if I would be Matt, I would have a word with the hosting company (unless that company happens to be the sponsor for his web site hosting hehe)
I put up the link to his web site anyway, hoping that it will be up very soon.
Carsten aka Roy/SAC