As we’ve tried to get publicity for the show we’ve learned that 1) it’s seriously hard to get a video to “go viral,” and 2) each video spreads across the Internet in a different pattern.
Our two most successful videos are the Online Predators and Evil Interfaces videos. They’ve been seen by the most people, because they got picked up by sites with big audiences — Online Predators was featured on BoingBoing and Evil Interfaces was linked to by Slashdot. But those sites didn’t pick them up out of nowhere: they were re-posting them from smaller blogs. BoingBoing had apparently been watching the Free Range Kids blog — which had in turn been reading Mommy Mythbuster — while Slashdot picked up our video from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Simply submitting videos to BoingBoing itself has yet to be a successful strategy for us. Continue reading →
In the fall of 2009, Abby, Gus, and social networking intern Lindsay sat down to discuss outreach. We decided to follow a “watch where you are” strategy, trying to reach viewers where they were already viewing, sharing, critiquing, and remaking videos with their friends. But which communities would best support the kind of interaction we needed — comments and responses which would spark new episodes and discussions with us? Continue reading →
YouTube gives you a lot of different kinds of ways to relate to viewers and other YouTube users. You can be friends, subscribe, or just view. When you subscribe to a channel, that channel’s videos show up in a “feed” along with other channels you subscribe to. It’s almost like having your own TV channel programmed to see exactly what you want to see.
So it’s probably good for a channel to have subscribers, right? Random viewers may only watch one of your videos, once. But if someone subscribes to your channel, they might watch more of your videos over time. (Provided people actually view their subscriber feed, which isn’t guaranteed.) Continue reading →
In the introduction to the viral video part of this case study, we posed this question: Over how much time must views of a video be spread out if the video is to be considered “viral”?
Over the years, views pile up. A few of ours are now at a couple of thousand views. The videos with the most views tend to have been linked to at some point by a larger site, but plenty of the views build up steadily over the years. Continue reading →