Category Archives: Viral Video

Haven’t quite decided whether this category is the same as “memes” or not…

Viral Video – Introduction

What is “viral video”? It’s a term people use a lot these days — especially when they’re waving their hands and trying to impress you into giving them your money. When The Media Show started out at AfterEd TV, the channel was calling itself a platform for “viral video.” But our most-viewed videos only got a few thousand hits, not millions like, say, Sneezing Baby Panda, or Hamster On A Piano.

We came to the conclusion that “viral” isn’t something you can declare in advance; it’s only something you can see after it happens. But even in hindsight, when can you call a video “viral”? Does it mean it has been viewed a lot? Over how long a period of time? Does it mean the video has been linked to by a number of sites, or just one powerful site which gives it a lot of views? Do people have to forward it to their friends for it to be viral? Does it have to involve “Web 2.0″ technologies like blogs and Twitter, or can it just be sent over email? And the million-dollar question: can you make a video go viral, or does it just happen?
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One Year On: A Report

When The Media Show had been in production for about a year, AfterEd TV’s managers asked me to write up a summary of the past year. This was what I wrote, covering production, publicity, and distribution. Note that our take on YouTube and deviantArt has changed in the year since.

Look at the episodes before and after this document. Did we manage to make the appropriate changes? Which parts of this assessment were correct, and which do you think were off-base?


Weekly production may be overrated.

By now, we have a good, if small, core of subscribers on YouTube and followers on Facebook. A large number of our YouTube views come from the subscriber pages. This probably means people are finding us automatically, without being reminded a new episode is up because of what day it is.
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Viral video: Amplification

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.
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Viral video: Which communities work?

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?
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