Tag Archives: audience

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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Viral video: Subscribers

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.)
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Viral Video – Spikes and long tails

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.
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Viral video: Viral memes

We tried a few strategies to get our videos more attention. Elsewhere we’ve talked about our short, funny “public service announcement” videos. The thinking with those was that people would want to send them to other people, and we’d get viewed that way.

With a few other videos, we tried to be more “findable” instead of more “forwardable.” The Caramelldansen, Get Down, and Weena’s First Fursuit videos were some of these. Caramelldansen and Get Down/Geddan are both Internet dance “memes” — simple ideas that different people record their own take on, often using other pop culture characters, then upload their videos. “My First Fursuit Walk” is a sort of a genre of video among “furries,” or people who are fans of animal cartoons and team mascot-like “fursuit” costumes.
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