Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The viral video creation myth

In "Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Rodrick Rules," Greg Heffley and his friend Rowley Jefferson try to create a viral video that will be a huge hit on YouTube. Many of their efforts involve Rowley getting injured, but nothing seems to take off...that is, until they capture on video Heffley's mom dancing like a goofball at the school talent show. Then they have a hit.

When it comes to video creation, everyone wants theirs to go viral on YouTube. It's just not that easy, though, to manufacture a video intended to go viral -- it often happens by accident. Take the video, "Charlie bit my finger -- again!" for instance. It just was a time when a parent filmed kids being cute. Now it has almost 400 million views.

I think this is because, as humans, we know what is real and what isn't. I know that I definitely can tell the difference between videos on "America's Funniest Home Videos" that were authentic and those that were staged.

So, the next time that you think about creating a video that you hope goes viral on YouTube, check out the footage that you were going to edit out first -- maybe there's something "viralworthy" in it!
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