What goes viral?
My friends Jack and Teresa became internet celebrities this week. It’s crazy how fast it can happen. Basically, Jack proposed to Teresa in a creative way, enlisting a team of friends and strangers to help pull off the stunt. Their little youtube video got picked up by some big time news stations, and it spread. Pretty soon, it was all over the news, and the video has now been viewed by over 350,000 people.
It didn’t stop there. It went international! We’ve seen articles in United Kingdom, China, Vietnam, Belgium, and Spain — click each country’s name to see what they are saying about Jack and Teresa. If you don’t speak the language, you might need to use Google Translate to understand what they are saying, but you can get an idea from the pictures.
All of this is a good reminder about the power of the internet. Information can travel much faster than even an airplane. But my big question is WHY? What makes one video go viral and another one go unwatched?
This summer, I made a lot of videos in China. Most of them have barely gotten 100 views on youtube. I’m not sure if I mind. Perhaps I’d rather have a few dedicated readers than millions of adoring fans. Of all of my videos in China, this is the one that got the most views, but I don’t really know why:
What do you think? What makes something go viral on the internet, spreading to thousands of people? If I don’t measure success by the number of views, how do you think I should measure success for this blog? I’d love to hear your input.
And congratulations to Jack and Teresa!