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.

Take a look at the graphs for the Evil Interfaces video, below. What do you see about the traffic for smaller blogs versus Slashdot, the bigger aggregator? Based on what you see, which kinds of sites do you think it’s better to spend time targeting videos to? Come up with your own strategy for targeting your own videos — or one of ours — based on your thoughts about what you should be targeting to get a video to go “viral.” Do you think it’s possible to make a video go “viral” through your own promotion efforts alone? Would you say that these videos went “viral,” or would you call this viewing pattern something else?