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.

We guessed that when people did searches for Caramelldansen, Get Down, and First Fursuit might see our videos in the results and click through. Also, it was likely that YouTube would put our videos on similar video pages’ lists of “related videos.” Once people had found our videos we hoped they would be curious about the rest of the series, watch others of our videos — maybe even subscribe!

This was a gamble, though. These videos were kind of silly, and not about topics that we thought were really important to talk about. They took editing and shooting time away from “meatier” episodes. But not too much time — both of them were pretty short and simple to film.

Did our “findable” tactic work? Look at the data for the viral meme videos, below. How did the majority of people find them? Then look at other videos (also below — check the video name on the left hand side of the image). The best way to know if people have clicked through from other videos is the “Related Videos” graph. About how many people arrived at other videos from these three “findable” videos?

All in all, do you think it was worth it to make these videos rather than focusing our energies on episodes with more thoughtful content? How did viewers react? (Think about the number of comments in addition to what they said.)