You might have caught the Instagram from Monday but it has been one of those weeks.
I’m going to side-step the details because I want to focus on the positive. I want to focus on tomorrow. I want to focus on a lesson I got from someone who hit a few brick walls in her time (and she’s all of 26, you know…) and now she’s pwning the world one sold out venue at a time.
Before the events of the week hit, I paid for a V.I.P. evening with Lindsey Stirling. Now if you don’t know this performer, you really should take a look at her videos on YouTube. Here’s a favorite of mine…
When she went on tour and offered V.I.P. tickets which included a meet-and-greet, I immediately whipped out the credit card. A chance to meet Lindsey Stirling and maybe enjoy a little bit of V.I.P. treatment? Absolutely! Little did I know how well-timed this indulgence would be.
Social Media carpetbaggers (as I call them here, and I’m liking the term the more I use it) would challenge me on many of my work beliefs and ethics, two of which that have been brought to light just this month:
You can’t make a viral video. They just happen.
There is such a thing as bad publicity.
I have seen this as a topic on many a conference track — “How to Make Your Videos Viral!” or some such nonsense — and I also get the “Let’s make a viral video…” request a lot from my day job. After my skin stops crawling, I pull no punches and speak the best-kept-secret truth that the carpetbaggers won’t admit: you can’t make a viral video. A video goes viral due to traffic on social networks increasing awareness (of a product, person, or cause), and through self-replicating processes that gain momentum on both the Internet and mainstream media.
Did you catch that “self-replicating” part? That’s key. No one can make self-replication happen. You can promote a video, sure, but that does not necessarily guarantee it going viral. The constant thread (if there is one) is luck. Good or bad, it comes down to luck. You can’t predict it. You can’t produce it. You never know what will strike that nerve. Viral videos just happen.
And in the case of Rebecca Black, that is exactly what happened. What two comedians referenced off-handedly has now become 2011’s viral sensation. Continue reading →