LOLCats, Numa Numa, Lazy Sunday, The Double Rainbow Guy, Charlie the Unicorn. What do all of these things have in common? They are viral media! Looking back at how much time I spend Online and where I spend most of it, I have concluded that it is consumed by viral media. The viral phenomenon can be defined as objects or patterns able to replicate themselves or convert other objects into copies of themselves when these objects are exposed to them. When taking this phenomenon and applying it to media we get things like the Bed Intruder Song and Internet celebrities like Antwon Dodson. We get things that spread across the Web rapidly, to the point of fame, and everyday conversational references. We get remixes, relinking, and responses.Viral media is everywhere on the Web. It spreads through our Facebooks, our Tumblrs, our Twitters. It is the basis for social media sites such as Reddit or Digg. Viral media is entertaining yet it can be informative and political as well. So then what makes something viral? What makes people want to send it on to their friend that lives in Texas and to their Nanna in Florida?
What makes it interesting? There is most definitely an art to creating viral media. My friend, Dave Stopera, works at Buzzfeed (a site dedicated to spreading viral content) and he says that he does not think about posting videos and links that he thinks are interesting but instead media that other people will think are interesting. Before he posts something he always says to himself “would one want to post this on their Facebook?”
So then what do I want to research? Well viral media of course! I was thinking I could create an account on Buzzfeed and post various videos, links, photo collections, etc. I could see what gets most views and what subjects are most commented on. By doing so I can figure out what exactly does it take to make something go viral? What do people actually want to put on their Facebooks? Is it cute stuff? Or is it tragic, informative, and political content? Or is it just stuff that is pure entertainment? My viral dashboard will show me my most highly rated, viewed, and commented posts and I can determine my answers from those statistics.