Sunday, 27 November 2016

How to go Viral

I think I’m doing YouTube wrong.  Seriously, how is it that I sit down at 8 pm with the sole intention of watching the November Rain video, and when I suddenly snap back into consciousness, it’s 2 o'clock in the morning, and I’m watching a montage of cats falling into the bathtub. I am dehydrated, disoriented, and there is this big blurry part in the middle, kind of like how you feel after a Phish concert. I try to piece together what happened and follow the mysterious thread from Guns and Roses to cats. I usually draw a blank, except I’m pretty sure somewhere in there, I watched at least two full seasons of WKRP in Cincinnati.

You are a dangerous mistress YouTube, drawing me in with clips of people snorting Wasabi and then slyly letting your dress slip off your shoulder by suggesting a “coming up next” feature. Are you reading my mind YouTube? Do I want to watch rednecks making their own pontoon boats from nothing more than plastic barrels and a picnic table? Yes I do... I do want to watch that.  Once I’m down the rabbit hole, clocks start melting, time becomes irrelevant, and I just have to let the current take me where it will.   

I can’t say this dance with the devil has been a complete waste of time though.  I have gleaned enough insight into the human condition to find out what makes a video go viral. As such, if you ever want to have your 15 minutes of fame, try and capture something in the following categories.

1.      A child getting stoned at the dentist.  Apparently it is perfectly normal to film a kid on the drive home from the dentist when they are high out of their minds and talking gibberish. It is also normal to then share it on the inter-web where millions of people can join in the laugh.

2.      People falling off treadmills. If you hang around the gym enough, not working out, but just keeping your phone on and at the ready, you will eventually capture this. Believe me, it will be worth it.

3.      Anything with a Panda. It doesn’t matter how boring they are, for some reason people love Pandas. “Oh look, he’s sitting in a slightly different, but cuter position!” should be enough to get you a million hits.

4.      Getting Tasered. If you have a cop friend, ask if you can go on a ride-along on a Saturday night. With any luck, you will see some poor bastard getting zapped with the Taser. You’ll get tons of hits from the male 18-24 demographic.

5.      Rednecks doing anything that could get them killed. If you ever hear the phrase “gimme them jumper cables you pussy “, start filming immediately, something big is about to happen. If it is preceded by “hold my beer”, you are about to strike gold.

6.      Putting something unusual in the blender. It is not within the reasoning power of some people to understand that they should not put paintball pellets and root beer in the blender just to see what will happen. It does make for good video though.

7.      Any playground accident. My god, the possibilities are endless. People flying off the roundabout, overweight adults thinking they can still go on the slide, and anything involving the most dangerous piece of equipment ever invented, the swing set. All are hilarious.

8.      People eating things they shouldn’t.  The habanero pepper challenge seems to be popular, followed closely by cinnamon powder and dry Jell-O. Chugging anything carbonated with Mentos is also acceptable.

9.      Kids Dance Moves- The internet public is very impressed with dancing toddlers that display any sense of rhythm. Immeasurably so if they are wearing a tiny tuxedo, and have commanded the attention of an entire wedding reception. Frickin adorable.