Cyber Corner by Keno Ogbo

Going viral, reaching millions

Most people would have noticed the rising success in spreading messages through video memes or by videos going viral. Most popular examples would be the Gangnam Style video, which had numerous parodies and over 1,000 million views.

YouTube, in my opinion, is the top website when it comes to spreading an idea or a story. It has created famous brands of the most unlikely candidates – overnight. Earlier on, the top ten YouTube viral videos were homemade or amateurish videos. In 2012, however, nine of the top ten videos were made by professional producers, including Gangnam Style mentioned above.

Lately, members of Facebook have been sharing one of the most successful video memes, the Harlem Shake, where a single person in a mask dances weirdly to the song for the first 15 seconds, and then the crowd joins in, with even weirder masks and dances for the next 15 seconds. Video memes are an interesting example, as they tend to spread cultural information.

 

So, what makes a video viral?

There are a number of things that would make a video viral (spread and be seen by millions). Some of these are contrived, and others are the results of unexpected situations.

 

Humour

A large number of viral videos are based on humour, and almost all parodies contain an element of humour, with some of them being very popular. 25 seconds of Taylor Swift (I Knew You Were Trouble) and the Singing Goat has hiked up over 4 million views, and I still dissolve into laughter watching this.

Fenton, of the Richmond Park fame, has over 8 million views and now has a clothing range and website dedicated to its antics. (Fenton is a dog, by the way.)

 

Controversy

Facebook Parenting: For The Troubled Teen (over 37 million views) showed a father shooting his daughter’s laptop after she used it to make not-so-complimentary comments about him. Hugely controversial, it has sparked debates on National TV in America, social media and discussion websites.

 

Cute

Clever videos of cats, dogs and animals doing funny things are sure bankers; Charlie Bit My Finger has been viewed over 514 million times.

 

Music and dance

From Justin Bieber to the One Pound Fish Man at Upton Park (11 million views) and flash mobs (Christmas Hallelujah, posted by Alphabet Photography, has over 41 million views), music and dance have produced popular videos.

These figures are mind-boggling, and my burning thought, as I research this topic, is ‘What should the Church be doing in the age of digital channels leading the way in the spread of cultural information?” Is this a bandwagon we should jump on?

2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was one of the most controversial Men on the planet. If people uploaded videos of some of His actions, would they be trending? Definitely yes. So why not today? Maybe this is something your church or organisation should think about.

 

You need to shout about your business!

Running a small business or your own organisation requires dedication, persistence and hard work. Pastors, entrepreneurs and service providers often find themselves bogged down with the day-to-day tasks of the business. Often, one key task is left undone, and this is: getting your message out.

There is great value in being persistent with your message. I recently spoke to a client, who was not receiving enough hits on her website and wanted to hire an SEO expert, which would have cost her hundreds of pounds per month. For some businesses, it is certainly worth the investment. But there was a lot this client was not doing for herself. She was not shouting enough about her business.

I rarely saw updates from her on Facebook or LinkedIn. She has no Twitter account, and had not published her business in relevant online directories. She had no testimonials, no stories. But she was hard working, and wanted her business to succeed.

You need to consistently pass on the message about your business. What new products or services have you created lately? What has a recent client said? What is new in your industry? Get the message out.

 

My Choice App

Dragon Dictation I first came across Dragon Dictation as a piece of software over nine years ago. I spent valuable time trying to get it to recognise my voice, and eventually gave up. But since then, Nuance Communications have developed the software in leaps and bounds, and the Dragon Dictation app for iPad and iPhone (and iPod Touch) is one of my most useful apps. It improves your productivity with quick and accurate text to speech dictation – once it has learnt your voice. It is easy to use, and I recommend this app especially for ideas people to record new ideas, To Do lists and reminders.

Keno Ogbo runs Spiral Web Solutions, based in London. She is passionate about helping businesses achieve their goals using websites and other online marketing tools. Contact her on 07958 004 739, or email keno@spiralwebsolutions.com

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