[ View the story "Catching the video virus" on Storify] Catching the video virus From local joke to global phenomenon, we examine the spread of a meme.
The Stream· Mon, Mar 04 2013 14:21:29
The most-viewed viral video of the year was Psy's Gangnam Style, which gained over 1 billion views.
PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/Vofficialpsy
Many videos triggered responses that also went viral. Youtube trends
this Gangnam Style parody as one of the top Political videos of the year.
Mitt Romney Style (Gangnam Style Parody)collegehumor
Some pointed out that the Gangnam Style video itself was created in a political context. The Stream
covered this topic
in a show in September.
Am I the only person who is irrationally bothered by the fact that most people are not aware of the political context of Gangnam Style?Tom Murphy
The 'Harlem Shake', a dance based on a
by DJ Baauer, went viral in February. The original 'Harlem Shake' dance video featured four costumed individuals dancing to the first 30 seconds of the song.
DO THE HARLEM SHAKE (ORIGINAL)dizastamusic
Tens of thousands of video responses surfaced, including this one from the University of Georgia Swim and Dive team.
UGA Men's Swim & Dive Harlem ShakeGeorgiaMens SwimmingDiving
The following charts, from the website '
know your meme
', illustrate when 'Harlem Shake' dance videos went viral. The responses generated millions of views.
So why do videos go viral? Some go viral because they are shared by influential people. This video became popular after U.S. talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who has over 1.6 million Twitter followers, tweeted "
My friend Todd has declared this the funniest video in the world- he might well be right - http://ow.ly/dpxTY
Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10Hungrybear9562
This concept is also applicable to Gangnam Style's success.
LOL, thank u @psy_oppa for the surprise dance lesson yesterday
@TheEllenShow was going off Gangnam Style!Britney Spears
Another reason videos go viral,
some experts, is unexpectedness. This cyclist took his protest online after receiving a ticket for not riding in the bike lane. More than 6 million people clicked to watch his video.
bike lanes by Casey Neistatcaseyneistat
It is not only 'fun' videos that go viral. Some science videos have also become phenomena, such as Bill Nye's discussion about the prevalence of Creationism in the U.S.
Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Childrenbigthink
Some videos focus on cross-cultural communication, following on the claim that videos that
speak to emotion
Where the Hell is Matt? 2012mattharding2718
Video Oficial Waving Flag K´naan n David Bisbal Sudafrica 2010 Mundial Downloadleonuchija
This parody video proposes a team of 'professional clickers' to help make videos go viral.
BUYRAL - Professional Clickingjohn st.
Baauer, the DJ who created the Harlem Shake song, retweeted some of his favourites, including this version from CNN host Anderson Cooper's show 'Anderson Five'.
Netizens commented on the phenomenon of viral videos.
Sometimes the best viral videos are the ones that aren't intended, but somehow end up magical. #RotoloClass#RotoloClass
I'm loving the "Harlem Shake" craze! These viral videos make me smile. It just shows you that life is about having fun!Corey J. Stanford
I don't care what anyone says, every time I get one of these stupid "Harlem Shake" viral videos I crack up at these fools in it! #ignantrolandsmartin
That means the two top artist on Billboard right now. Macklemore and Baauer are there because of viral videos. #powerofthewebJoel Piper
@thexhorde I read that Sports Center is going to start implementing viral videos into the broadcast. Trying to be more pop culture. #stupidMusicCitySC
Between the Heat's Harlem Shake, Bo Pelini's Harlem Shake and now the Golf Boys' music video, it has been a good few days for viral videos.Chantel Jennings
Some even supported viral videos using parodied quotes.
"Viral videos make this miserable mortal existence worth living." -- Thomas HobbesMike Cardillo
Others warned of perceived societal dangers of viral videos.
Harlem shake viral videos are the perfect example of the masses appropriating a culture they don't understand. That is NOT the Harlem Shake.Christiana Mbakwe
Please, before responding with some comment that shows you're unwillingness to productive and long term thinking, before spreading this cultural appropriation and misperception, educate yourself. Watch this video and see the actual Harlem shake be performed. On the same note, you need to know why I am so decidedly opposed to this nonsense viral video madness, they just have people doing anything but dancing, doing moves repeatedly and off beat as they act as if some pandemic decease had consumed their brains...THAT IS NOT THE HARLEM SHAKE! This is actually what can be clearly defined as a cultural appropriation, just like it has historically happened with all Latino, African and African American innovations."The Harlem Shake has a trajectory invented in the authentic lived urban experience"...Please watch and share...Antony De La Cruz
@emptynetters don't forget breaking down viral videos for an hour as if they mean anythingScott Smith