Viral Video :: Current State of the Art

There’s been a recent flurry of activity in the media-blogo-linko-sphere-interwebs about “viral” videos and how they are made.  These things are like the weather in New England — every once in a while ya get a Noreasta’ .  Yesterday’s article in the WSJ by Raymund Flandez may be the peak of this imperfect little storm. 

Some recent threads:

Last week, Dan Ackerman Greenberg wrote “The Secret Strategies Behind Many ‘Viral’ Videos” for TechCrunch.  His piece follows what I would call the “social-media-sellout ethic” of balancing a large dose of commercial/self-promotion with truly useful, actionable content.  It’s not unlike the kinds of guest-columnist “articles”you find in your city’s local Business Journal  newspaper (e.g. where a local lawyer writes about estate planning for family-owned businesses), only those tend to be more subtle on the self-promotion and more general & unspecific in the information and advice that they give (they also get fewer words to work with, mind you).  

Greenberg’s piece was itself very viral, and generated enough righteous indignation that he posted a follow-up,  image-damage-control piece two days later, “Follow Up To The Viral Video Post : Dan Wants Another Word.”   Meanwhile, I’m sure he’s generated some good clients leads from all this.

We then turn to my favorite viral video guru Kevin Nalty (aka “Nalts”), who had this very good dissection of the Greenberg piece, structured as a kind of vaccine-to-the-virus:  “How To Bust Cheats In Viral Video.”

Following yesterday’s WSJ article, Nalts once again struck back with another brilliant piece, Using Online Video to Promote Business: BS in WSJ , along with this wonderful little graphic:


Time for a link-back to an earlier blog entry, re: two self-referential viral videos by Nalts. 

..and of course, there is the all-time classic, Viral Video Genius, but I’ll save you the click and embed the video right here: 


About danspira

My blog is at: My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on November 27, 2007, in Marketing, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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