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Serena K

Page history last edited by sekashiwa@gmail.com 9 years, 4 months ago

Viral Media

Serena Kashiwa


Viral Media refers to means of communication that reaches the masses through the internet via videos, news articles, blogs, etc.  This project will evaluate how viral media is evolving from mainstream media by encompassing the concepts of social media and viral marketing in ways that are just if not more influential than media such as television and radio.  It will also consider in depth how viral media has created actual monetary profit and how it's redefining the free market now that anyone can make the right video or post the right blog in order to gain.


Social Media 


Social media refers to the ways in which we socialize, communicate, and exchange information through the internet whether it's through blogging, "liking," someone's comments on Facebook, or posting important information through chat rooms and message boards.  Similar to when the radio and television were invented, the actual time it took for information to reach the public was grossly shortened when the internet became a tool for communication.  People are now able to write down their thoughts and feelings that can reach millions in an instant.  This sharing of information has resulted in creating social networks and led to many successful sites such as Myspace and Facebook where the focus and purpose is to connect with others.  These forms of media have become reflections of ourselves to the point where people are using sites like Facebook for unofficial references.  Your Facebook page is now your calling card and your social network is now your web of connections.  (Gorringe, 2009)


Viral Marketing


Viral marketing can be as obvious as the side ads on a webpage to as undiscerning as those, "You might also like," ads on your own Facebook page.  Most people don't realize that every Google search, every rating you put on an online video, even the, "Please tell us why you did not like this advertisement," option of Facebook sends information to companies on your personal preferences.  While this might seem intrusive to some, ultimately viral marketing has become an interactive marketing tool (Southgate, 2010).  Before, ads on billboards or television were geared toward a general group of people like putting Revlon commercials on channels geared for women like E!  However, now that information can be gathered across the web, you might see advertisements on your Google search for your favorite restaurant or an upcoming movie you wanted to see based on the preferences you create with each click of your mouse.  Even still, the most powerful tool in viral marketing has been the speed and distance that word-of-mouth advertising can reach.  The amount of information available on the internet can be overwhelming, and not all of it is quality information.  Many consumers now find that the most reliable source are other people within their networks that they trust.  Studies show that more people buy products based on recommendations than any other form of marketing (Dăniasă, C. 2010).

This image shows a Facebook page with some birthday notifications and an advertisement for sending virtual gifts.



The Influence of Viral Video


One of the most influential and lucrative phenomena to come from the web are viral videos whether they are home-made computer animations of a dancing baby or the latest address made by the President of the United States.  It's no surprise how quickly video media switched from the television to the web just as TV did to the radio.  The convenience of being able to see your favorite shows at any time versus at a regulated 8 o'clock once a week has changed the way we view and control media.  The biggest difference is that by viewing videos online, people also have the option of sharing the video with others throughout their social networks (Madden, M. 2007).  It's also possible to find an infinite number of message boards, sites, and blogs that discuss that particular video creating even more attention.  While the vast majority of online viewers are teens and young adults, the older generations have recently become the fastest growing demographic of online viewers (Viral, 2011).  


The internet has also been one of the main tools used in the last presidential election as live debates, campaign videos, and major discussions were shared world wide.  Websites like Youtube and DailyMotion were integral to Obama's campaigning especially towards the younger voters.  Being able to link videos into your Facebook page, send links to live videos through your cell phone, and getting notifications of when people are posting spread videos like the, "Yes We Can," music video virtually instantly.  The most valuable strategy for this was that the videos were actually promoted over the television as news channels informed the masses of when the videos would be available online and where to view them.  This perfectly blended both medias in order to catch the attention of all demographics rather than just the young or just the old (Wallsten, K. 2010).


There have been various social implications on the effects of viral videos such as its use in classrooms and the promotion of web celebrities such as the videos made by lonelygirl15 who actually was an actress and the videos made by film directors (Viral, 2011).  One of the biggest celebrities to come from the web is Andy Samberg, cast member of the variety show Saturday Night live and part of the comedic singing group Lonely Island who created music videos like, "D*ck in a Box," and, "I'm on a Boat."  In an interview with Wired Magazine, he's named the, "Viral Video King," and a large part of his success is due to the fact that he has been able to juggle both televised media and viral media successfully.  He discusses how his digital shorts on SNL were mainly just to fillers in between acts at first and quickly turned into a popular, cost effective part of the show (Hardwick, C. 2011).


While originally exclusive to Hulu.com. this video has several million hits on other sites like Youtube and has also inspired several spoof videos.  Profit for this video has come from various paraphenalia available such as t-shirts and even an official D*ck-in-a-Box box you can purchase.


How Viral Media Creates Profit


While making videos and sharing blogs are great entertainment, they also have become one of the fastest growing markets.  Part of this is due to creating actual products like the D*ck in a Box, and part of it is through viral marketing and the new programs some companies are creating such as the partner program Youtube offers to that shares ad profits with successful video makers (Fletcher, D. 2009).  One of the biggest success stories of viral media and pioneers of video sharing sites is Eric Bauman, creator of Ebaumsworld.com.  According to an article in Wired Magazine (Kushner, D. 2006), Bauman;s site took off by the turn of the millenium and by 2006 was making as much as over $10 million in ad revenue.  It's also one of the top visited humor sites with over a million hits a day.  The site has gotten a lot of criticism for posting videos that are tasteless and offensive, but it's hard to deny its popularity and profit.  


Sometimes a singular video can be enough to create profit, and while many people don't have the knowledge on how to take advantage of a popular video, an article in Time magazine discusses how one video has made over $20,000 in ad revenue (Fletcher, D. 2009).  The infamous video, "Keyboard Cat," is a ridiculous video that features a cat in a t-shirt forced to play the piano with humorous music added in.  The owner of the cat and video, Charlie Schmidt joined Youtube's partner program that shares ad profits from people who view his video.  Sheer word-of-mouth and video sharing have spread this video and created other sites like PlayHimOffKeyboardCat.com where Keyboard Cat usually plays following a video of someone making a ridiculous mistake.  Schmidt also admits that he gets considerable profit from other products like t-shirts.

This video shows a woman making a ridiculous but hilarious grammatical error on a game show and is consequentially, "played off," by Keyboard Cat.  It's hard to trace exactly where these kinds of jokes originate, but message board sites like 4chan and EndoftheInternet create and spread jokes like these quickly.


Music Goes Viral


The music industry has fought hard against free viral media with more and more laws to regulate file sharing and forcing people to purchase mp3 files on sites like Itunes and Amazon.com.  In truth the various laws are almost ineffectual since it's impossible to monitor and regulate all file sharing, and some artists are beginning to embrace the effects of viral media rather than fight against it.  According to Dan Sabbagh of Time Magazine, many artists like the alternative music band Gorillaz are finding and creating different strategies for creating a profit while allowing their actual music files to be free (Sabbagh, D. 2010).  One strategy involved letting consumers listen to the entire album for free on their website which not only creates huge profit in ads, but gets the public talking and sharing information.  The Gorillaz record company is also giving away special codes to free online games, special videos, and other promotions for purchasing the songs.  Making a fan base online not only creates a lot of momentum for the music but it gets consumers interested in other lucrative products such as concert tickets, posters, and of course, t-shirts.






*Dăniasă, C. I., Tomiţă, V., Stuparu, D., & Stanciu, M. (2010). The mechanisms of the influence of viral marketing in social media. Economics, Management & Financial Markets, 5(3), 278-282.


*Fletcher, D. (2009). Youtube effect: Making money from viral video. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1938731,00.html


*Gorringe, H. (2009). NEW WAYS TO COMMUNICATE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF WEB 2.0 AND SOCIAL MEDIA. Journal of Farm Management, 13(8), 587-591. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

Wallsten, K. (2010). “Yes We Can”: How Online Viewership, Blog Discussion, Campaign Statements, and Mainstream Media Coverage Produced a Viral Video Phenomenon. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7(2/3), 163-181. doi:10.1080/19331681003749030


*Hardwick, C. (2011). Q&A With Andy Samberg, Viral Video King. Wired. Retrieved from http://twww.wired.com/magazine/2011/04/ff_samberg_qa/2/


*Kushner,D. (2006) Dude, that is so not Funny. Wired, Retrieved fromhttp://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.10/ebaum.html?pg=1&topic=ebaum&topic_set=


*Madden, M. (2007, July 25). The audience for online video. Retrieved fromhttp://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Online-Video.aspx


*Sabbagh, D. (2010). The record industry: Going alternative. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1987504,00.html


*Southgate, D. (2010). Creative determinants of viral video viewing. International Journal of Advertising, 29(3), 349-368. doi:10.2501/S0265048710201221


Viral Video (2011, April 28). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_video.


9 Universal Principles of Viral Media Sites (2010, June) Mashables. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/06/21/principles-viral-media-site/ 


Understanding that Viral isn't Social Media (2010, September) ClickZ. Retrieved from http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1735566/understanding-that-viral-isnt-really-social-media 


Comments (17)

jt_thizzle@... said

at 8:47 am on Apr 21, 2011

Your topic is so true it'snot funny. Viral media is posing a huge problem in our society and their gains are large. Good job on the detailed sources. Your descriptions are very clear and your information is credible. I liked your youtube video, and the hide you kids pic..Tooo funny!

jt_thizzle@... said

at 12:19 am on May 17, 2011

I never knew about viral media. pop ups and pop downs these are all the ways that companies try to get through to us! crazy... Good job on the presentation. I loved it, good info and very good information.

Jay Barton said

at 11:36 am on Apr 27, 2011

OMG! I don't know if I can even type I'm laughn so hard!! Love the SNL vid...Samberg and Timberlake RULE!! Very cool topic, very relevent. I think its profitable too, how can hilarious stuff like that not promote SNL and help viewers stay tuned, watch the commercials during episodes and make money? I also agree that the altered time frame because info now spreads so quickly has been permanently altered. Great job Serena, and you now get my vote for funniest video (sorry D & J, this one edges out the 'clean balls'!).

Jenna Saenz said

at 4:24 pm on Apr 27, 2011

Love love the snl skit! definitely my favorite one ever!! you did a great job being so precise on your sources! But Jay, I dont know if this video beats out the clean balls!hehe Great job Serena!

uismiguel@... said

at 11:43 am on Apr 28, 2011

This is good, but i am afraid that a lot of us are not following the example and some Projects are not complete... It is great put there.

Justine Cranford said

at 10:52 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Very funny. I enjoy your wiki and look forward to hearing your presentation. Great job! :)

Bobby Menbari said

at 11:11 pm on Apr 28, 2011

HAHA. Great videos. Nice wiki!

Serena Sharma said

at 11:17 pm on Apr 28, 2011

Really interesting topic, can't wait to hear more about it!

dbooth said

at 12:26 am on Apr 29, 2011

If you liked Dick in a box you'll love Point N Thrust! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT8fyLlkEEc .... I too was in a mildly viral video. Should be a fun presentation to see. Great job.

Aubrey Lee said

at 1:41 am on Apr 29, 2011

^^^ Epic video Derek.... I love your wiki Serena.. So funny!! Thanks for sharing :) Nice job!

reilingss2b7@... said

at 6:49 pm on May 2, 2011

dick in the box is classic justin timberlake..phenominal wiki and good job!

dbooth said

at 12:22 pm on May 3, 2011

Haha I didn't want to waste my previous comment so I figured I would just include it in the official one as well...If you liked Dick in a box you'll love Point N Thrust! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT8fyLlkEEc .... I too was in a mildly viral video. Should be a fun presentation to see. Part of my presentation is about how businesses will try and create advertisements specifically designed for youtube that will create a viral reaction. The Antoine Dodson was a youtube sensation who then released a song, a ringtone, and some other stupid merch and eventually became a millionaire. It's unfortunate that sometimes art and creativity gets diminished because people just want to make the next youtube sensation. I still love Chocolate Rain though.

Lena Zubaid said

at 11:42 pm on May 4, 2011

Serena, this looks very interesting. I like your topic choice, it reminds me of discussions in class. Your pictures and videos are hilarious. Even though this seems funny, it is also a very serious topic, because people are getting in trouble for things they post on Facebook. If people have Facebook pages, people will be checking that before they hire people, which is disappointing. People have the right to unwind and say what they want, but the Internet has made it seem as if everything you say or do on the Internet will be, in some way, used against you. Sometimes, if would make me feel as if I am in jail, I have no freedom to speak because I will not be hired for a job. I don’t want to think that and I don’t think others do either. I really like your topic and think you did a good job.

ericadeguzman@yahoo.com said

at 1:18 pm on May 9, 2011

Great topic choice! And awesome choice in media. Your videos were really entertaining. Honestly, I think that I watch more viral video than I watch regularly scheduled television. Not only are some of things on the Internet more entertaining but it’s just so convenient! I can just search up whatever I’m looking for and there it is ready for me to watch. I really enjoy watching singers on youtube or wherever else and hearing their own covers of songs. I actually know of some artists who were discovered because of their online videos like Kina Grannis and Jasmine Villegas. I also know that a lot of people even have their own weekly online shows. Great to see how much media is now in the hands of the people.

Jay Barton said

at 10:07 am on May 11, 2011

*In Addition to Comments Above*
Great presentation yesterday, Serena. I am still giving you my vote for funniest video. And narrowing down the widest topic into a very nice wiki and presentation. Nicely done.

Juleane said

at 10:37 pm on May 12, 2011

Great presentation/page! I really enjoyed your topic and the pictures and videos were perfect!
I think that we are so used to having and getting information now that we don't think of the future consequences especially when it comes to posts on twitter and facebook and so on. For me I know I have to be very conscious on what I do on my facebook because I'm not only connected to my family members, but clergy from my church at home, my little sisters from the ministry and so on. What many people don't seem to address is the fact that once you say something on the internet it spreads fast and it's there forever and you can't take it back and there's nothing you can do to change that.

Serena Sharma said

at 8:52 pm on May 13, 2011

As we were presenting you made an interest point in discussing that once we search things online all of a sudden the same area of interest is advertised on the page. I think at some point think it is convenient because why would someone want to look at useless ads when they can be looking at ads that actually pertain to their individual interests. As far as youtube goes, a lot of entertainment on there just comes from regular people putting funny things on there and instantly becoming a hit and in some cases get into trouble like that whole ucla girls that was being racist. I think you provided very good info, good job!

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