It's time again for another round of Viral Video Nostradamus, where I act like I can predict which brand new viral offerings will actually get popular. There are several sites now that are attempting to play the role of viral soothsayer, from Bitly.tv to the new PopScreen. They have all kinds of metrics and tools and algorithms. But I'm the only one who is openly admitting that I'm mostly just guessing. After combing through sites like Bitly.tv and PopScreen to find surging new videos, I apply my completely random and faulty logic to determine which ones will go on to viral greatness. Because not all of them will.
So far, I'm neither very good nor very bad at this. Let's see if I can't increase the average a bit. Thankfully, this is almost entirely done for entertainment's sake. All these videos have been added in the last four days, and all have view counts lower than 25,000 as of this writing. Let's begin:
Video Contents: Video of singing sensation Justin Bieber barely escaping an adoring throng of fans.
Viral Ingredients: hugely famous star (Beiber), insanity on display (rabid fans), near death experience (star nearly trampled by overzealous fans), escape by Segway.
Uploaded: July 26, 2010 (yesterday)
Current View Count (as of this writing): 16,058
Currently YouTube is giving an error when we try to embed this video, but I expect that to be fixed soon. Until then, here's a link to it.
Video Contents: Video of what a car looks like after being stolen and driven by a bear.
Viral Ingredients: animals doing odd things (stealing cars), showcased destruction (car interior)
Uploaded: July 23, 2010 (four days ago)
Current View Count (as of this writing): 24,987
Video Contents: Video of actor Ryan Reynolds at Comic Con, answering a little kid's question about what it's like to recite the Green Lantern's pledge.
Viral Ingredients: Hollywood actor (Ryan Reynolds) behaving kindly and warmly toward fans, cute kid, cute kid getting his day made by awesome actor's press conference answer.
Uploaded: July 24, 2010 (three days ago)
Current View Count (as of this writing): 22,840
How did I do on my last round of predictions?
Let's take a quick look back at my last set of picks to see how I did:
View count upon prediction: 16,222
View count today: 53,693
Prediction outcome: ehhh, incorrect, I guess.
View count upon prediction: 367
View count today: 143,141
Prediction outcome: correct enough. I'm taking this one.
View count upon prediction: 675
View count today: 2,813
Prediction outcome: incorrect
Running tally on Viral Nostradamus
Correct Predictions: 6
So at this point, I'm roughly as good as flipping a coin. That either goes to show that I'm no good at predicting viral success or that viral success is nearly impossible to predict… or both.