The landscape of viral video is constantly changing. If you don't like the current most-popular video that everyone's talking about... just wait a few minutes... something else entirely different will come along. Anyone has a shot at success, from the brands to the little guys. Videos can go viral the day they're launched, or two years later. "Viral video" is a living, breathing entity that is unpredictable and always on the move. That's why I love it.
Tons of great videos to watch, discuss, and learn from this week. Let's get to it:
Rock & Roll Babies
Even if this is your first day in the Land of Viral Videos, you've already learned how much people like cute babies. The viral video world is, in this regard, a reflection of the general public from the real world. Ever take a cute baby into a supermarket? You'll be mobbed by folks wanting to gawk at the cuteness.
We're a strange breed, we humans; we love violence and sports and we all try and act tough and confident... and the second an adorable little toddler shows up we all melt into puddles of goofiness. It should really be no surprise whatsoever that baby videos are among the most popular viral varieties.
All kinds of babies can go viral--happy ones, sad ones, angry ones, and strange ones. Audiences don't discriminate, provided the child is cute.
Even rock and roll babies can go viral, as a couple different kids have proved this week. First up, we have a baby who is clearly the youngest kid in history to develop a heavy-metal attitude about life. Take a look:
What's great about that video isn't that he flies the hard-rock symbol with his hand... it's that he does it so casually, as though this kid has been rocking for so long that it's second nature to him. Man, I bet I watched that four or five times when I first discovered it. Too much fun. If I ever have any kids, I want them to be heavy metal kids.
Of course, if the children don't turn out heavy metal enough for you on their own, you can always coach them up in the ways of rock, like this dad is doing:
Is that not 30 of the best seconds you've spent on anything this week?
Here's something important from that last video--even though he's just making a cute little joke clip about giving his baby the Keyboard Cat treatment, this filmmaker (and father) produced a fine piece of quality work. The camera is clearly top-notch--love the soft light and how blurry everything is in the background. It's also edited very well. This is exactly what we're talking about when we say that technology is making it easier for everyday people like you and me to make truly great art... even if all we're filming is our snoozing baby.
Do not discount the benefit of high-quality footage and smart, whimsical editing.
For fun, and because I have a hard time cutting videos out of this column, let's take a quick peek at one more baby-related clip. This time, it's the father who seems a bit hard rock... and hilarious... and resourceful. Check it out:
P90X, eat your heart out.
So You Think Your Kid Can Dance?
Dancing is pretty big right now, I'm not sure if you've noticed. In addition to Dancing With The Stars, we have So You Think You Can Dance, Paula Abdul's new Live To Dance, and even a smattering of hip-hop dance shows like World's Best Dance Crew on MTV. If you're not dancing, you're no one... apparently.
And it seems that in order to be the best, you have to get started early. Like the three 9-year-old stars of our next video:
I'm no "krump dancing" expert, but I believe those kids were pretty darn good. I'm not sure I was that good at anything at nine years of age--heck, I'm not sure I'm that good at anything now!
Talented kids are right up there with cute babies and unique pets in the viral video topic hall of fame. If your kid can do something extraordinary, you can go viral by putting him on YouTube--assuming you're fine with the entire Internet getting to know your kid.
I'm most impressed with the showmanship. It's obvious these kids have worked on the performance... the standing frozen until it's your turn and keeping a serious face the whole time... it's adorable. This video might have gone viral even if they were only average dancers. But because they actually appear to have real talent, the viral fate was sealed early on.
Shocking But Real
Sometimes we find videos going supernova just because they document something surprising or shocking. These non-fiction, non-scripted videos are often related to current events or news stories.
For instance, after a recent snow and ice storm in Pittsburgh, one hilly street was so treacherous that car after car after car found itself spinning helplessly out of control. Luckily for the Internet, someone filmed it all:
That's almost hard to watch, because a few of those crashes are at high velocity and seem pretty forceful. I hope everyone was okay.
Videos like this are interesting to the public because most of us never see this kind of thing in real life. People in California, for instance--at least, those in Southern California--have never seen icy road conditions like this... just like the rest of us have probably never witnessed a mud slide or a wildfire first hand.
Another shocking real-life event video this week involved the gas line explosion in Philadelphia. Before you watch it, I want to at least warn you by letting you know that several people were injured in this blast, and at least one person died. You don't see any of that in the video, obviously, but if that sort of thing would put you off, I wanted you to know before you watched it.
Finally, as a last example of "real-world events caught on camera" going viral, we have a clip from the BBC. According to the video description, this clip shows the Dogon people of Mali, who are allowed to fish in a sacred lake only one day each year. The result is in the video, and it's pretty crazy to behold:
I always have too many favorite videos for this column, so the Honorable Mention section is a way for me to toss in a few more for your enjoyment. Such as...
- Do you like rap? How about a nerdy-looking white kid rapping faster than anyone you've ever heard?
- If you follow sports, and aren't offended by naughty language, you'll enjoy this Brett Favre-related spoof of Lebron James' "What Should I Do" commercial.
- A pair of amateur scientists having some fun in freezing cold weather.
- This fun little mashup of all the movie moments where Leonardo Dicaprio freaks out.