The Value of Viral

April 2, 2011

Chris Brogan shared this link on Twitter today:

Top 10 viral videos of March –

And it got us thinking about not just why on earth would this Skittles ad gets 1.5 million views:

..but it got us wondering about what kind of content people think is worth sharing. Sure, the “interactive” feature of a cat licking your finger is novel and so you share it. Plus, it’s short and silly, but it is 39 seconds you won’t get back!

Advertisers have nailed the viral video category for a long time by using cute kids, cute animal and silly antics. But what should public media content providers be thinking about so that you want to watch and share our stories?

Take a look at one of our new favorites: FutureStates. by ITVS. It opens the door for young filmmakers to share their work, and their visions of what the world could be like in 60, 70 or 80 years are thought provoking. The Lab has already shared some favorite episodes with friends on Facebook. (There is and embed option, but it doesn’t work with our WordPress site! You’ll have to visit them.) What do you think about visiting a destination website? Is it easy to share videos with friends? Would you rather embed it on your blog and give it your own context? Do you like the other features that make you think and ask you to contribute?

At the Lab, we think a lot about what videos people are making and watching, what videos they are sharing and how to help the public create their own. Of course we like to see good stories go “viral”, but maybe it’s not the only way to become a trusted source of good content. Tell us what you think, what you like or what public media content you have shared with friends in the comments below!


The WGBH Lab Launches The Antiques Roadshow Open Call

January 14, 2010

Hey WGBH Lab Friends,

Happy New Year! As you start to put all the holiday decorations away, we want you to start taking a closer look at those old items sitting around.

We all have them, sitting in the attic or closet, passed down by a cousin’s cousin, estranged fathers, or a mothers, sister’s brother.

We hold on to them because they are a part of our family and because, we hope to someday pass them along to younger generations – even if all they become is trendy décor, or dust collectors. And we all hope that their history will someday tell a story.

We’re ready to hear it.

Does it make you laugh? Cry? Who gave you the piece, and what did they tell you about it? Whatever the details, The WGBH Lab, in partnership with PBS’s own Antiques Roadshow, wants to see your item and hear its story. Showcase your piece in an original home movie or creative short film, no longer than 2 minutes. Be unique, and fun with your antique and its story. We want your video to dazzle our audience, and us as well.

Your reward? – How about a pair of tickets to a live taping of Antiques Roadshow this summer?

From now, until the end of May, we will be awarding 3 video submissions with a pair of VIP tickets to attend a live taping of an Antiques Roadshow appraisal event.

Additionally, your video could be chosen by Antiques Roadshow for national broadcast at a later date, to be featured on their website, or chosen as a stand alone video short to be aired on PBS stations nationwide!

Take a moment to visit us at: The Antiques Roadshow Open Call, review our Eligibility and Guidelines for submission deadlines, and our Official Rules to make sure your video qualifies.

Then, dig out your treasure and get working on your video!

Good luck! We look forward to learning about your antiques,

The WGBH Lab

The WGBH Lab Submission Updates, iPod Winners, and a Life Story that Chris loves.

December 10, 2009

Hey WGBH Lab Friends,

Still thinking about submitting a Life Story to The Lab?  We hope so, and it’s not too late! We’re accepting submissions until December 31st, 2009.  Remember, your work may be broadcast in conjunction with NOVA programming on life and evolution.

Visit The WGBH LAB for details:


The winners of our iPod Nano contest have been announced.  We’d like to invite you to watch their Life Stories, and leave your comments:

NOVA: Becoming a True Human Being, by: Linda Flanders
International Feldenkrais trainer Russell Delman explains how the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais is the fastest way to alter compulsive patterns of behavior.

It’s All About Apples, by: Joanie Tobin
Coleman’s age and health, along with the increasing cost of production, make him think about finally slowing down – one of these days.

Lock and Key, by: Chelsea Spear
Why keep a journal? Three women talk about their diurnal diary habits.


Don’t forget to visit the site, watch Life Stories, submit your own, and leave your comments.  Chris Hastings loves this one:

Steven’s Log, by: Steven Hughes and Diane Adams
Steven shares his views on evolution as well as what he believes may be happening in the future.