The Value of Viral

April 2, 2011

Chris Brogan shared this link on Twitter today:

Top 10 viral videos of March – http://ow.ly/4rLEX

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!