Friday, August 19, 2011

Going Viral

Pin It Did you ever watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid II – Rodrick Rules?

I did.

Now, before you go off and start judging me, remember that I teach 5th grade; I have to keep up on the current slapstick media of the day or I find myself behind the times and can’t drop current pop culture references like the rain in classroom lessons.

Plus the first movie was pretty darn funny.

Remember that particular scene where Greg decides he wants a YouTube video that will go completely viral? He is convinced that if he gets his friend, Rowley, to be a complete dork lip-synching to Ke$a’s TiK-ToK, it will be an Internet sensation—as popular as the falling granny—and make them famous. He also believes that Rowley’s fake fall at the end (and the underwear on his head) will really be the clinchers to fame.

Well, I was thinking to myself the other day…just what is it that makes something go viral? I mean, what is it that causes media to hit society like a shockwave and rise like nothing else?

Well, in doing a little research I learned that going viral it is usually the result of something hilarious, cool, amazing, or completely stupid that is rapidly passed on by a lot of people. Now in the old school days it was usually done by word of mouth; you would tell a neighbor, friend, or family member...or perhaps something would be printed in the paper, or it would show up on the news or was heard on the radio.

Today going viral appears to happen when something is broadcast (perhaps in the same ways as before) but it seems to travel much further and faster through the mediums of social networking…you know, Facebook, twitter, Blogs, email, and that new-fangled Google+ (that new network that we’ve all heard about, probably been invited to, but perhaps haven’t plunged into just yet).

Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is an example of something that went viral. It was a relatively unknown video that showed up on YouTube and then—before anyone really knew what was gong on—it became an Internet sensation. All because of social networking.

Yeah, I hated the song at first, too…but now? Yeah, just like you…I can’t get enough of it—it’s like my own, personal version of crack cocaine; besides, because of it I now know all the days of the week.

Speaking of Friday...I couldn’t sleep this morning, and when I woke up I was struck with the idea that I wanted to go viral.

Well, not really me, myself…but a few of those people I have tucked way in Google Reader.

So here’s what I’m asking.

I know that I don’t have nearly enough cyberspacular clout to try to get any of these folks enough exposure for their blogs, but if there was a post amongst these 8 that struck you, would you be willing to pass it onward? You know, share the love? Send it on to somebody else with the same petition: to send it on to someone else as well?

What I would love is to see each and every one of these people to go viral with their post.

I also just know that revisiting dozens of each of your posts via your blogs in the early of this morning was wonderful.

I was able to reacquaint myself with your lives for several hours via archived posts in Reader and found myself smiling at the reminders of things in your lives; the events that brought you to today, even those events I reread over the months that were sad. I won’t lie about this; some of the hardships you are/were enduring in your lives brought me to the realization that we are all living such varied, exciting, and difficult lives.

Now, please also don’t think anything like, “Man, Teachinfourth didn’t choose anything from my blog, that must mean that he doesn’t like ME.” Far from it. Believe it or not, I read through close to 500 posts this morning all to choose between 5-8 that stood out to me. There were a few others that did as well, and then it came down to narrowing the field.

It was hard.

Your lives are so amazingly awesome.

Please don’t be offended if yours isn’t in this particular grouping; after all, if I could give out medals and awards at the Olympics, everyone would get the gold. However, I guess that would kind of defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it?

I guess that's why I teach 5th grade...

But, if one of these posts rings a chord with you, would you do a bit to try to help it to go viral?

So, just how could you help it out?

Tweet it
Blog it
Email it
Google+ it
Facebook it it
Digg This it
Buzz it
Stumble it
Forum it
Blogher it
Bloghim it
Blogfrog it

I just know that I can’t get something to go viral all on my own, I simply don’t have the power. Also, just know that there was something particular in each of these posts which jumped out to me, but if there was somebody/something else you liked, would you do the same for them instead if you’d rather?

Great, now let’s go viral...and thanks, in advance.

Think Stew - I Had No Idea. A few thoughts on what it's like being a dad.

Abe - What Parents Say, What Kids Hear. Yeah, the title pretty much sums it all up...

Gerb - I So Totally Rock, Dude! As an adult - and after having a family of a few kids - Gerb decided to finally learn to swim.

Natalie - Where Sasquatch Really Comes From. What happens after a baby shower, a long ride home, and a discussion with a kid not even in the second grade yet? Yep, it's pretty much all about the hair.

Karen - Shuffled. A an argument on a long drive with an uncooperative iPod.

Kelly - Stages. We all experience moments along the roadway known as life. We all have bumps and - at times - we see the turmoil and wish to pass by it. Maybe we should just hang on to these moments and enjoy them.

Mindee - All You Have to do is Ask. Just why do parents name their kids what they do? She gives some helpful advice in this one.

Wendy - One Dream. Would we really trade the dream for the reality we have?


Jamie said...

Thanks for the heads up - a little reading for the weekend.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

You just made my whole day - heck, whole week - on several levels.

1) I totally respect your writing and think your blog is amazing, so the fact that you recognized mine makes me gleeful.

2) I've secretly always wanted to be a viral sensation so this idea is delightful.

3) I did a blog re-vamp a couple of years ago and lost everything pre-2009 and had NO IDEA that the page you just linked to existed. I am feverishly copying and pasting all those posts into my current blog and wondering where the corresponding images might be.

On that note, the new link for that post is now here:

You rock.

Karen Peterson said...

I LOVE this idea. I'm so in.

There's a post or two of yours that really needs to go viral, too...

(And, I'm totally honored/flattered/shocked to be on the list. I think that's my all-time favorite post.)

dbs said...

I've been lost in these for an hour now. Thanks. And thank you for including me.

Kimberly said...

My kids are watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Rodrick Rules right now! And I will admit that the first one was pretty funny.

I never heard the song before and probably could have gone all my life without hearing it and would have been fine. :) Oh well. But if I can't get to sleep tonight because of that song swimming around in my head ... *sigh*

I love your idea of helping these blogs go viral. I will read what I can over the weekend.

TisforTonya said...

awesome idea :) Going to have to go lose myself in those posts soon... getting back to blogging after the hectic summer and I have a GoogleReader so full I can't scroll down that far :(

oh, and actually, I kinda still hate that song...

just sayin'

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

We found Wimpy Kid 2 to be even funnier.

Speaking of slapstick media, SKB #1 introduced me to coning yesterday. I think I will try it once with him in the car just to crack him up. Not sure if I can do it with a straight face though.

Kelly said...

500 posts in one sitting? You must have had some serious insomnia! I am all the more honored to have made the cut. Thanks a bunch.

Your posts are always great btw...

Teachinfourth said...

Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Thanks to those of you who went, read, posted, tagged, or whatever...I appreciate you for the effort.

One big cyber wink goes out to you for your awesomeness.

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