Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 9, 2012 8:55 PM

Seven Minutes To Viral Video Success

Who would know better how to make an online video go viral than the person who is being paid to watch for trends on YouTube?

That's the job of Kevin Allocca. He is YouTube's trends manager and he sees what goes up (and what never makes it...or stays down). Is there a formula for viral success? In short, no. Are there trends that you can see when something does go viral? Absolutely. In this TED Talk, Allocca spends a little over seven minutes walking us all through the fascinating world of YouTube, viral videos and the longevity of a meme. Tell me you don't have seven minutes of free time?

Here's why videos go viral...

What do you think? Is Allocca on to something?

By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Stefan Holt
    Mitch Joel

    Well worth it Mitch! Thank for sharing your tastemaker acumen and allowing me to share in the experience of TED and youtube unexpectedness firsthand. Now, in a world where youtube videos can be watched in the parking lot of a TN grocery store via my laptop connected to an free unprotected wireless hub...thanks for keeping the digital shepherds mindful that 7 minutes of knowledge is far greater than years of ignorance.

    All the best from your former television informant now turned luxury product marketing manager.

    Stefan Holt

  • Posted by Andy Warner
    Mitch Joel

    This talk leads me to more questions... Does this mean we are all our own brands? Does this mean traditional brands (aka companies) must create goofy videos to gain our attention instead of creating product branding and information filled videos?

    A fun and transformational time for traditional brands is coming.

  • Mitch Joel

    Such and exciting time we live in.. and so scary. I personally don't want the average Joe or Jossette defining "entertainment" for me. Heck, I don't even want me defining entertaining. I'm not that creative or talented.

    The really scary element in this is that it's not just the entertainment industry being influenced by participatory culture. It's politics and education and everything else. The internet is a blessing in that it levels the playing field and it's a curse for the same reason. I'm not comfortable with the idea that people with an IQ of 100 can influence or even determine direction and make decisions for me and my family.

    Case in point, we just had a local school board election and one of the winning candidates actual said that not everyone uses the "internets" and she doesn't see the need for them. I'm pretty sure some of my neighbors voted for her. Nice people but not so well informed.

    Wisdom of crowds theory aside, how do we find that sweet spot, that balance between "here comes everybody" and making sure the cream has room to rise to the top?

  • Posted by Rebecca Caroe
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for your great writing [yes I did have 7 minutes free time] and for finding the video. I think it's very pertinent for B2C brands but also reflects some of the issues brands have with allowing control of their image to slip out into the public imagination.

    The video was from TED Youth and so the chosen examples reflect that audience. I work for a national meat co-operative here in New Zealand and they would be horrified if videos of their farm lambs got adapted. But that's one possible outcome for anything that gets shared socially.

  • Posted by Mohan Arun
    Mitch Joel

    I just wanted to add this related resource pertinent to the topic
    What Motivates Us to Share Videos? The Psychology Behind Social Video
    Its part of the knowledge of 'what makes a video go viral?'

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