Semantics be important… especially for a relatively novel “space” like online video. For starters, I never much cared for the term “viral” marketing, because it had sick connotation. Like my marketing might make someone sick enough to cough on another hapless patsy. Then comes the term “viral” videos to celebrate the wonderfully horrible videos one couldn’t resist sharing. I created “Viral Video Genius” as a satire, people, and still use the phrase as an inside joke to piss off those too naive to recognize otherwise.
But still today we see “viral” referring to any video hoping to go virus. That’s just ridiculous, friends. Do you agree? By definition, a video isn’t “viral” unless it gets a lot of views. I used to say 500 to 1 million, but now you pretty much need 5 or 10 million to rise above the noise.
This post was inspired by a Tweet by Chris Brogan. He can’t be our new ZeFrank now because he acknowledged my existence. But Scoble’s up for grabs.
You see this guy, Mose, asked:
Fair question. If someone “seeds it” or pays to have it a preroll on some crappy video-sharing site that serves porn in India, does that count? ChrisBrogan, in a surprise move, punts the question my way:
Now this was surprising since I never figured Brogan for the type that would know the word “Nalts” (even if I’m kinda famous because I was on today’s eGuider reel with Daisy Whitney, Ben Relles, and that dude who MC’s the DiggNation show I stormed in my underwear. Can you imagine if all the people in “Welcome to eGuider” got together in a room? Would anyone get anything done?
But I digress from my digression. So to Mose and ChrisBrogan, in my infinite 140-character wisdom, I says, “Seeding counts as “viral”; not paid views. Lets call ’em prom online vids (pov) unless they actually go viral (rare).
Then Mose, who clearly has good taste, comes back with:
Mose is suggesting we use the hashtag #pov to track any activity about “Promotional Online Videos,” a term that’s perhaps more accurate than “viral” when talking about the majority of videos. But having searched POV I’ve decided it must be a porn term, and that is just as well. Maybe this blog post will pick up some accidental traffic, giving me the same satisfaction of creating a “viral” video that had an average view-duration of .04 seconds. Whoops? Another digression. This will be the only post since 2008 that Nutcheese finishes.
Seriously, though. Seriously? Calling a video “viral” before it goes viral is like calling karaoke singers Grammy Winners. One in a million may well be, but let’s call them karaoke singers in the meanwhile.