DIY Guide to Viral Video

Daisy Whitney. Brought to you by the letter R.

The law, friends. Take out your #2 pencils and steno pads. You’re about the learn The Nalts/Murphy “Inverse Creation & Consumption” Law. And you can get a free copy of my book, which doubles as a decorative monitor stand.

The gal pictured above — contorted like a memorable scene from Exorcist — is journalist, speaker and author Daisy Whitney, and she’s giving out 3 copies of my book if you tweet with #beyondviral. I’ll match it by giving away 4 copies of Beyond Viral via Amazon, and give you through Friday, Sept. 24. She wants you to tweet with #beyondviral on why you’d like the book. I’m giving out 4 copies to the funniest tweets with #beyondviral.

In related viralility news, PC World Magazine recently provided us with the well-kept secrets to producing a viral video. Writer Christopher Null “ferreted out the top themes that make a video go viral.”

The secret sauce? Singing, dancing, injury, animals, medications, babies, hysteria, parody and remixes. How’d the Amazon/Woot video do on those criteria?

Lest I get cynical about the methodology that drove Null’s ferreting, I should echo his disclaimer that chance plays a role: “It’s art, luck, and, usually, a lot of simple stupidity.”

I hope people realize that when I proclaim “viral is dead” (see mini-educational video on, I’m not saying that we’ve seen our last viral videos. Heavens, no. As long as we humans possess a collective desire to share in an unusual experience, we’ll have videos that “go viral” like eager germs. I’m just saying that marketers, brands and advertisers are better off not chasing the viral dream… and instead do some things that will work by orders of magnitude more exponentially (take that, mathematician editors). That’s the point of my book.

Wait– that’s the point of you reading the book. The point of me writing the book was to learn you something, sell more copies than Steve Garfield’s Get Seen, artificially impress people, and accelerate my career as a public speaker in the marketing and digital circuits (I had to disclose that because the kids are saying transparency is all the rage in social-media these days).

Gather around kids. We're going to learn about viral video and bird poop!

It’s almost time to soak in the latest “This Week in Media” podcast show 201 titled Beyond Viral. But first let me introduce my Nalts/Murphy’s “The Inverse Creation & Consumption” Law. All web content will be consumed inversely to the time you spend creating it. Let’s rank these four in order of time spent creating: 1) The book, 2) The episode of “This Week in Media,” 3) the blog post you’re reading, 4) this video I’m about to do about this blog post. Now let’s review them in order of views/consumption: 1) the video, 2) this blog post, 3) TWIM and 4) the book. See how it works?

You can find the “Beyond Viral” episode on iTunes or stream it from Pixel Corps. Daisy Whitney and Tim Street co-pilot the weekly podcast (Clayton Morris joins them sometimes), and guests include Lon Seldman (Local Online News TV) and… me.  Gammit my hyperlink fingers hurt. Dogs bark, phones ring, connections drop… entertaining all 7 listeners – eight if you just tuned in. It’s like college radio, only you might learn something — especially from Tim Street. Tim’s that guy you knew in highschool whose humor might distract you from his genius. In this episode he’s dialing in from an app convention you’d not otherwise know about but for him. He says you’re gonna have to start paying more for bandwidth, so put that on your worry shelf.

If you have the patience, you’ll eventually hear me curse Verizon’s bandwidth problems as the company coincidentally breaks up my voice-over IP connection… little bastards. I’m listening to my creative use of the English language as I type, goodly. Before the show taped yesterweek, I made up an acronym about how to engage via online video: DAISY. What’s it stand for? I don’t remember. But if you have ears and the will, you’ll discover that you can’t show up to a cocktail party, take off your shirt and hand out your business cards. It’s not polite, says Street, who describes seagull YouTubing in the podcast.  You also don’t need to smash rocks to make fire if there are bic lighters hanging around. But hey I respect your space, man. Rocks are fun.

Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.

Speaking of birds, Mockingbirds is Daisy’s new book- it’s fiction and it’s about date rape. Mockingbirds addresses a heavy topic, but Daisy hopes it will encourage kids and parents to discuss the topic… If that stops one date rape, I’m guessing she’ll be happy. Check Mockingbirds out on Amazon. If you don’t buy… it then you’re pro date rape.

I’m meeting Daisy and Axis of Comedy‘s Paul Kontonis in NYC tomorrow. I wonder if Paul will bring his book to the sall-on. Still time to get to Kinkos, Kontonis. (You may remember these little sweethearts from such films as “Uninvisible Man“). The inverse creation/consumption rule applied here… it took about an hour to make and was seen more than a million times. By contrast, my claymation “Butter Attack” took an entire day, and has been seen 50K times.

Do you need a final example of The Law? Scary Maze is my most-viewed video and I spent less time making it than you took reading this post. Gum Tree should be my most popular, even though I’ve probably spent 20 hours on any of my 1000 plus video buried under piles of farts. The law, friends.

8 Replies to “DIY Guide to Viral Video”

  1. Please get over your love affair with Daisy Whitney; it’s embarrassing.

    You’re welcome, BTW, for the link to the PC World article.

    Otherwise, another post with way too many words.

  2. Holy crap, did you actually read that long-ass email I sent you analyzing your use of the term “exponential” for about 9 out of the 12 times it appears in Beyond Viral?

    I’m impressed. I might even finish reading the too many words in this post.

  3. Marilyn… I think Kevin plays with himself as he writes blogs about Daisy. It’s a fetish of his and he just can’t resist doing it publicly. He’s an exhibitionist.

    BTW… too long to read.

  4. TIM- you read the WHOLE thing!? Woah. My son tried for about 30 seconds. Sukatra, Boomerchick, is sans computer hanging with Hank. Let’s buy her a computer! Nutcheese- only when I write about Daisy’s dogs.

  5. I can’t belive I bookmarked this at the office so I could spend 15 minutes of free time reading it.

    I want my 15 minutes back

  6. if i get a copy of nalts new book, i will make a youtube video of me tearing out pages, put them on a plate, get out the forks and knives, put spagetti sauce on pages, and eat the book! now that’s old comedy!
    i will eat nalts book for views!! i willeat his book. i bet it would tase very yummy and my tummy. all his viral facts will go instantly into my head after devouring his tasty new book! its typical johnswackyworld

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