Saturday, September 12, 2015

Kindergarten Reality Check - an experiment in accidental viral video

I'm keeping an eye on this YouTube video, belonging to one of the partners at work - a "How was your first day of kindergarten, honey?" convo she had with her son that went in a fun direction.

The child didn't know he was being filmed, and she's coaxing him a bit because this is a little bit of a re-tell. He'd already started to tell the story, and she had that mom-instinct that it was going to be funny and grabbed her phone to film it surreptitiously.

She originally posted to Facebook only on 9/9/15, shared with just her own friends. I was pretty charmed by it and wanted to share, so I asked if she'd repost it to YouTube. "It will go viral," I said. "Kidding/not kidding." (I really was kidding/not kidding - figured nothing would happen, but saw some potential. Really, I just *did* want to share it myself, and her FB post was set to Friends Only.)

She did repost it to YouTube, the night of 9/9. The next morning (9/10/15), YouTube had just 4 views. I shared it on FB, then on a whim, I put it on r/videos on Reddit. I expected it to go nowhere and get buried pretty quickly, but it actually gained a little traction. The YouTube started getting some traffic. Some viral content folks started trying to contact her with "business opportunities," whatever that means.

Day 3 and it's broken 40,000 views. A couple of us from work are sharing and boosting it here and there, trying to keep the ball in the air, as an experiment more than anything. I'm doing goofy/shameless things like tagging George Takei and Ellen Degeneres on Facebook. Will be interesting to see if it gains any more momentum.

Here's where we're at now, 11am CST, midway through the third full day:

UPDATE - 9/12, 2pm CST: Blogged by Hello Giggles (which was under my radar - nicely curated feel-good content, targeted to women. I like it and will start following it). Really excellently written blog post. Learned that Zooey Deschanel is one of the founders.

And then, here's the kicker, today's big win: shared on Zooey Deschanel's Facebook. Here post is currently at 321 likes, with 54 shares.

Going to see what this does to the hit count later. Too much fun!

UPDATE - 9/13, 11:30pm CST: Blowing up a bit. Yesterday afternoon/evening, it jumped up to 60k, then was at 74k by 7am this morning. Now, nearly 90k.

Zooey's post (she lets me call her Zooey) is up to 720 likes and 109 shares, more than double what it was when we learned of it yesterday. Tracked back to the original Hello Giggles post, which I hadn't done before, and it's at 565 likes and 205 shares.

Would be cool to get some other blog/celebrity attention, but for now, I think it's just the shares off the ZD/Hello Giggles posts that are keeping the momentum.

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