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1.5 Million Pageviews in a Day … When a Post Goes Viral

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Yesterday morning I saw several Facebook friends sharing a link. 15 Things White Girls Love to Do on Facebook. It was an honest, hilarious, sarcastic look at some of the things people (or more specifically, white girls) post.

My favorite was probably #2.

Express their extreme annoyance at this work day today and hint that it deserves a much needed alcoholic beverage at the end of it. WINK WINK.

And #11.

Subtly yell at no one in particular while being very specific. “Wow, it’s hard to believe that you think you know someone and then they turn around and STAB YOU IN THE BACK. Will never make that mistake again. EVER.”

Okay … I’ll admit, I laughed at every one. And maybe I cringed at a couple of things I have done myself.

It wasn’t until later I found out just how successful the post had been (2.3 million views in 3 days, 1.5 million views yesterday alone), and I reached out to Mary Gelpi (the girl behind 25 Pills a Day) to get her perspective. People often wonder how to get their post/video/podcast to go viral. I don’t know that it’s easy to replicate. In Mary’s case she had a post that was funny, easy to identify with, but one that also ended up pretty controversial. Many of the readers took the comments and conversation to an issue of race. Mary admitted in a follow up post, “If I would have known putting ‘white girl’ in the title would cause such an upheaval, I would have left it out.

But then it might not have gone as viral!

Tell us a little about your blog. Why did you start it, and who is your audience?
I started the blog a few months ago because after losing my health, job, and apartment, I had a lot of time on my hands. One day I was like, hmmm, maybe I’ll start a blog. It was meant to document the almost pathetic life I was living (being 27 and living with my parents seemed like a laughable yet perfect backdrop) I also really wanted to create a source of community for other people who were sick and didn’t really feel understood.

How did you come up with the topic for the 15 Things White Girls Love to do on Facebook?
It took me about 10 minutes to write that list, which I thought MAYBE 100 people would read. My friend Kaitlin and I have this “book” that we scribble our ideas in all the time. One of our chapters is called “What Kind of Facebooker Are You?” The list stemmed from that idea and I just threw in the more recent things I see everyday on Facebook.

How did you learn that the post went viral? What was your initial reaction?
I came home from my A&P Final and casually signed on to see if any of my friends/followers had said anything. At that point I had 9 followers. When I saw the numbers I thought it was a mistake. I screamed. My mom asked what the ruckus was about. I told her, we laughed, and then we watched that movie Message In a Bottle.

Why do you think that it went viral?
Good question. I think it rang true to a lot of people. And then it made some people mad. Mostly I just think people like to laugh, and that’s what it offered-an easy laugh.

What do you hope that readers learn from your blog, and about you, and is there anything you will try to do to get them to come back?
There were three goals I made when I started: Make people laugh. Create some understanding about the illness. Show people how cool I think my dog is. I guess I’ll just keep trying to do that!

Top 10 Viral Videos For 2011 (January-June)

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By analyzing the charts at Marketing Charts I’ve come up with the Top Ten Viral Videos for 2011 (or at least the first half)!

From this perspective I can see a pretty clear division among the topics: cute kids vs. heart-pounding stunts. There aren’t really any “non-produced” videos in this grouping. No Charlie Bites or Double Rainbows! But we do have advertisements, informational topics, fun with the Royal Wedding, and all those stunts.

1. Evian – Roller Babies

I mean really, what’s not to love about this video? It has babies. And rollerskates. And cooing. All to the music of Rapper’s Delight, which gets everyone on their feet! It’s actually been around since October, 2010 but still continues to be a hit with viewers.

2. Volkswagen – The Force: Volkswagen Commercial

Volkswagen keeps generating hit after viral hit with their fun and catchy videos. This one features a pint-sized Darth Vader who uses the Force when he discovers the all-new 2012 Passat in the driveway. It originally aired during the February 2011 Super Bowl broadcast and is super cute. (Hmm, do I see a theme with young ‘ens leading the pack?)

3. T-Mobile – The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

With all the fanfare of the Royal Wedding, it’s no surprise that this one went viral. T-Mobile’s Royal Wedding Dance celebrates the marriage of William and Kate with the help of a host of royal look-alikes and music from East 17.

4. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome, France

Like stunts? Race car driving? Insanity? Then this video is for you. Seriously, just the sound of this video got my heart racing, and it didn’t stop racing until well after the video finished!

5. DC Shoes – Ken Block Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial

Another one by the folks at DC Shoes Film. Actually this came prior to the one above! This one was produced specifically to market Ken Block’s first-ever Rally TeamWorks Collection. It includes stunts, surprises, explosions and … more stunts.

6. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home

A lot longer than most of the videos (at almost 8 minutes), this video is more of a story as it follows Danny MacAskill on his journey from Edinburgh back to his hometown Dunvegan, in the Isle of Skye. Complete with incredible bike skills of course!

7. Skittles Touch – Cat

Okay. This one gets my vote for “viral because it’s weird”. And a little bit disturbing!!

8. Air New Zealand – Mile High Madness with Richard Simmons

What could be a better recipe for viral than throwing Richard Simmons (and a bunch of Jazzercise-style dancers) in a video that discusses flight safety?

9. Call of Duty – Modern Warfare Reveal Trailer

If normal stunts aren’t for you, why not throw in a bit of violence in the form of a video game? You even have to agree that you’re over the age of 18 to watch.

10. David Cornfield Melanoma Fund – Dear 16-Year-Old Me

And then there’s something with a powerful message. The video from DCMF is graphic, but real, with important details to everyone (but mostly to teens) regarding melanoma. Although it starts of fun and silly, the video quickly delves into the complications associated with skin cancer, and the increased risks of developing it with sun exposure and tanning.

You’ll notice that Friday, by Rebecca Black, is missing from the list. Why? Because it was taken down by Youtube for copyright issues. So, while it may have gone viral (and I talk about it here), it’s not here to stay.

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