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Spreading the Virus
By Kevin Bruce Francisco - on 07 May 2012, 4:21pm

Have You Caught the Virus?

Whenever you open your Facebook or Tumblr profile, you see videos shared by a friend, or a contact that flood your news feed. You click it, watch, and later on find yourself very entertained. Some of the videos are funny, some would make you go "Wow", and some would simply annoy you. In this article we look at how and why these videos get viral. I'll also throw in a few of my personal favorites.

Who here hasn't been Rick Roll'd?

According to the internet, the definition of a viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites. These websites make it possible to view thousands and thousands of videos from all over the world. With YouTube leading its line-up, there are also quite many of other popular video streaming sites such as Vimeo, Metacafe, and the Will Ferrell-founded website FunnyorDie.

 

Here is a famous skit from funnyordie.com

So why do these videos get so popular? It might sound like a no-brainer to ask this and one would simply answer, "Because I like it!" but a report that I came across with says that it involves the way these videos excite our body, or how we get aroused (by laughing so hard or finding something really cute). It was said that when we are in such state of arousal, makes people far more likely to share information. This outlet of physical excitement gets shared from one person to another and later on to the whole country then internationally.

"Charlie bit me!"

With video recording devices being really cheap these days, all it really takes is some talent. Just get a tripod, put the camera in front of your face, and start doing whatever it is you do and hope that people would notice you. Brooke Brodack is a perfect example having been called "the first real YouTube star. Her viral videos, who got more than 49 million views, led to a contract with the network station NBC. Locally, we have Arnel Pineda who got discovered through a video of him singing Journey's song and was eventually asked to join the said group.

Some viral videos were also made for political purposes making YouTube a powerful source of campaigning in the previous presidential elections. Back then, every major party candidate had their own YouTube channel in order to communicate with the voters. The videos eventually got parodied and became viral videos themselves.

Personally, I think it is a very good way to showcase one's talent. It's free, you get to express yourself, and with the right amount of luck can lead you to fame. Although on the other hand, it seems like some people are not being totally responsible of what they post on the internet which is kind of dangerous when unsupervised children end up surfing the web. Parents should really be mindful of what particular sites their children visit but all in all, most of these videos have given us a fair slice of entertainment.


 

Another viral video that was taken from an actual news report made into a song with the use of auto-tune.

Kevin Bruce Francisco

Kevin Bruce Francisco / Content Specialist

A graduate of Digital Filmmaking, he makes videos for HWZ TV. Kevin also writes for the company's website and magazine. An aspiring filmmaker, a music junkie, and a superhero by night.