When the community takes a fancy:

Viral videos, causes, and other bits


Electronic communities inevitably mean electronic connections. The notion of "social media" as something gosh! wow! new is rather foolish, since the 'Internet' has been about community since the earliest days of the ARPAnet: communities of scientists, scholars, engineers, designers, researchers, and military. Just so, the "viral" phenomenon is nothing new, but it happens larger and faster in today's highly connected society.

So, let's look at the viral phenomenon through videos:

1. Chocolate Rain


2. Susan Boyle's audition on Britain's Got Talent

3. Evolution of the Dance


4. Rickrolling


Thanksgiving 2008 really saw the death of the Rickroll with this:



5. Diet Coke and Mentos


6. Sony Bravia #1


7. Sony Bravia #2




The Dark Side of Viral: Mockery, Vigilantism, and Bullying

But there are dangers in the viral phenomenon. If someone does not know that the content will be made public (and it then goes viral), you can get:


8. The Star Wars Kid


One of the take-offs on the Star Wars Kid:


9. The Dog Poop Girl

The Star Wars Kid is relatively lucky. He endured bullying, teasing, and some really lousy high school years...but nothing like the "Dog Poop Girl" from Korea. There is not video...just a photo. But that photo, posted to the internet (and her refusal to clean up after her pet), was all it took to ruin her life. This is one of the most egregious cases of internet vigilantism.

Here's the photo:


When "viral" means social protest


The new TSA "pat-down" vs. "naked scanning" problem



How British Petroleum's Oil Spill played out