Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Making of a Viral Video

What defines a viral video? What is the exact number that takes it from a simple nice little video to something that is truly a hit? In looking at movie openings this weekend they are saying Disneys' A Christmas Carol (I didn't know Walt Disney wrote A Christmas Carol - I thought Charles Dickens had - silly me) is a hit having made $31 million. I'm sorry but I saw Transformers last summer and it made over $100 million on opening weekend - that's a hit.

In any case - at the 2007 Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando I was transfixed by how happy all the participants were. And their incredible diversity. When we got our video booth funded by SAP for the 2008 GHC I worked with the video crew and had them have everyone they filmed say I am a technical woman, or some form of that. My fabulous interns found all the instances of that being said on all our footage then our marvelous editors at Total Media Group laid it out. Then came the hardest part - the music. Megan and I spent about an hour going through my ipod finding music that had the requisite level of happiness in it for the video then she went to find music that had that happiness. And she did.

I thought the video was good but I was still incredibly nervous showing it to my co-workers. They had known that I was doing some sort of video but hadn't seen it. Their positive reaction made my day. It's not often that people tell you don't change a thing on a project like that.

We launched the video - I am a technical woman at the 2009 GHC in Tucson. What helped the initial kickoff was a well planned launch - we included a link to the video in a press release that went out exactly at the time the video was shown at the conference. The video got a key link on the front page of our website. And I asked all the attendees to tweet about the video after they saw it - BJ tells me 700 people tweeted in that hour. And the launch continued - we gave copies of the video to all our board of trustee members, to all 100 attendees of our K12 Workshop (100 teachers taking the video back to show in their classrooms), and we made it downloadable from our site so anyone who wanted to show it or embed it could. And of course we put it up on youtube.

And so it continues - a teacher I'd heard from in Colorado has shown it to every class in his school. The video has been shown at several other conferences including one in Australia. And it is embedded on multiple blogs and facebook pages including several of our board members.

The video has been downloaded 200 times from the website in over 24 countries. On Youtube it has been viewed 6400 times. The best feedback of all was from a co-worker who's daughter showed the video in her second grade class. One of the classmates said I didn't know technical woman could be so cool. They really are.

So what can you do to keep the video going - watch it and pass it on to others. Is it a viral video? I think so. Tell me what you think.

No comments: