A Lesson in Viral Video

February 19, 2007

Last Wednesday, Michael Wesch was one of thousands of Internet users to add material to the video-sharing site YouTube. He posted a five-minute clip, set to techno music, that helps explain Web 2.0 — the so-called second wave of Web-based services that enables people to network and aggregate information online.

The next morning, Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, sent the link to 10 colleagues and friends. It was a second draft. He mostly wanted their feedback. And they responded positively by forwarding the link to a few of their friends. Within hours, the video had more than 100 hits on YouTube.

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