Years ago, in the world of audiovisual communication, being famous was not an easy task: it required talent, effort and, moreover, good luck. At present, anyone can become a media star from one day to another through the simple broadcast of a curious or controversial video. Who has not seen the viral Japanese hit “Pen-Pinneapple-Apple- Pen” or the little kitten with rainbows flying through space with that annoying song playing in the background? And the latest in internet trends is the meme of “My name is Jeff”, which refers to a phrase pronounced by the actor Channing Tatumin with a falsetto voice in the movie Jump Street.
But why do these videos go viral? For Kevin Allocca, Youtube’s trends manager, this fact depends on three elements: tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness.
Tastemakers are individuals who film a specific situation and share it on the Internet. The video does not have to be neither creative nor elaborate; in fact the more spontaneous, the more popular it becomes.
The creative communities of participation play an important role in the diffusion of content, as they generate thousands and thousands of visits. On many occasions, these groups of influencers in the Internet, end up creating different versions of the original video. An example is the epic meme of the troll face.
The unexpectedness is fundamental to make a video viral. The content is usually unexpected and novel; it has never been seen, although it has always been there.
In short, everyone can become famous through an insubstantial video. Far away is the value of the effort and the work of the professionals. In this new Internet culture we are all masters of audiovisual communication and ‘like’ slaves. All for a moment of glory.