Maybe we're all just too tired to be outraged over the fact that so much viral traffic is based on bullshit. I would get cynical and conspiratorial and tell you that's how They Want You To Feel, but the sad fact is They don't give a shit what you're feeling so long as you click. And share. We can talk about this again next week when something similar happens.
This story is from Punch!, an app for the iPad which you can download for free here!
The “Nyan Cat” video features a crude digital image of a cat with the body of a Pop Tart. It sails through outer space, leaving a rainbow trail in its wake, to the accompaniment of a Japanese pop tune, for three minutes and 37 seconds.
Since it was uploaded to YouTube on April 5, 2011, it has logged more than 78 million views. Mindless, repetitive, and catchy, “Nyan Cat” is a quintessential artifact of viral culture.
While we may associate such phenomena with the digital age, virality has been around long [...]
"Over the last few years viral news has been co-opted by advertisers, pranksters, political operatives and others looking to sell something. When he can, Mr. Zimmerman tries to note when a story looks fishy and might harbor some ulterior motive. But telling the truth kills virality, reducing traffic. 'Once Internet culture eats itself, will I be able to do my job?' he wonders. 'When speaking truth to Internet culture doesn't result in traffic … when that happens, I may lose my edge and I'll have to find something else to do.'"
In the past 24 hours, a clip entitled "Worst Wedding DJ EVER!" has crossed my transom multiple times, usually accompanied by an exhortation like "Too Funny!" or "OMG." In the clip, some guy in an ill-fitting suit is inspired to use some… unconventional percussion while he's leading a conga line through its motions from the stage. As with many funny videos that just happen to surface on YouTube, I had one important question: Was the thing real, or was it just stealth marketing for some TV show coming to a high-numbered cable channel this summer? I put my head together with Awl Internet Expert Miles Klee and [...]
There are things in this world that need to be nurtured, cared for, and protected. Floating crates of mewing kittens, hatchling turtles disoriented by artificial lighting, baby seagulls ensnared by fishing nets. Likewise, we must nurture and care for Ketan Vora, the internet’s newest multinational rising star. Ketan is quickly gaining a following on Tumblr for his disarmingly friendly interactions, and his straightforward style of gifting tagged images of flower bouquets and sweets to his female (and, sometimes, male) fans.