Last November there was a teenage boy photographed without his knowledge while on the job. This photo was posted on the internet and soon became viral: created memes and jokes over the internet. He became an overnight celebrity. The name of this trend? Alex from Target.
Why would a picture of a Target employee become viral? What is so compelling?
Truth is, we don’t know. We are talking about the Internet: a platform that went to chaos debating whether a particular dress is black and blue or white and gold. Even that is another tale that was noteworthy at that time. Now those one-hit-wonders trends are gone. And sometime, maybe tomorrow, or in a few weeks, someone else is going to be put on the internet hot seat. Maybe a Hollywood celebrity, or someone like Alex.
We can’t really control what goes viral, and we can’t really force things to go viral. But there are some times when people actively make it a point to get themselves appreciated online. Because one thing is for sure: anyone can be a celebrity on the internet, if you’re resilient enough.
Anyone and everyone can post information on the web, me included, since you are reading this right now. This is my content, and you, on the other hand, must have a blog of your own, or have hundreds of tweets or Facebook posts that show your life, or just randomly show your personality. Due to the many appreciation methods available like reposts and likes, you can have a sense of popularity. In a sense, the internet is everyone’s stage, and the goal is to make the audience clap.
And in a worldwide anonymous audience, what makes them clap? Practically anything.
The most that we get to at least control is reaching a ‘trending’ status. Companies use social media to create a good online presence because it is important to have that now. Add to that, there are now more and more websites to get content from, and we are all familiar with the “(insert number) things that you (supporting title): #3 was mind-blowing!” kind-of-posts on the internet, and more articles that are written in a heartbeat. List articles are now the greatest thing for the speed reading netizen.
But does this actually create greater content? Do viral videos actually make an impact on the watcher? Are lengthy-news articles worthless as people opt to read infographics? Should you, a candidate superstar, dwell into what makes the audience bite, like and share? Instead of posting about what matters mostly to you?
Some people already have, to get views and revenue, they abide by what the audience wants, not necessarily good content, but content that people will click to. Sometimes, not even necessarily what they want. All to get traffic and ad revenues.
The goal is to make the audience clap. To make them talk about you with their friends. How you achieve that and why is up to you. The audience gets hung up on all kinds of things, so it creates the ambiguity of whether what you post matters or not. Maybe one of us will just be picked out of the internet bowl to instantly become a star. Maybe some other person assisting with grocery bags on hand, I don’t know.
Does it matter to have quality? Or is it really just random?