Have you seen my time lapse video from this weekend’s blizzard? I pressed a tiny GoPro camera up against a windowed door looking at the deck and took a shot every minute until the lens was blocked by snow. As I type this, YouTube says it’s passed 377,444 hits!
Are you serious? 377k! That’s viral, right?
Maybe viral videos ‘happen’, but this one was given a little push. Saturday night it was retweeted by the Wall Street Journal’s weather reporter and Weather Underground. Both have large followings of weather weenies, the perfect audience for this type of video.
From there it was off to the races. It had nearly 100,000 views Saturday, 87,000 Sunday, 60,000 Monday and another 100,000 Tuesday. The more people watched the more they told their friends.
Phase two began Sunday at 6:50 AM when Good Morning America called. They had seen the video somehow and wanted to use it on the portion of the show not seen in Connecticut. In their defense they didn’t know that.
How the hell did they get my number?
By the end of the weekend my time lapse had run on CNN, Fox News, CBS, NBC and The Weather Channel. Local affiliates were running the video which was now on their feeds. That’s Univision on the left.
I’m told it ran on Channel 8. Shocker, they didn’t mention my name.
I answered an email giving permission to APTN in London who passed it to their subscribers. I made friends with Alex who wanted to run it on the German equivalent of the Weather Channel. Ditto for the French Canadian version.
The more hits I got the more requests I got. My video was posted on the website for Paris Match and the Australian and NineMSN in Sydney. Joe.ie posted a link in Ireland as did websites across the rest of Europe and South America. Even my beloved NY Times linked to the video on their site.
This was pretty heady stuff, but not everything went swimmingly. I got an email from Jeff Hertrick at National Geographic.
In scanning for interesting snow videos, I found a dude ripping off your video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSklSj8LblU
Thought you’d like to know. Hope you can make him cease and desist. We deal with Pirates constantly here at Nat Geo.
Jeff is one of the Internet’s good guys.
I sent a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice to YouTube. It took three days for them to act. That video’s gone as are 50,000 or so views that went to someone other than me.
Other sites pulled the video from YouTube then ran it in their own player, taking away traffic and notoriety from me. Gawker–I’m talking about you (and others).
Oh, National Geographic’s site linked to the video too.
The comments on YouTube were great the first few days, but by Tuesday spammers had also entered the picture. Faux commenters were using my traffic to publicize their websites–usually porn. I played whack-a-mole as best I could. I think they’re gone now.
Over the next few days the traffic will die down. A blizzard is only hot so long. I’m curious to see how the traffic will play out over the long run.