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Becoming a Viral Video Star

Here at GB headquarters, we’re proud of every story we share — from the videos that get a few hundred views to those who have skyrocketed past the 11M view mark (“Romancing the Road“).

And while we’re constantly trying to market our work so that the people we’re profiling get the love and support they deserve, it’s never really our goal to go viral.

But that does seem to be the main goal for more and more “celebrities” (I use quotation marks because some of the people I’m thinking of aren’t famous for much more than being famous).

This week, Rebecca Black — yes, she of “Friday” fame — has released a new single and it’s already racking up the views on YouTube and downloads on iTunes.

I’m not down on Rebecca…she’s found a way to capitalize on social media and the new rules for marketing:

  1. Create something at least mildly entertaining and/or catchy.
  2. Post it online.
  3. Find lots of friends to share the material.
  4. Repeat.

Sure, there are some things about this phenomenon that make me cringe (Rebecca is only 14 years old!) but mostly, I weep for what it means for the ability for quality to rise to the top.

At Growing Bolder, we tell stories that inspire, motivate and make a difference. Sometimes those stories are funny; often, the stories are sad. But they’re always about the journey.

Rebecca Black and these pseudo-celebrities are on journeys of their own, but they don’t seem to be made up of much substance. My only hope is that the Rachels of the world (click the Romancing the Road link above) continue to stand out in the crowded field.

Looking for a few videos that are worthy of going viral?

  • Enjoying Life’s Little Miracles
    • She’s not really an athlete. She’s a retired biologist who loves adventure. That’s why 96-year-old Mary Anne Cooper traveled from British Columbia to Arizona to compete in the U.S. Masters Swimming National Championships.
  • Finding His Purpose Late in Life
    • Artist Bob Sutz is a messenger for beautiful people filled with horrific memories. Sutz is creating what he calls irrefutable evidence of one of the darkest chapters in human history — the Holocaust.
  • At 91, This WASP Can Still Sing
    • Betty Wall was one of a handful of female pilots in World War II. After the war, she thought that part of her life was over. But then she realized she owed it to her friends — and herself — to make sure we never forgot about their contributions.
  • Siphiwe Baleka: In for the Long Haul
    • Siphiwe Baleka is a one-of-a-kind Yale graduating, globetrotting, God-fearing, truck-driving, fast-swimming family man. And he’s got a new mission — to help long-haul truckers everywhere improve their health, fitness and quality of life.
  • A Mom Who Walks on Water
    • As a teen, Karen Putz lost her hearing while barefoot water skiing. More than 25 years passed, but her desire to get back on her feet kept burning within. So she decided to listen to her heart and pursue her passion.


  • Pingback: My 7 Links: Spreading the Love for the Latest Web Meme

  • http://www.happymakernow.com Debbie Happy Maker

    I am not looking to become a viral star, but here is a video that I made that would solve our Nationa debt, if everyone worked together.  With the right people putting this together, I believe it would work.  Would you mind taking the time to take a look.  http://youtu.be/T2gacvEQmVQ
    Blessing to you.
    Debbie