Catching The Viral Video Early

by Patrick Appel

This is true:

"The things we forward, tweet, or post send a message about who we are,"  says [Jonah Berger, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who has been studying how trends rise and fall for almost a decade]. "And you don't want the message to be that you're behind the curve." Before you share something, you need to do some diggingyou have to analyze what Berger calls "the velocity of adoption." If that hilarious Web video has been percolating below the radar, posting it will make you look good even if it's old. But if it racked up big numbers in just a month, don't risk your reputation. A rule of thumb: If something has fewer than half a million hitseven if it's been around a whilego for it. Otherwise, skip it, no matter how recently it entered the ether.

Internet culture has a very short half life. We usually try to catch videos before they have 50,000 views (with some exceptions). That requires constantly reading the culture blogs, which Chris Bodenner does for the Dish.