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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

This is the second part of a series on social media by digital strategist, author, and speaker Rahaf Harfoush. Check out Part 1 The Evolution of the Web Persona Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, FourSquare, Google+, and Last.fm are just some of

In a world permeated by online social tools, individuals are willingly publishing more and more information about themselves. From the earliest iterations of blogging platforms such as Angelfire and Live Journal pages, people began discovering opportunities to share their thoughts with

The randomness of  viral videos fascinates me. I'm always surprised at how certain clips  seem to capture the public's fancy and  quickly take off, amassing millions of views. What's really interesting is the set of responses that have been created when a video takes off. The latest one to hit my inbox is the clip called David after the dentist, a seven year old's funny reaction to being medicated after a dental procedure.  At the time of this post it has already generated 7 million views! Here's the video if you haven't seen it:

Funny right? I love the part where he asks "Is this real life?" Poor little guy. Let's take a look now at the different ways that people interact with this video. I've categorized them into a framework that I'm testing that I'm calling the 5 Rs: Reposting, Remixing, Re-enacting, Reacting and Reinventing. You don't need to watch every video all the way through, but it's interesting to get a taste of the different types of ways that people interpreted and played with this content.

1) Reposting

The easiest and most passive way for people to engage with this content is to simply repost a copy of the video on their own channel. This differs from embedding or linking the original video because it represents the desire for someone to create a carbon copy and pass that around. There are several copies of this video available already.  People could do this for several reasons: to jump on a hot topic and increase their channel views, or because they like the video so much that they want to "own" it and push it out from their channel. Either way it adds to the viral-ness of the content.