Technology and Culture are my jam.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get my best stuff first, and don’t be shy to say hi on social media!

In. Fb. Tw. Db. Li.
light logo
Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

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.

Where did January go? Last time I checked it I still had a few days left, lol, next thing I know it's the second week of February! I've just come back from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was a truly remarkable experience to be able to see some of the brightest people get together and exchange ideas. I'm finally back in Toronto and really diving head-first into my writing. I was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's TED Talk on Genius and the anguish that is normally associated with the creative process. Gilbert's last work, "Eat, Pray, Love" was an international best-seller and she is now struggling with her next novel, wondering how she can top her last success and fearing that her biggest accomplishment might now be behind her. Her fear around creativity definitely resonates with me, as I muck through my own writing processes.

Why You Should Watch :

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a ­pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home. She’s a longtime magazine writer – covering music and politics for Spin and GQ – as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for one movie so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own memoir, in this magazine article, of working at the famously raunchy bar), and now it looks as if Eat, Pray, Love is on the same track, with the part of Gilbert reportedly to be played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.