The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has published a fascinating look at why the story of Karen Klein, the bus driver who was mercilessly bullied by middle school students in Greece, N.Y., went so viral.
Among other things, the story says, viewers of the YouTube video shot on the bus identified with Ms. Klein, who is a senior citizen and who didn’t fight back.
“This is a glance into the heart of darkness of the human spirit,” said Syracuse University media professor Robert Thompson in the D&C piece. “But it’s not a serial killer, it’s our own kids.” Everyone loves an underdog.
Even more interesting, from strictly a social media point of view, is that the video only had a few dozen hits on YouTube until Daniel Kiernan posted it on Reddit, a social networking site.
“Users on a second site, 4Chan, picked up on it, and soon, links were being posted to Facebook and Twitter, and views on the YouTube video were growing exponentially. By Friday, the video had amassed 4.2 million views…”
The Democrat and Chronicle also notes Rochester’s two other popular local YouTube sensations — when Jason McElwain, an autistic high school senior, scored 20 points in a basketball game, and when Emily Good was arrested for filming a traffic stop.
Timing is everything. When McElwain scored those points in a Greece Athena High School basketball game in 2006, Facebook had only 10 million fans and Twitter hadn’t even been born. (A segment on ESPN actually vaulted him into the national spotlight.)
Meanwhile, Ms. Klein’s popularity has grown so much as a result of social media, that more than 29,000 people have donated $648,000 (as of this writing) to a fund established by Indiegogo.com, a fundraising website that didn’t even exist until 2008. Ms. Klein was making $15,000 a year as a bus monitor.
Posts in category Internet
This blog has been around for 16 months, so it’s time to take stock. Some posts have been better than others, admittedly, and there have been dry periods, when other projects have distracted me from blogging for weeks. But I’m stickin’ to it until I literally run out of words.
Since I’m taking stock, I’ll be egotistic for a moment and share a few amazing facts about my readership. One of my favorite analytic tools is FlagCounter, which you can see in the right-hand margin of my blog. Flag Counter, among other things, tells you from where in the world your readers have visited.
School Communications 2.0 has received:
1,782 visits from the United States (I’m going to assume that 100 of those visits were from the author)
290 visits from the Philippines
243 visits from Canada
169 visits from the United Kingdom
141 visits from India
107 visits from Malaysia (who knew?)
77 visits from the Netherlands
66 visits from Australia
And the list goes on, with a good number of visits from countries in Europe, as you might expect. But it’s when the numbers begin to dwindle down to single visits that I’m reminded how awed by the Web I continue to be. Here are just a few of the visits that fascinate me:
4 visits each from Jordan, Vietnam, and Kenya
2 visits each from Croatia, Moldova and Oman
And finally, on March 27, I received a single visit from the Holy See (Vatican City State).
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I hope to provide you with “Top of the ‘Net” every weekend, which will usually be a list of not-to-be-missed web discoveries. Tune in!
Just when you think the Internet is saturated and things can’t get any more interesting, you discover new sites and blogs that just blow you away. I love to stumble across sites that make me ask: “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Three such sites come to mind, each one notable for its creativity. You must check these out:
1. One of my favorite blogs is Cake Wrecks, a clever blogspot blog that’s been around for just over a year and is “eating up” the competition on Google page ranks. Here’s the tag line for this blog: When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong. This is a hilarious site, create by Jen Yates, that feeds off the submissions of whacky looking cakes that readers have either made, ordered or received. Among other things, this site, and the others I list here, are successful because the owners write well. Look for great captions and subtitles. Here’s a sample cake photo from Cake Wrecks:
The title above this entry (which included a seriously long menu of “horse” cakes) was: Why beat a dead horse…when you can eat one?
Yates has written a book, naturally, and is selling a variety of T-shirts, affectionately called “Wreckwear.” Her contributors and fans (legions of them) are called Wreckies.
Now why didn’t I think of that?
2. Again, a site that lives and breathes based on the contributions of others: AwkwardFamily Photos. This one, which was featured on The Today Show last week, was also passed along by my work colleague, John Resanovich, who is always sending me cool sites. Warning: Before you go on AwkwardFamilyPhotos, take a bathroom break. Otherwise, you’ll have an accident from laughing so hard. These are some of the most hilarious photos you could imagine.
Here are a couple of samples from Awkward, also notable for its spot-on captions and subtitles.
This one is titled: Joy Ride
3. Finally, I must introduce you to Good Magazine’s examination of a series of photos of the insides of people’s refrigerators. They were produced by photographer Mark Menjivar, and collectively make a fascinating statement about what our refrigerators say about us. For example:
Here’s what the caption says:
Carpenter/Photographer | San Antonio, TX | 3-Person Household | 12-Point Buck | 2008
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- Cake Wrecks: University of Kentucky Wildblobs (neatorama.com)