June 26, 2015 by T. Gregory Argall
There was a time when all you had to do to make something go viral was sneeze on a kid, or at worst, bite a chipmunk. But that was back when “going viral” was a bad thing and people got all worried and pandemic-y.
Now going viral is apparently a good thing and everyone strives for it, but it only happens with a fickle combination of blind luck, random timing, and engineered chutzpah.
A couple of weeks ago, this video went viral on the YaTubes, clearly demonstrating that when it comes to music, it’s the player not the guitar (as my friend Bill put it). But this 3 am Walmart jam session happened nearly two years ago. The video has been out there since September 2013. With a platform as ubiquitous and far-reaching as the webbernetz, it should not have taken that length of time for it to become “a thing.”
Clearly, there is some whim-based algorhithm lurking just below the surface, determining if, when, and for how long things go viral on the internet, and I’m pretty sure it involves hashtags
Recently my friends Gord & Jen decided to try making “Toucan Tuesday” a going concern and they hashtagged the hell out of it. Every Tuesday they posted on Facebook and twooted on Twitter a picture of a Toucan along with an accompanying plethora of hashtags.
#ToucanTuesday #MakeItAThing #YesItsAThing
For several weeks it went almost completely unnoticed, but then other people started joining in. #ToucanTuesday was most definitely #BecomingAThing. Now people are hounding and nagging them if they don’t post a toucan picture early enough on a Tuesday. Late evening? #NotSoonEnough.
Toucan Tuesday isn’t yet completely viral, but it’s certainly marginally infectious, and that’s a good start.
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to make my own splash in the viral pool. (Admittedly, that sentence sounded much better in my head than it looks on the screen, but it’s there now and we’re stuck with it; no going back.) I have a plan for the next logical step in the Ninja Warrior franchise.
“American Ninja Warrior” is a television show based on the Japanese show “Sasuke.” It involves athletes competing on four increasingly more challenging obstacle courses that were designed by sociopathic engineering students invoking grudges against the douchbag bullies from their high school football team. The whole thing is designed to provoke failure and there are no second tries. You fail, you’re gone, better luck next year.
It’s heartbreaking and evilly satisfying at the same time, and on some occasions it can be truly inspiring.
I’m not a sports fan at all, but this show has me hooked. I’ll sit with my feet up and, around mouthfuls of pizza, I’ll lecture the TV about what a particular competitor is doing wrong and why he’s not going to make it if he doesn’t lift his knees higher, higher, HIGHER, get your damned knees up, well there you go, you blew it, should have listened to me.
So, I’ve been randomly hashtagging the idea of #CelebrityNinjaWarrior.
I see it as a contemporary version of Circus of the Stars. (On a side note, click here. Trust me. It’ll be worth it if you have no intention of being productive today.) I’ve been tagging the show’s producers, as well as NBC, the network that broadcasts the show, listing various celebrities who could compete for the title of Celebrity Ninja Warrior. So far, they haven’t responded. But they will. #theywill
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Terry Crews, Stephen Amell. Think of the possibilities. Vin Deisel, Tom Cruise, Dany Trejo, Peter Dinklage, Manute Bol. Matthew McConaughey would have yet another excuse to take off his shirt. Zoe Bell would kick all their asses. It would be a #ratingsgoldmine.
The temptation of the challenge would be too much for some to resist. Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris would try to prove that age doesn’t matter. After they all failed, the ultimate everyone’s-talking-about-it moment would be when the immortal Betty White completes the course, setting a speed record. People would be so caught up in celebrating her victory that no one would think to question the withered husk of Frankie Munez that she left crumpled in the locker room. #SuccubusSecrets
Or maybe I’m overthinking this. I’ve probably said too much.
Anyway… #CelebrityNinjaWarrior #MakeItHappen