Columnist explains YouTube phenomenons

By Bailey Hussung

Every year, it seems there is a YouTube video that everyone knows about. In years past, Antoine Dodson, double rainbows and the Old Spice guy have topped the charts. This year especially has been influenced by the online craze, the Harlem Shake. YouTube is a factory of short-lived fame which inspires the question, how does one become a YouTube hit?

A sweet, catchy tune: this is the biggie. If you don’t have a mind-nagging, unforgettable song, you can count yourself down there with the millions of twelve year olds making karaoke videos. As first proved by one of the earliest YouTube classics, the Numa Numa dance, this is a sure fire way to immortalize you in the hearts of thousands of bored preteens.

As many cats as you can manage. Don’t ask me why, but the internet worships cats. Maybe it is their contempt for the human race, maybe it’s their tendency to fall off household furniture; but if it has anything to with the domesticated little freaks, it’s golden. This video, which earned almost 30 million views, is legitimately 54 seconds of a bored-looking cat “playing” a keyboard. Conclusion? Cats are king.

People just being unbelievably dumb People love to laugh at others’ misfortunes. And why wouldn’t they? People are instinctively stupid. Whether it be lighting fireworks, skateboarding, homemade stunts, or the recurring trampoline, there’s always an opportunity to catch someone doing something YouTube-worthy. This one is possibly the easiest to do, you just have to be vigilant. The next family reunion when blind old uncle Earl tries to light the fireworks display? You’ll be there. Chubby cousin Margaret gets in the bouncy house with all the little kids? There you are, camcorder ready.

A little kid doing almost anything ask to borrow your friendly neighborhood toddler for a day, Mountain Dew him up and get ready to film the aftermath. To stir up the situation, add some music and maybe take them to the dentist. Small children doing various activities is unfailingly hilarious, especially to grandparents everywhere. Grandparents are good: they share and forward basically anything they find remotely interesting, causing your views to rack up quickly.

Something really, really weird this is where actual creativity comes in. In order to get famous this way, you have to do something so strange, so outlandish, that even YouTube users are freaked out. This requires a lot of boldness and it has to walk the line between horrifying and fascinating, unless you’re willing to dislocate your shoulders and imitate a helicopter, good luck.

If you want to be a YouTube sensation, it’s not an exact science.You need a combination of dumb luck, originality and a little bit of talent to get you to the top.

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