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ince the creation of YouTube in 2005, the meaning of the word ‘viral’ has changed dramatically. In the context of the internet, ‘viral’ now describes videos that are shared at a high rate and amass millions of views in a short period of time. Whether somebody posts a video on their Facebook, sends a chain email with a link to it, or even makes their own video in response, the fact is that in a few days time you and all your friends will have seen it. It is an interesting phenomenon and possibly one of the most effective advertising techniques for businesses to utilise. Viral videos are popping up every day but it takes a truly extraordinary video to stay viral, and more importantly to stay in our thoughts. It’s hard, but not impossible. So, here we go. My top 5 viral videos of all time... 5: Double rainbow guy Possibly the most recent video on the list (2010), it records Paul Vasquez’s reaction to a rainbow with two arcs, with cries of “It’s a double rainbow all the way man” and accompanied by a host of semidisturbing gasps of happiness. It has over 29,000,000 views and has helped Vasquez gain an endorsement deal with Microsoft. 4: Gingers do have souls! An underrated video with significantly fewer views than “Double Rainbow Guy.’ It’s essentially a redheaded boy screaming at the


Viral videos WORDS: Daunish Negargar

camera for 3 minutes in response to an episode of South Park. It’s become a successful meme (an image passed around the internet) but to this day people aren’t sure what to make of it. Is he mentally deranged or a comedy genius? 3: Leave Britney alone! It’s one of the first videos to go viral (2006), it sparked numerous parodies and was even featured in the movie Meet the Spartans. Chris Crocker (who in the original video shrieks at viewers to leave Ms Spears alone) has gone on to become a successful YouTuber in his own right, although it isn’t clear whether people really respect his views or just watch for his frequent temper tantrums. 2: Pokémon theme music video A simple concept, it features Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla lip syncing to the Pokémon theme tune in ‘hilarious’ fashion. 1: Charlie bit my finger! Was there ever any doubt? These two brothers stole the hearts of the world and racked up over 357 million views. There’s no need to describe the video because unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have already seen it. With a video camera and a YouTube account, viral videos have the capacity to make anyone a star. Just don’t let a bitten finger, or a few broken bones put you off.

SL Magazine Issue 3  

As the dust begins to settle from the August riots, issue 3 of SL Magazine brings together the reactions of young people in Birmingham, and...