The Today Show on NBC is featuring what it takes to make videos that go "viral" on the web all this week. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/40193433#40193433
In my Digital Media class students create original video content and learn how to upload it and share it on YouTube. But I take it a step further by having them explore how by using social media and sites like YouTube content creators can can develop and establish a fan base (subscribers, viewers) which can then be utilized for other purposes later on. I really encourage my students to move beyond looking at their education as "feeding" them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a career someday and start looking at it as an opportunity to create their own opportunities for career/advanced ed futures. The Internet provides an avenue to accomplish this like nothing in past history. I show them examples all the time of how everyday people like us create content that ends up having millions of viewers. I explain how that kind of marketing and distribution would have taken 30-50 years by radio and around 15 years or so by TV and cost thousands if not millions of dollars. Now, with sites like YouTube and Facebook anyone in the world with the access to the net and necessary computer/hardware can reach this size audience in 1-3 years and it is FREE!
In conclusion, I am trying to get my students to see that they can use these kind of skills and knowledge to create their own exciting and rewarding future!
Here is an example I showed today of a guy who remakes hit songs with nothing more than his voice. His videos have gone "viral" and today he was a guest on the Today Show on NBC. I can only imagine the opportunities he has awaiting him.