The first viral video


Where were you the first time someone sent you a link to something and said, “you have to watch this!”? Of  course you clicked it, because you trust your friend’s taste and want to share in the excitement with them. You watched it and liked what you saw so much you sent it to two other friends. What was that video? Where were you? Why did you share it?

Before YouTube existed I made a lot of silly videos with my friends. We didn’t have anywhere to post them so I uploaded a video file to a server and sent an email to colleagues at work who then sent it to a few more colleagues. It didn’t go much past that point (Those videos are out there, you can easily find them yourself 😉 ).

One of the first videos I remember people at the office sharing around on something called YouTube was a video of two Chinese guys sitting in their dorm room lip-syncing to The Backstreet Boys’ hit “I Want it That Way”.  You have to watch this!

(This doesn’t appear to be the original 2005 upload. I have no idea where that is)

What was YOUR first viral video experience?

Here is my own first “viral” video. It was featured on the then hand-curated front page of YouTube in 2006 (somewhere I have a screenshot). This page slowly cycled through hand-picked staff favorites throughout the week. I think my video was up there for a few days. Back then a video like this one with 60k+ views was considered “Viral”!

“Trainwreck” (starring my roommate Chris).
Music: Theme to “Magnum P.I.”
Shot on a Sony Mini-DV



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