Viral [noun] 1. An image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet.
I remember when I encountered first hand the true power of something going viral. I was during the Oscar Pistorius trial and twitter lit up brighter than a Christmas tree. I remember hiding my phone in class just to see how things were unfolding as they happened. It was actually exciting to be a part of something this big, although horrifying at the same time.
I then experienced the same thing again when everyone couldn’t stop talking about whether the dress was white and gold, or black and blue. It set off a conversation the world over. Known as ‘the dress’ on Wikipedia, I’m not sure Cecilia Bleasdale from Scotland knew her photo would be the subject of many of memes in 2015.
With the expansion and access of the Internet across the globe, the distance between places continues to diminish. We all feel part of something greater through the power of the Internet. I am a big believer in the power of social media. It’s an interesting tool that I continue to learn about daily, and just when I think I’ve figured it out it turns on its head. Some would say the controllers of these medias are the real governments of the world, but whichever way you look at it, social media continues to change the way of life. We’re exposed to the devastating need in Syria and the Middle East. We’re able to connect to global services and events instantly. Our reach is no longer just within our immediate circle. We have the opportunity for a mass audience that spans the entire earth. (Who knows if they have Wi-Fi in space too!)
But with all this reach available to us, how do we tap into it? How do we get the attention of thousands of people when the market is already saturated? How to we create an impact that gets us noticed? Cell C has taken the lead in steering the ship for YouTubers and content creators in South Africa by launching the #BreakTheNet competition. In this competition 30 hopefuls compete to win a quarter of a million rand and a trip to Hollywood, as well as the title of South Africa’s biggest YouTube sensation, by accumulating the most views on their videos. In the first task, contestants needed to ‘net the most views’ in a video created within 72 hours. The time constraint is not the least of the troubles. Getting views in a pool that has everyone waving their hands in the air looking for attention is a lot harder than it sounds.
I have been selected as one of the lucky 30, and couldn’t be more thankful for such an exciting experience. Everyday I’m learning and exploring new avenues. One thing I learnt very quickly is that the Internet doesn’t sleep. So neither should you. Because if you do, you’ll miss out on millions of people that are constantly online and waiting to be caught by your bait. It all depends on what’s on the end of your hook!
Have a look at my first task video on the Cell C YouTube channel, or download the Cell C Reality App to get a further look into the competition. Don’t forget to share it, and let’s see what happens. #ThePowerOfTheInternet