Dear Anna: Tips For Viral Video Fame

Rebecca Black/YouTube video still

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


If that punk Rebecca Black can get rich by making a crappy song and video, I wanna do it too! How can I make viral videos that win me financial and celebrity acclaim?

~Rebecca CRACK

If I knew the answer to that, do you really think I’d be telling you how to become a millionaire while I sit here in my Target pajamas, drinking Charles Shaw out of a measuring cup?

For the three of you who haven’t been on the Internet for the past few weeks, or have simply had better things to do with your time, eff you. I mean, this is what happened with Rebecca Black. She’s a 13-year-old whose rich parents gave $2,000 to Ark Music Factory to write two terrible songs and make a video out of the one whose lyrics included the order of the days of the week, and breakfast. Black “sang” it, and Ark made said video into an auto-tuned monstrosity, with kids in braces pretending to drive convertibles and such. The scathing reaction to the song made the video go viral. (As of this week, it’s been viewed almost 65 million times). Musician Mike Bauer impersonated Bob Dylan in a hilarious cover of it, which is totally worth watching just to hear him sing, “Gotta have cereal.” And bam! Insta-fame.

According to Slate, Black has probably made about $40,000 from the song, and assuming she doesn’t use most of it on therapy from the hatefest she inspired, that’s a decent sum for a 13-year-old. While there’s no magical key for making lots of money that you don’t deserve, here are a few suggestions for you to try on your way to Internet infamy, based on YouTube’s most-viewed videos of all time.

Read the rest of my social media column at SF Weekly.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate