Tag Archives: Susan Boyle

As 2009 Comes to an End, Who’s at the Top?

I’d guess there would be few people who’d argue that 2009 was the biggest year for social media to date, in terms of participation numbers alone. I’m the first to admit that while quantity isn’t always as meaningful as quality, a handful of the top leaders when it comes to numbers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube certainly demonstrate the power of spreadable media.

Susan Boyle: 100,000,000+ hits (and counting)

When it comes to YouTube, the most popular hits are either visually interesting, unusual or funny. The top video of 2009 was all of the above.

Scottish singer, Susan Boyle, didn’t look the part when she took the stage on “Brittan’s Got Talent” in the spring of 2009. Her homely appearance had Simon Cowell rolling his eyes from the moment she stepped out behind the curtain. However, when she sang the first note, her angelic voice captured audiences. And once the performance was posted on YouTube, she became an international sensation.  This fall, Boyle’s YouTube video hit 10,000,000 views—the most in history.

Michael Jackson: 10,465,618 fans (and counting)

Of all the social media websites, Facebook is certainly one of the most personal. There we demonstrate our personalities, behaviors and likes/dislikes—often distinguished by the badges of specific fan pages on our profiles.

This time last year, Barak Obama was the leader of the pack on Facebook, but in mid-2009, the Michael Jackson page took the president’s record and “beat it” shortly after the death of The King of Pop. Even though MJ is no longer with us, the Epic Records-managed Facebook page continues to distribute information about the singer, links to relevant news stories and promotion of the concert bio flick “This is It.”

Ashton Kutcher: 4,223,448 followers (and counting)

The art of tweeting comes from frequent updates with a strong point of view. Millions of people have taken to the microblogging trend, but few have mastered the art of garnering followers better than one Hollywood actor.

For the past year, Ashton Kutcher has become one of the most accessible celebrities, regularly updating his account with daily musings, links to interesting organizations he’s involved in and other topics his fans would appreciate. He also used his Twitter audience for good when he challenged CNN to reach 1 million followers. He won the bet in April 2009 and he delivered on his promise—donating 10,000 bed nets to third world countries on World Malaria Day.


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Trick or Treat: Top 5 YouTube Halloween Costumes

Every year, we put such pressure on ourselves to find the perfect costume. This year, I thought I’d offer some guidance to my readers in this difficult decision-making process. Forget the monsters, superheroes and sports figures. This year, look no further than the Internet video sensations millions of viewers have come to love in the past year.

5. Miley Cyrus’ Goodbye Twitter – Oh Miley. Only you would create a rap video and post it on the Internet to tell the world that you want more privacy. To achieve this look, wear a red baseball cap and black off-the-shoulder sweatshirt, gather four of your closest 80s-dressed girlfriends and start spitting mad rhymes about how much Twitter is interfering with your daily life.

4. Evian Roller Babies – Our only corporate-created video to make it to the list, the Roller Babies were certainly one of the most-watched videos of the summer. All you’ll need to pull off this adorable (or some say creepy) look is a pair of old-school, four-wheel roller skates and a giant diaper. Hope it’s not too chilly on Saturday!

3. I’m On a Boat – This costume, more so than any other, will require serious dedication and craftsmanship. First, construct a small boat out of cardboard and fasten two straps from the front to the back so one fits nicely on each shoulder. Then, through on your finest suit, grab your “flippy-floppies” and start shouting, “I’m on a boat!” in your best Andy Samberg voice.

2. Wedding Dancers – For those of you who enjoy a good couple’s costume, you might want to consider going as newlyweds Jill and Kevin. While they were already immortalized in the much-anticipated wedding on The Office, you too can show your appreciation for their unmatched dance skills and creativity that would have given my parents a heart attack by wearing traditional bride and groom costumes. Then mix it up with a pair of aviators and carry around a boom box blaring Chris Brown’s “Forever.”

1. Susan Boyle – Perhaps the greatest Internet sensation of all time, Susan Boyle will certainly be a costume you should consider for this Halloween. Simply wear a short, curly, brown wig, a demure, gold dress and a contestant sign taped in the front reading, “Britain’s Got Talent: Contestant #4321.” If you really want to push the envelope, carry around a valentine that clearly says, “I love you, Susan. You’re the best singer in the world. Love, Simon.”

What all these videos have in common is novelty and accessibility. Whether it is the irony of Miley Cyrus putting herself in the spotlight to say she wants to step out of the spotlight or the well-executed and humorous animation of the Roller Babies or the unmistakable and surprising voice of Susan Boyle, online video consumers feel connected with these videos, watch them multiple times and share them with their friend.

It is important to note that you cannot make a “viral video” with the intention of making a “viral video.” YouTubers of 2009 are smart and can tell when a video is trying too hard. It is the organic, innovative and unique quality a video must intrinsically possess for it to become a sensation. And the same often goes for a Halloween costume!

[Note: This entry origionally appeared on PepperDigital]

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