Tracking The Spread of Viral Videos

AustralianPartyGawker has also posted another bit of quick news for all you folks interested in how information flow works on the Internet. And, for all you marketers not interested in this, shame on you! The study of information flow is the basis for how you create a "viral" marketing campaign, which is something of a misnomer since information doesn’t spread in the same way that a virus spreads, but I digress.

So, the good folks at Gawker have gone to the trouble of documenting the spread of a video and news story about an Australian "hipster" that threw a party while his parents were away and subsequently got levied a huge fine for the harassment of police officers by party goers. During an interview on Australian television, the guy agreed to apologize but refused to remove his glasses while doing it because "they’re famous." While it sounds relatively benign, the video is actually pretty funny. A sample from the post analyzing the spread of the video follows:

Okay, maybe there’s a common thread between this and the glorification of the guys arrested in Boston for planting Aqua Teen Hunger Force Lite-Brites that supposedly looked like bombs. Corey has made his apologies in person and refuses to play the media game, and for that we love him. But he’s also a prick, and for the resulting titillating cognitive dissonance, we love him more.

They’ve done a beautiful timeline and even included links to the new t-shirts that are popping up with the guy’s slogan of "I’ll say sorry, but I’m not taking off my glasses" (For any interested parties, I’m in love with the t-shirt that references the Oregon Trail video game and says, "You Have Died of Dynsentery". Our shipping address is 5700 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 452, Los Angeles, CA 90036 if someone would like to buy this for me).

January 13, 2:00 PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time: MSN Australia posts video and an article about Corey Delaney, a fifteen (sixteen?)-year-old boy who threw a wild party the night before, bringing out the local cops, who were "pelted with bottles"

January 13, 6:46 AM U.S. Eastern:, purveyor of non-news, catches the story from MSN. The famous TV interview isn’t yet online.

January 14, 2:59 PM: User "HokkieVrokkie" posts the video, apparently grabbed from local TV news, on

I’m pretty sure that the tipping point of this story came at 6:46 A.M. on January 13 when the story got posted on, an excellent website that allows visitors to post links to news stories with witty headlines.

If you read between the lines of the article, there’s some pretty interesting insight into exactly how the information is spread and what the people who are making videos popular on the Internet find interesting. Sure, Coke and Mentos was awesome, but, really, it seems that people who buck the normal trends are being rewarded.