Wow, what a fun and exciting viral video trip this has been (a first for me)! As soon as I recorded the Philadelphia Zoo's Humboldt penguins chasing a butterfly, I knew I had something special that would make some people smile. Little did I know that almost 1.6 million views later, I made a lot of people smile, which feels really good. Since I visit Neatorama daily, I knew where I had to send the link first. :)
From there, it seems like the whole internet pays attention to what Neatorama posts! I sat staring at the YouTube video view counter going up and up, laughing with my wife as she jokingly dismissed it early on.
Within a couple of days a CNN.com producer emailed me and asked me to upload it to my iReporter account- the next day it was among the featured "Editor's Choice Top Picks" on their homepage for more than 2 days, and I quickly became a CNN iReporter "Superstar". Who's laughing now? (I was, feeling like the King of the World, getting my 15 minutes of fame.) I even got an email from the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) requesting permission to include it in a internet-video TV show (I think). They'll send me a DVD of the episode after it airs- that should be fun.
Then my friends told me they saw it on Yahoo's homepage too! Wow! But they ripped the video somehow into their own player and didn't give me any credit. Boo! It was also ripped to numerous other video sites- so I learned that you can't always keep your content as your own. I work for a big company, and my amateur video got more views than the professionally created ones which cost a LOT more money. For a couple of minutes I thought I had my next gig all lined up... but viral videos don't last long.
So with all of this, the Philadelphia Zoo was of course pleased with the additional coverage/mentions of their zoo, so I asked if we could pay a return visit to see the penguins with my family and help with a feeding. Doesn't hurt to ask, right? So we visited on Labor Day 2010 and had a lot of fun. Please forgive my video editing skills as they're not great, but hopefully more penguin cuteness makes up for it!
Feeding penguins: checked off my bucket list. I'd like to feed a shark someday... Marty McGuire
Update: Thanks, Marty! Neatorama was mentioned in the followup report today on CNN's iReport Blog.