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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leave Rebecca Black Alone: Ridiculous Tips for Viral Video Stardom

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 12:30 PM


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, fuck 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.

Horribly embarrass or drug your small children and record the ensuing nonsense blanket of hilarity for all to mock.

Who benefited from it: The "David After Dentist" and the "Charlie Bit My Finger" families. David's family made $150,000 off their video. The dad even quit his job. He now sells t-shirts of a cartoon version of his drug-addled son for a living. His advice on how to make videos go viral, according to Business Insider: "I'd just pick something that you're good at and really like and just do it really well." Terrific! Tomorrow I'll be making a handful of videos that involve me getting sunburned, beating myself at Connect 4, reciting all of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" by heart, and filling up Twitter with hashtag puns about nuns. #BadHabit

Take a super hot guy, add a horse, a sailboat, and diamonds, and use them somehow to sell men's bodywash.

Who benefited from it: Old Spice, and humanity.

Be Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber.

Who benefited: Everyone who works for Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Who did not benefit: The cow Lady Gaga slaughtered to make her dress for the VMAs.

Be a really talented 6-year-old or a sweet, yet unkempt grandma type and sing something from a famous musical on a reality TV show with "talent" in the title.

Who benefited from it: Connie Talbot and Susan Boyle.

Hysterically sob about a pop star you feel has been wronged by the media.

Who benefited from it: Chris Crocker, he of the "Leave Britney Alone!" meme, was offered his own reality show, launched a music career, and starred in a Sierra Mist commercial, the last of which is the benchmark for all mainstream success, I'm pretty sure.

Get yourself some producers, filmmakers, and screenwriters. Make up a fictional storyline about a lonely teenage girl involved in a cult and put it on YouTube. Don't tell anyone it's fake until way later.

Who benefited: The creators of lonelygirl15, and everyone who's made a spin-off show in a similar vein.

Pay $2,000 and have a music factory make you a video about squirrels or how to audibly solve long-division problems. In a convertible, obviously.

Who benefits: You and me. I expect a 10 percent commission on all your "earnings." Consider this post legally binding. You're welcome.

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @ExhibitionistSF
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