CHAPTER 1Everything You Know Is Wrong

Most of what we all know about creating compelling video simply doesn’t apply to viral video. Why not? Because what works in television does not work online. As Tim Street, vice president of mobile video at mDialog and creator of the viral video series French Maid TV, says, one of the problems with today’s online content is that “we’re taking things that look like a TV show or look like movies and putting them on the Internet.”

Television is designed primarily to hook and hold viewers because, on television, as soon as the viewer flips the channel, the game is lost. So for 60 years, television has been getting better and better at keeping us from changing the channel—no matter what.

The production and editing ...

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