SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– You might be one of the 6 million people who’ve seen it, a nine-second video captioned ‘My professor threw a party instead of having a final and no one showed up.’ It’s a video so viral we can’t even show it to you on air (but we’ll link to it here) because the kids who made it sold the rights just a day after posting it.
Andy Cline (the professor in the video) knows about the video’s success.
“The students did a good job,” Cline says. “It was posted Wednesday afternoon. By class time on Thursday, it had hit 1.8 million.”
It’s why he recently had to tell everyone the truth.
“Then it was my ethical responsibility to come out and say ‘Folks this is fake. Ok? This is part of an assignment,'” he says.
You see each year Cline challenges students in his Media fundamentals course to make a viral video its sort of a final project.
Cline says it’s a six-year-old assignment, one based in teaching kids how to tell compelling and brief stories.
“If you can make things go viral on purpose, you’re going to be very rich and very powerful,” he says. “Now hopefully you use your powers for good.”
However, as the video’s gains more fame, so does Cline’s gains a stronger appreciation for those who’re skeptical of online content.
“Now we have our first legitimate, created on purpose, viral video. And for all of us the learning curve is steep,” he says.
To view the Youtube version of this video, click here.