Viral videos of the week – 10/03/2013

10 Mar 2013

We take a look at some of the most-viewed and most-shared videos on the web. This week features a stunning sword, the rise and fall of YOLO, a wordy history of lyric videos, Fidelma Healy Eames’ ideas on social media, Amanda Palmer’s thoughts from TED, and some of the worst ways to be woken up ever.

More than 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 500 years of video watched on Facebook every day, and more than 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter each minute, ensuring there is always video trending on the web.

With so much video available for viewing, we take a look at some of the viral videos that have caught our eye this week.

Stun sword

Our first instalment this week is a double whammy that really packs a punch. For reasons known only to himself, YouTuber jonathanj9969 decided to build a double-bladed sword with a built-in stun gun, resulting in what looks like a terrifying futuristic weapon. He then decided to test it on himself – with painful results.



Uploaded: 3 March 2013

The ultimate wake-up prank compilation

Welcome to a collection of clips that you’ll likely laugh at, but only because you’re not one of these unsuspecting sleeping victims. Fog horns and mouse traps appear to be the most common weapons of choice for these pranksters, while some are a bit more creative with their cruelty. Please, don’t try any of these at home (because that would be evil).


Uploaded: 5 March 2013

A brief history of lyric videos

Tom Scott, who previously brought us a collection of scary queries on Facebook’s Graph Search, also likes to make the odd video or two. Here, he gives us a run-down of the history of lyric videos – from Bob Dylan to Prince to Katy Perry to badly spelled unofficial contributions – in suitable animated typography-style.


Uploaded: 6 March 2013

Fidelma Healy Eames on social media

You might be aware of the Joint Committee of Transport and Communications meeting on social media and its societal implications that took place this week. Many tuned in to the live stream out of political interest, I’m sure, but much of the online discussion centred on the general ignorance of some of the speakers around the topic at hand. Most ridiculed was senator Fidelma Healy Eames, whose comments on ‘frape’ and ‘sexting’ (the latter of which got its own remix) and suggestions for identifying internet users elicited many chuckles from the online community.


Uploaded: 6 March 2013

The rise and fall of YOLO

If you want to keep up with the kids (unlike senator Healy Eames), you’d do well to check out this video reflecting on the rise and fall of ‘YOLO’. Don’t know what that is, gramps? Let the young folk from Rocketboom help you out with that one.


Uploaded: 5 March 2013

Amanda Palmer: the art of asking

And, finally, a word from Amanda Palmer at the recent TED Conference in California, where she shared her thoughts on the music industry (which we’ve discussed with her before). Palmer’s idea is this: don’t make people pay for music; ask them. In her impassioned speech, she documents her time as a living statue asking for money to be dropped into a hat, to raising almost US$1.2m on Kickstarter to produce an album. Her story of couchsurfing, crowdsurfing and crowdsourcing received a standing ovation from the TED audience.


Uploaded: 1 March 2013

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.