Mar 8, 2008

The First Viral Blog


So there's this blog called "Stuff White People Like" that's become wildly popular over the past month or so with exactly the sort of people it mocks: upper middle class BoBos. (David Brooks' nickname for the Bourgeois Bohemian class of liberal arts graduates that comprises a goodly percentage of the American upper middle class)

It's become popular for good reason too- it's very funny and consistently well-written, even after close to 90 posts. There are many lines that literally made me laugh out loud ("White people love to believe in magic teas" - a reference to natural remedies, being just one example that comes to mind.)

Now what's fascinating here is that this is an actual functioning blog that's gone viral (it even popped up in the "Most Popular Things Posted To The New York Network" on Facebook.) And a blog has never gone "viral" before. I mean that really wasn't on most people's radar. But there it is, on Wordpress, with literally hundreds of comments on each post. (The comments range from the banal to the inane, with lots of input from (a) people who thought "Stuff White People Like" was a site for other right-wing racists and are disappointed to find that it's about BoBos, and (b) the type of people who read something like "asking teens to give up texting is like asking Brits to give up tea" and feel compelled to comment that "I am one Briton who does not like tea at all, nor do most of my friends." But I digress...)

Other blog-like sites that have become wildly popular-- Gawker or PerezHilton, for instance-- allow comments and follow a blog-like format, but since their main purpose is to report (celebrity) news, they're really more in the vein of online magazines than actual blogs.

Stuff White People Like is a true blog however, and its success gives us a whole new medium to work in and a whole new way to look at blogs. A strong POV and unique content presented without video, flash, enforced interaction and other assorted bells and whistles, can attract a wide and loyal audience.

Which is something all people should like.

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