The Meme Decade?
I wonder: what is the quality of 'viral' that makes it viral? Some would say it has something to do with the medium -- the way it gets passed around socially, without the aid of traditional outlets. In that sense, the 'viral hit' is somewhat like the 'sleeper hit' -- it starts slow, builds momentum. It doesn't seem much different.
But I wonder if that's not what people mean at all when they say 'viral.' I suspect they mean something much closer to a different phenom from a previous decade: the 'one-hit wonder.' In that sense, is Blind Melon really any different than Tay Zonday?
--Me, quoted in an essay that proposes the aughts were the first decade to be defined by their virality (memes), an interesting theory that I possibly tried to debunk.