Kirpal and Viral Media
The first time that I can remember coming across a piece of viral media was back in 1995 when a friend of mine sent me a link in an email. I know…it was ground breaking! Just thinking about how cool a hyperlinked text line in a message really floats my boat.
The link took me to a certain Flash animation where we meet Kirpal. You can check it out below. Besides the fact that it was super cool to be able to actually play any kind of media on my ancient computer at the time, it was a monumental step in making the computer and the internet cool. It was the first time that I stopped and said to myself “you know Sarah, there’s way more to this interweb than just chat rooms”.
Kirpal made us laugh and cry. The animation tugged at our heart strings and made us run out and adopt puppies so no dog would ever have to be kicked again. Kirpal changed the internet and what we expect to find online. Well, it was probably more so the creator of Kirpal (Joseph Engebretson) but we don’t know what ever happened to him.
But I’m getting off topic here. Think back to the first time you remember receiving or seeing a piece of viral media. What was it? When was it? I’m actually very curious about this – post your comments. Today’s young generation is getting to learn about things like double rainbows and rapists in Lincoln Park…while us ‘old timers’ were taught never to kick dogs or talk back to Pakistanis. All in all, I think we can learn something very important here. Although the method has changed (flash animation to youtube), the messages have remained very similar in nature. Its like old school SNL meets the internet – kind of mentality. Humour that is edgy, yet approachable and although it comes close to crossing the line it (most of the time) doesn’t. That’s viral media in a nutsackshell.