Burien Resident’s ‘Seal Pup Slip n’Slide’ Video Goes Viral with ~400K Views!


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You may have seen it first on The B-Town Blog, or on YouTube, Facebook or one of many other websites, but Burien resident Ethan Janson’s “Seal Pup Slip n’Slide” GoPro video has gone viral – to the count of 393,274 views on YouTube alone (as of March 13)!

It’s also been featured on CNN, NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC, MSN, ABCNews, The Huffington Post – even the Daily Mail in the UK – as well as numerous other media outlets and websites over the last several days.

To give you an idea of the viralness of this video, when we posted it on March 10 it had only around 475 views.

Ethan’s video, which we featured on March 10 (see our post here), was 3:44 worth of cute seal pups struggling to climb on board his surfboard, which was anchored off Burien’s Three Tree Point (be sure to watch at 720p and full-screen for the best view):

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We reached out to Ethan to get more info on his video, what it’s like to go “viral” and how he did it; here are his responses:

I’m having fun with this and am happy to help you with a follow up.

1.  When I made the video, I spent quite a bit of time editing it to music to tell a story. This video is actually a portion of a larger 20 minute documentary that I’ve been working on for the past year. I had no idea it would become viral when I published it to YouTube just a few days ago.  My goal is to present the documentary as a public awareness piece later this summer when the next round of seal pups arrive.

2.  I credit the viral nature of this video to several things. First, it has that cute “Awww” factor that viewers love. Second, the video really tells a story which viewers can root for, one of tackling a challenge with perseverance, outwitting a villain, and ultimately triumph. Third, I credit the massive viewership to the thousands of members of reddit.com who voted my video up into the stratosphere. Reddit is a social media news site which anyone can use use to view and post their favorite content on the internet.

3. As far as unusual re-use of the video, the video has been making its rounds around news outlets around the world, but I’m being careful not to license it to all the sharks (pardon the metaphor) who are contacting me.

4. This is my first viral video, so I’m no expert at giving advice, but my suggestion is to do a lot of planning before recording your video. If you’re fortunate enough to get a great shot, take your time with it and research all the facets which make a great viral video before you publish it. My own success was based on planning, luck, and over 100 hours of footage to catch the right moment.

I believe Evening Magazine is still planning to interview me tomorrow. This viral thing is a lot of fun! The steady stream of YouTube comments is incredible.

– Ethan

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