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Why 'Crush on Obama' online video went viral

By Nairita Das

Washington, Oct 23 (ANI): A new study examines the reasons for a political video clip to spread from a few people to millions, sometimes in a matter of hours.

Research from the University of Washington indicates it often springs from just two elite blogs followed by top general interest outlets that aren't considered political.

Karine Nahon, an associate professor in the UW Information School, found that two elite blogs - The Huffington Post and the Daily Kos - are often the first to trigger distribution of particularly interesting videos.

Top general blogs, such as TechCrunch, Laughing Squid or blogs associated with major publications, like Wired or The New York Times, then post the videos, and from there, they often go viral.

The team gathered data on 9,765 blogs linking to the 65 political videos that received the most exposure during the 2008 presidential election.

In eyeball counts, the top three videos from March 2007 to June 2009 were 'Yes We Can,' 'Crush on Obama,' and 'McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare.'

The researchers delineated four groups - Elite blogs, top general blogs, top political blogs and tail blogs.

"Tail and top political blogs serve as followers," the researchers wrote in their paper.

"They are far less influential than previously thought." "And though there are thousands of tail blogs," the researchers add, "they are not powerful enough to create or sustain the viral process alone."

Rather, they prolong interest.

The paper will be published in the journal Policy and Internet. (ANI)

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