This week was a week of learning for me. I learned two things: how quickly a video can get views these days and how much social media has changed how we communicate.
It all started with a project I had to do for class. As mentioned in my About Me section, I am a senior at The University of Alabama originally from Andalusia, Alabama majoring in Telecommunication and Film with a concentration in Broadcast News. I am minoring in Computing Technology and Applications. So, with that being said, I had a news package due in one of my TCF classes on Tuesday afternoon. I had been working on the project since October 6th when I interviewed one of my fellow Andalusia High School graduates and UA’s football player, Nico Johnson, during Alabama’s fall break/bye week.
Nico is an awesome guy. We graduated together in 2009 from AHS, and he has always been so humble. So, when I had to text him about interviewing him for a class project, he was more than willing to help out. Nico lost his mother, Mamie Johnson, about two years ago, and he has done an amazing job coping with that loss. She was someone that everyone in the entire community knew and loved. I have truly been amazed with Nico’s strength throughout the past two years, and I felt that it needed to be shared with others…that others might be able to take something from the things this loss has taught him.
So, we met at his home in Andalusia, Alabama on October 6th and filmed everything: the interview and some b-roll. Then on that Sunday, I shot the rest of the footage in Andalusia. Throughout the next two weeks, I edited the footage and tried to come up with an angle on the story that would be inspirational and that would highlight Nico’s strength and trust in God. Finally the story was complete, and the editing was finished. It was time to send Nico the link. (Click here to see it.)
I had no idea what was to come after this. Surprisingly, Nico posted the YouTube link on his Facebook page. Instantly, viewers from all over were watching the story. The views jumped from 8 to 42…then from 42 to 76. Soon, the views were at 451. I recently checked the views, and we are currently at 508. Andalusia residents I had not heard from in years were commenting on posts that had been shared numerous times by multiple people. It has been truly amazing to see what can happen when a single person posts a single link on a page.
I say all this to discuss how interconnected we are in today’s world. Nico and I both are in Tuscaloosa, yet viewers from all across the nation are coming together to watch this inspiring video about love and loss, family and God. Have you ever had an experience like this, or have you ever seen something like this happen first-hand? Through what medium was the link shared? What do you think contributes to events like this?