Recently, Corey Condello, a 2010 iSchool alumna, let me know that her cousin Zach was competing for a new promotion that Oprah is sponsoring to give away a TV show (presumably to fill the hole that she’ll create when she leaves daytime TV, but that’s besides the point). What’s important is the power of exponential growth, and the good that it can do.
It all started with the video that Zach made for Oprah’s contest. Now, it definitely helps that the video is well-made, and that Zach is a funny guy. But what really helped Zach was the exponential power of social media.
I first learned of both the contest, and Zach’s entry, through a tweet, short and sweet:
Check out my cousin’s video for the Oprah “Your Own Show” contest. He’s hilarious and his message is universal- http://bit.ly/cXckzR #vote
Admittedly, I was thrown off by the Oprah reference, and didn’t click through right away. Then I saw this tweet:
John Mayer, who has more than 3.3 million followers on Twitter, had posted Zach’s video entry into his own personal blog. From there, Zach’s video only continued to grow.
It wasn’t long before the video, and the contest, was picked up by traditional media. Zach’s video has been featured in both TIME Magazine and New York Magazine. It has also been featured in Entertainment Weekly and other online outlets.
In fact, the response has been so great, that in less than a week, Zach’s video has rocketed to the number one spot on Oprah’s list, with nearly three million votes (twice as many as the second place video). It even prompted Zach to post a video thanking the entire Internet for helping him realize his dream:
With continued success, like being featured in the Official SXSW Blog, chances are good that Zach will find himself hosting his own show soon, all thanks to a three minute video, a dream, and the power of connected human beings.
John Mayer even responded to Zach’s video, promising to write and record his theme song, and even go on tour with him:
If that doesn’t seal the deal, I don’t know what will.
Good luck, Zach – I’ll be tuning in and wishing you the best of luck, right after I go tell everyone I know to vote for you.