Wow, it’s really possible for a random tweet by a random person to go viral

Was just on Twitter for a sec and saw a mildly amusing tweet and retweeted it. And then I clicked on it and was like, “Whoah, 2.2k people have retweeted this? Who the heck wrote this?”

Then I clicked on that guy’s profile and saw that he only has about 450 followers. And he’s just a random guy in Great Britain. Like, correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t seem like he has much social capital at all. In fact, reading his timeline was pretty amusing, because half his tweets from the last day are about him being amused, then bemused, then annoyed, then astonished that this one tweet of his is getting retweeted so many times.

I have no broader point about social media that I am trying to make here. Just something interesting. I’d always assumed that the people who create jokey viral retweets are folks like, I don’t know, Zach Galifanakis or Stephen Colbert. But not always.

Oh, here’s something interesting. Despite having so many RTs and favorites, the guy still only has 450 followers. Which makes sense. You might RT something funny, but you’re not going to follow the person who said it (unless you start seeing their name more and more).