AUSTIN -- Original videos, photos, and blog posts are often the water cooler topics floating around offices, schools, and dinner tables around the world. When something goes viral, it's really made it big.
A meteorologist at KENS 5's sister station in Austin is quickly becoming an expert on this topic because something he published to his Facebook page has now been viewed by curious eyes around the globe.
It all started with a ordinary school visit. In late February, KVUE meteorologist Albert Ramon did a presentation at a local elementary school for a group of about 60 fourth graders.
Two weeks ago, he was pleasantly surprised to receive a stack of thank you notes from some of those students. One of those letters immediately caught his attention.
A student named Flint had written a note as unique as his name. See the text of his letter below.
(In case you couldn't make that out, it reads:
Dear Mr. Ramon,
Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about the weather.
Some day when I become supreme Ultra-Lord of the universe I will not make you a slave, you will live in my 200 story castle where unicorn servants will feed your doughnuts off their horns.
I will personally make you a throne that is half platnum and half solid gold and jewel encrested.
Thank you again for teaching us about meteoroligy, you're more awesome than a monkey wearing a tuxedo made out of bacon riding a cyborg unicorn with a lightsaber for the horn on the tip of a space shuttle closing in on Mars, while ingulfed in flames….And in case you didn't know, that's pretty dang sweet.
PS. Look on the back for a drawing. :) )
Oh, and here's that drawing:
Albert says Flint's letter caught his attention because of the student's creativity. "And his grammar is incredible for a fourth grader," Albert said. "That's what blew me away."
Two days later, thanks to the suggestion of a KVUE News Daybreak crew member, Albert decided to share Flint's creativity with his friends. Albert posted a cell phone photo of the letter to his personal Facebook page.
So what's cooler than a bacon-tuxedo-wearing monkey riding a cyborg unicorn? Perhaps having a viral post. Within just 24 hours, Flint's letter had already found its way to Reddit.com and HappyPlace.com.
It didn't take long for readers everywhere to share the script that's sure to make you smile. And share they did.
Flint's creative way to say "thank you" now has an international audience.
Then the calls started to come -- first "Good Morning America," then Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show. Just this week a producer from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" gave Albert a ring.
There's no telling how far Flint's letter will continue to go.
So what makes something go viral in the first place? According to this article on Mashable.com, some of the reasons something goes viral is because it's hilarious, incredible, deeply emotional, embarrassing, or it will just make someone smile.
Russ Walker, the online managing editor at KVUE.com's sister site KING5.com, says virality is spontaneous and unpredictable.
"You can do everything right with a story you just know will go viral – write the best headline, get the best photo or video, post it to all the right social media places – and it still won’t go viral," he said.
Albert describes Flint's letter as "incredible," so it fits that viral criterion.
KVUE anchor/reporter Jessica Vess further proves the letter's viral capabilities. She says she definitely smiled when she saw Flint's letter for the first time.
"I'm not surprised at all to see his words and imagination capturing so many others worldwide," Vess said. "Flint knows what he's talking about. Albert is a great guy. Then again, after reading this amazing letter, I think I might just want Flint to join me on the desk one morning."
No one knows if Flint will take Jessica up on her offer, but one thing's for certain -- he will be on KVUE and on national TV very soon. Stay tuned!