Wofford’s President Dr. Benjamin Dunlap went Viral!

Wofford College’s president, Dr. Benjamin Dunlap, was turned into an Internet sensation a few weeks ago when a video of his presentation at the TED conference from back in March 2007 was posted online on January 24th.  You can learn more about Dr. Dunlap on Wikipedia or Wofford’s President page.  Here is the original Wofford press release of the speech.

The college did some great promoting of the video

  • Featured on the Wofford homepage for a week
  • Sent out mailshot to almost 7,000 alumni and news subscribers - 650+ readers clicked on the links to watch the video
  • Promoted through social bookmarking (Digg, StumbleUpon, Propeller)

There is no way we could have predicted the results!  What was most surprising is that the Internet community was so receptive to a twenty minute video!  I know that content is KING and this is wonderful content, but everything I had read and analyzed had stated that online videos over five minutes loose their audience.  Well here is the video that is the exception! 

I spent some time searching the Internet to see how widespread this video and Dr. Dunlap’s reputation has spread.

The video was posted to these sites

  • The Original TED video that everything is linked too and started the excitement 
  • The video on YouTube (3,600+ views!)
  • Video on Pluggd
  • Video on AOL Videos
  • Video on Thoughtware.TV
  • Me Feedia

I’m sure I missed some sites, but here are some bloggers that talked about the speech and embedded the video in their post. 

  • The TED Blog - the original blog post
  • Anne is a Man!
  • Swamp Fox
  • Disembedded
  • Acidlabs
  • Chris Brogan
  • Reel Blonde
  • Truveo
  • Relaxed Focus
  • “Between the Pages”
  • Mahalie.com
  • Pwnership
  • Jamison Inc.
  • Another Pale Blue Dot
  • Youdaho
  • timlauer.org - links to the video
  • Josh Spear - This blog post is from WAY back from the original speech and talking about it

Finally if you have made it to the end of this post without watching the video, then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND sitting back and spending twenty minutes of your time to watch it.

You can also watch the video on any of the links above.

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dr dunlap, dunlap, internet sensation, president, Social Bookmarking, ted conference, TED Talk, Video, viral, wofford college

Read Related Posts on .eduGuru:

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  2. Viral Videos: What It Means and Tips For Going Viral
  3. Introducing Wofford’s Redesigned Newsroom

This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

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7 Responses to “Wofford’s President Dr. Benjamin Dunlap went Viral!”

  1. Avatar image
    Bradjward Says:

    This brings up something that I was sitting in my office thinking about last week. What IS viral? Is there a certain # of views that says ‘VIRAL’, like a platinum record? Does it depend on the niche? (i.e. a University has a smaller audience than comedy piece of a guy singing Ciara).

    I was going to do some research, but haven’t had time. I think I know my answer already, though. There isn’t a true way to measure virility. I have a YouTube video of my dog dancing to Soulja Boy with about 3,000 views and I consider that viral since I just put it up and let it go with no promo. For someone else, 600 people watching them blow their nose might be viral.

    It’s a fascinating area that I think the user gets to decide upon. And in your case, I would definitely say that 3,000+ views of a president speaking has a sense of virility to it. It’s rare to see that from a university. Congrats! I’m going to try and watch this tonight.


  2. Avatar image
    Tim Lauer Says:

    I also shared Dr. Dunlap’s talk with my staff as part of our professional development day. The questions we were exploring were around life long learning. His talk was much better than any type of jigsaw or group activity. If you ever have the opportunity to see Dr. Dunlap, please let him know that his talk was shared with 24 elementary school staff and they found it highly inspirational.

    Tim Lauer
    Lewis Elementary School
    Portland, OR


  3. Avatar image
    Kyle (author) Says:

    Tim, I see him on a regular basis and was showing him today this post. I’ll definitely make sure that I tell him your story! Thanks for sharing!



  4. Avatar image
    Edwin H. Betsill Says:

    What a fantastic speech, Bernie. You still remain the only genius I have ever known. God bless you and yours.


  5. Avatar image
    Marsha Poliakoff Says:

    Dr. Dunlap’s attainments can only be out-weighed by the good he has done for others.

    Marsha Poliakoff


  6. Avatar image
    Carlita Duesing Says:

    Found a great site to watch new movies online F L Y 3 4 . c o m



  1. Matt Herzberger.com » Blog Archive » Social media manager … hopefully coming to a campus near you says:

    [...] get “dugg”. There is no reason why we in higher ed can’t get our information duggor stumbled upon but we need to make it relevant and exciting not just marketing fluff. People see [...]

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