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    Ira Glass On The Peculiar Experience Of Watching Himself Go Viral

    In 2011, a video of the This American LIfe host talking about creativity spread across the internet. But for Glass, it was a "weirdly impersonal" experience.

    In 2011, David Shiyang Liu created a video that animated words spoken by This American Life's Ira Glass, and posted it to Vimeo. It went crazy viral.

    vimeo.com

    The original video has logged over 800,000 views alone, and posts of Liu's video on YouTube and elsewhere have added at least another 100,000 views. The video has also inspired a few other videos using Glass' words — and it's apparently become something of a standard exercise for designers and design students.

    The audio came from a video Glass had shot for Current TV two years earlier (and posted by PRI on YouTube), in which Glass talked more expansively about the creative process.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    This is the section from which Liu pulled the audio for his project — note how Liu snipped out the bit about sorghum, among other smart edits. (It's worth watching the entire thing: Here are parts one, two, and four.)

    BuzzFeed recently asked Glass what it was like to watch this all go viral without any input or effort on his part. Here is his response, in his own (lightly edited) words:

    "It’s just so random.

    "I don’t feel proud of it, do you know what I mean, the way I feel proud of episodes of the radio show that I killed myself on.

    It feels like, 'Oh, I said something, and it just got printed on a billboard without me knowing, and I guess that's OK with me.'

    Any time that I Google my own name or search Twitter on my own name, a fair percentage of what's being written about me is just people on the internet passing around those videos. Visibly. Some days, it's more people talking about those videos than talking about the radio show."

    "Still, I won’t rest until it’s a Sheryl Crow song. I’m sorry, that’s like, a terrible line.

    "And so, I feel OK about the video.