In a recent blog I talked about viral video and the benefits to a business. This interesting piece of news came to my attention recently and I thought it was only fair to post the other side of the equation.

Here's an example of Viral Video gone wrong.

Lonelygirl15 was a vlog (a video blog) of a teenage girl posted on YouTube. It gained quite a following as she interacted with life and recorded her thoughts for all to see. Recently, though, after months of success, she was exposed as being someone other than what she claimed.

She wasn't a teenage girl sharing her life with others; she was an aspiring actress on a set. After the “fraud” was exposed, there seemed to be a lot of spin from the creators of the vlog over its purpose.

At the end of the day, it seems that the viewing public still prefers to know if they're watching fact or fiction BEFORE they start watching. And it also suggests that a little scrutiny from the market is the ultimate arbitrator of the success or failure of a venture.

If you do think about viral video, be sure to think through your plan very carefully.