From the Washington Post, How a Villager Became the Queen of All Media:
To media observers, the speed and scope of Boyle’s online ubiquity is a testament that the marriage between old media (her performance first aired on British television) and new media (it then made its way to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) is broadening the reach of all media, from one channel to another, from person to person.
“There’s a lot of talk about things going ‘viral’ online. But ‘viral’ suggests that someone has created a virus and that people are unknowingly transmitting it, as if they had no choice but to carry the virus. But that’s not really what’s going on with Susan Boyle,” said Henry Jenkins, co-director of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program and author of “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.” After watching Boyle’s audition video on Wednesday, he sent an e-mail to a group of friends—”Take a moment to feel warm and fuzzy,” he wrote in the e-mail’s subject line—and logged on to Twitter to alert his 1,798 followers about Boyle.
“What we’re really seeing with Susan Boyle in a very powerful way is the power of ‘spreadability,'” Jenkins continued. “Consumers in their own online communities are making conscious choices to spread Susan Boyle around online.”