The Remarkable Speed of Lonelygirl15

SXSW REPORT — “There are oftentimes responses before I can click back and view the video,” says Miles Beckett, who’s just pressed publish on his WordPress draft, sending a new Lonelygirl15 video out to the world. He clicks over to the public version of the site.

“Nobody’s actually watched the video yet, it’s physically impossible to watch the video by now,” says Greg Goodfried, another of the Lonelygirl15 producers.

There are already two comments, written in the language of Lonelygirl15, saying “meep” which the guys say they guess has something to do with Road Runner, though they’re not sure, and “salute the general” which is in tribute to a user who often comments first on new videos. These first people were literally sitting on the site, waiting for a new video — an email couldn’t have gone out at this point. They are obsessed.

Goodfried calls it an anthropological experiment, saying the comments will come in waves — first, the “first!” crowd, then analysis of the video, then “what I ate for breakfast,” then speculation about when the next video will arrive.

The panel ends, and I go out to the press room to check it out in action. The page won’t load. When I finally get on and there are 78 comments. Looks like we are onto phase 2. Check it out for yourself.