In a course that many believe to be the first of its kind, Northwestern University film students last winter learned the keys to creating online videos with the potential to draw mass audiences in a phenomenon known as "going viral."

Students in the Evanston, Ill.-based school's viral video class, also known as YouTubing101, produced online videos according to seven popular YouTube genres and learned how to craft tag words and terms that would push their videos near the top of popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

Eric Patrick, a Northwestern assistant professor who taught the 10-week class, said the utility...

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