The Internet has blessed us with many forms of cuteness: Tiny babies, tinier
kittens and adorable photographs of me as a child (thanks, Mom). The Internet
also has given us a particular type of fame -- the Internet celebrity. Some
are silly, such as Star Wars Kid or Trollolol Guy; some are talented: Felicia
Day, Cory Doctorow, Mashable's Pete Cashmore and a host of others.
But perhaps never before have these two qualities been combined so fully as they are in a new Web series that's getting a lot of attention: How-To With Annika.
Who's Annika you say? Well, she's an adorable 3-year-old girl (she'll be 4 in October) who knows a surprising amount about dinosaurs, packing for vacation and the correct methods for picking up a chicken.
Fear not, gentle reader, she's willing to teach you. You and a whole lot of other people -- Annika's how-to videos have been featured on The Daily Dot and other online news sites, Christian web sites, countless Pinterest boards and a host of other places across the Web.
Her parents currently are even in talks with an online children's programming co-mpany to have them pick up the videos on a weekly basis as part of their web-based programming.
The videos, which are hosted on YouTube and can be seen on her mother's blog, baretribe.blogspot. com, are short, sweet and incredibly entertaining.
Annika's mother, Britney (She requested I not use their last name), said the idea for the videos came to her while watching Annika doing what she does best -- being cute.
"I was on the blog one day and she was sitting by herself eating oatmeal. I suddenly felt very convicted about her sitting alone that I went and sat by her. She started explaining how to make oatmeal and I was like, 'Oh, that's really adorable,'" she said. "Originally I was going to film it and just send it to my mom."
But then it occurred to her that Annika's video might be just the reason she'd been looking for to move away from social networking sites like Facebook and spend more time writing about family life on her blog.
"I had wanted to get away from Facebook and use my blog more. I thought this was a cool way to get started," she said. "It's something that we're doing together; it's fun for her, too. I just thought it would be a cool thing for her. It's mommy/daughter time."
She said the response has not only been overwhelming, but at times even touching.
"I've gotten messages, and emails from people -- a couple of really nice things, too. But a couple have really stood out," Britney said. "One was from a couple who had a daughter that died when she was 7 or 8. They had a video of her singing a song and said the videos of Annika just really reminded them of her. I watched their video and they were right. She was just like an older Annika. They wanted to thank us, our video helped them remember their own little girl."
So far, the videos have had a slightly sporadic schedule and there's only a handful up yet, but Britney said Annika has a lot left to teach us.
"The small things she accomplishes ... we forget those are such a big deal to children," she said. "These really are precious days with her and I just want to do what I can to document her little life."
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