Wow … that didn’t take long. TechCrunch is reporting that within 12 hours of going “viral”, the YouTube viral video of the Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at George W. Bush had already been viewed more than 5.5 million times — and could reach more views after a 48 hour time period than Obama’s victory speech.

Just to add a couple more views to the pile, here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it:

Nice reflexes on the part of W, I might add.

While it’s not exactly an example of viral marketing (no subliminal advertising going on here … but now that I think about it, I do have the sudden urge to read a lot of Associated Press wire stories), it just shows the extreme power that an online video can have.

If you produce and/or upload something that catches on with a lot of people, there’s no telling how big it could be. Of course, the biggest problem is figuring what exactly that special something is — the Internet can be such a fickle mistress.