going viral

2 06 2009

the viral process

years after the popularization internet, after establishing itself as a powerful catalyst of change in today’s world, the internet is only beginning to reach its full potential by focusing its infinite chaos to one single item. this is when you’ve gone viral.

the recent case of susan boyle is a perfect case of how quickly the collective focus of the internet can be drawn towards one item. Within a week, susan boyle’s audition performance had been viewed more than 66 million times. This speed of growth is currently unmatched, but it seems that it is only a matter of time before this recent record is surpassed.

the popularity of news aggregation sites such as digg and reddit have incredible power over the internet’s focus. while you may not ever visit these sites, they are perfectly designed to facilitate the viralization of their content. publications such as the new york times and the sydney morning herald have integrated digg in to every article.

the structure is simple. the content providers provide an easy method to share their content. sites like digg offer a venue through which to gauge their popularity. and once popularized, digg offers easy integration to spread the content further through twitter and facebook.

to relate back to susan boyle, the day after her audition, her video was the top story on both digg and reddit.

the ability to “go viral” is not controlled by the content creator, the most that creators can do is make it as easy as possible for their work visitors to share and distribute their content.

publish content in an environment that supports sharing and distribution. if people can easily share valuable content with others, they are much more likely to do so.

good luck.

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