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April 02, 2009


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Good points - I cringed when I read your first line, because your point falls so very square and true.

'Viral' is a buzz word few understand. You cannot make something go viral, or even anticipate it. Part of something actually going viral is the excitement over why. Why is it so popular? Well then, I must go look myself! I must go see! Oh my! Me like! I must share you now! I want to go to there!

There are many defining common qualities to viral media (authentic, access, etc, etc), but the biggest one is certainly: The unexpected.

Part of the viral wave is caused by the fascination that it has actually gone viral. We didn't expect it. We want to see and understand what we are hearing about. There is fascination in the fascination.

Also, I would make small adjustments when you say web 2.0 shows how we are voyeuristic and narcissist. Sometimes true, but I take this lesson from message boards and online forums in the early days: 1. Everyone is an expert in something (it may be something small like garbage disposal repair) 2. Everyone is interested in something (maybe garbage disposal repair). And people like to be experts because in the process there is gratification and mastery. This is satisfying and plays a big roll in what you talk about here. People like to educate, people like to learn and expand themselves. True, that line gets easily blurred now, but it plays a roll.

Great post.

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