The luck of the viral

In last week’s class we talked about how to go viral, and then Kristin came in to tell us how she got her message noticed.  They were all good points, of course.  Create something amazing, include pictures, repromote content, try to post on Tuesday, find an influential person to share it.  But there’s one thing everyone is forgetting: you need a little bit of luck.

Honestly, it’s all good advice, but you could heed every single suggestion and still not go viral. I think I can comfortably say that most people who go viral never expected it to happen.  There are millions of cute cat videos, which are basically the same, but only a select few take off.  I would argue that while there are things you can do to improve your chances, going viral is largely a phenomenon out of our hands. It’s kind of like winning the lottery.  You can buy several tickets, but ultimately you are never 100 percent sure you’ll win the money.

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Instead of trying to do everything by the book to go viral, people should just focus on creating content in a way that’s enjoyable to them and relevant to their particular circle of followers.  Of course we want people to see what we post, but focusing on that will stunt creativity and lead to yet another cookie-cutter cat video. So don’t worry so much about the popularity of content. Just post what you want to create, and someone’s bound to notice.  That’s the beauty of the Internet.

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