What You Don’t Know About ‘Viral’ Could Fill an Entire Group of Interconnected Computers


Does just hearing the word “viral,” if spoken by specific kinds of people, make you want to pull your hair out? If so, then you’ll appreciate this article from AdAge, “What’s Plaguing Viral Marketing?” It’s a lengthy feature piece about Columbia sociology professor Duncan Watts who essentially says, “Stop trying to think you’ve got this viral business figured out, marketing and advertising people, because you don’t.” He states that most of the what’s believed about trying to get an advertised message out to the public follows a lot of the rules of the old world. He also talks about the internet still involving real, every day people and is not some simplistic, watered-down version of society. Rather, it has all the complexities of “real life” and is therefore just as difficult to control (i.e. if you think your wacky Flash-based website will be far more effective than your billboard by the highway, you’re horribly mistaken). It’s a really interesting read and something that should be forwarded to, say, 92% of all internet advertisers.