That rather provocative title comes not from me but a speech given by Hugh MacLeod and Jason Korman titled “How To Make The Internet Squeal Like A Pig”, as part of the tenth annual Babson Enterprise Forum. They also point out that "viral is a figment of people's imaginations."
Q. So what spreads, how do you create stuff that goes viral?
Viral is a figment of people’s imagination.
The thing that spreads online, of course, is “great content”. This great content can either be your product itself (Huffington Post), or content about or somehow connected to your product (37 Signals).
Q. But what does that actually mean? What does great content have, that mediocre content lacks?
You can’t just say, “I’ll know it when I see it”. No, great content has its greatness baked in somehow. It follows rules. It has elements.
Q. Let’s talk about the five building blocks of great content- Recent buzzwords have made it sound like it Is just about passion and authenticity – is that all one needs?
Passion for passion’s sake is usually misdirected as it often misses business purpose. Authenticity has become a black hole. As I tweeted a few months ago, Authenticity is the new Bullshit. Authenticity is now being faked so well, that its hard to tell real real, vs real fake.
Q. So, if its then not about passion and authenticity, then what is about.
As with any human endeavor, WHY you do something is ALWAYS more interesting than WHAT you actually do.
It's rather weird that we find ourselves in this place. Where place means social media and what exactly is real. Is a brand a person or should it represent itself in social media as a person? Is a brand "being authentic?" What does that even mean?
Let's go meta..
As the brilliant Hennessey Youngman (The Pharoah) says in his "talk" Art Thoughtz: To Catch a Millenial at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, "If something as intimate as a romantic relationship is only deemed "real" if it's made public on Facebook, then that's reality. And y'know, older folk gonna have to deal wid it, y'know.."
You decide what's real and authentic in there.
Meanwhile, we are lost in buzzwords. Awesome.
Related post: Social media overload: some thoughts