Monday, January 11, 2016

So, This Is What That Feels Like

A funny thing happened on the way to the weekend.

Reddit user JAugustus posted this Venn diagram of his own creation to /r/shakespeare with the caption, "Let The Arguing Begin":

I'm way more interested in supporting and circulating original Shakespeare content (especially visually appealing content such as this) than I am about arguing his individual choices, so I put the image up on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

And then this happened.

I've never had a post go viral before, so it's been fascinating to watch.  You just never really know what's going to resonate and what won't.  The reddit group didn't really like the image and wanted to spend more time debating the actual tagging choices.  The creator of the graphic (who I have kept in the loop, I did not steal his work) was honestly surprised at the reaction it's gotten. In the meantime it's been shared 8000 times, over a million people had the potential to see it, and I picked up almost 2000 Facebook followers.

And that's only Facebook. I put it out on Twitter as well and got dozens of RTs and hundreds of new followers. Nice numbers, but it still pales in comparison to the Facebook numbers.

I'm having fun digging into the data to try and get a clue why sometimes things go viral. On Twitter in particular you can see who RT'd you, and how many followers they have.  So I see numbers in the hundreds, hundreds, hundreds, boom, somebody with 23,000 followers RTs it.  Aha!  Then somebody with 11k.  And so on.  There's an exponential element at work in things like this. It can get passed around a group of people and never really hit, until somebody comes along who literally has 100x the reach, and then it really starts to open up. It's only a matter of time before somebody with 10x *their* followers sees it. Like the old saying goes, "...then they told 1000 friends, and they told 1000 friends, and so on, and so on...."

I hope all my new followers enjoy what we've got to offer!  Hello there! Welcome!

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