27 May 2010

Oh. My. God. I've Just Figured Out Why and How Viral Videos Happen

And I'll be musing on it as a potential theme of my talk at an upcoming conference on Public Health Communications. Hint: it has to do with the generalized model of organization as expressed in Valence Theory.

Update (22 June 2010): Okay, so my talk went in a different direction. Short version of the realization: for viral videos, there is a strong interaction between knowledge-ba and identity-ba valences that help to create an inclusive environment in which fungible socio-psychological valence has traction (in other words, you create inclusiveness in order to enjoy the social capital of being part of the in-the-know crowd). This is distinctly, but fascinatingly different than the sometimes exclusivity of a privileged in-crowd that uses f-knowledge and f-identity to enhance the value of f-socio-psychological valence connections in a social group. The other interesting consequence of this realization is that this explanation in valence-theory terms is consistent with the observation that viral aspect of viral videos is emergent, and cannot be manufactured. If you're a marketing or PR person and need to explain to a client why you can't set a "and the video goes viral within 3 weeks" objective, this is it... sort of (having to explain valence theory is a whole other matter, of course).
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1 comment:

linda said...

Can't wait to hear about it.