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Jonah Peretti - The Hidden Secrets of Social Media and Viral Advertising

Stashed in: Twitter!, Brands!, Facebook!, Practice, Social Media, Anger, Advertising, Awesome, Kardashian, 10,000 Hours, Best Videos, BuzzFeed!, @semil, For Conrad, A/B Testing!, Active Users, Clint Eastwood, Creativity, Content is king., Pr0n, Viral Content

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Jonah talks about How Do You Make Something Go Viral.

Worth watching -- he talks about his viral media experiments.

The best part starts about 9 minutes in, and goes through about 13 minutes in.

It's not about information, it's about social interaction and giving people something worth sharing.

See also:

Maximize for "viral lift". Social distribution is a huge growth opportunity.

Interesting side-point for BuzzFeed: They use the same CMS for Editorial Content, for User-Generated Content, and for Branded Ad content.

The branded reaction buttons are a beautiful idea.

Here's Jonah's Slide Deck.

Growth Hack: The key to virality is understanding the network.


From Jonah's Slide Deck...

Growth Hack: Bring the right content to the right network at the right time.


Media is a way to do something with your feelings and share something with people you care about. Choose your network appropriately.


Or make people angry:

...“the most powerful predictor of virality is how much anger an article evokes” [emphasis mine]. I will say it again: The most powerful predictor of what spreads online is anger. No wonder the outrage I created for Tucker’s movie worked so well. Anger has such a profound effect that one standard deviation increase in the anger rating of an article is the equivalent of spending an additional three hours as the lead story on the front page of

But don't pay Kim Kardashian 10K to tweet it.

I have yet to tap into anger for virality.

But I think that's what Clint Eastwood did a few weeks ago!

I think it's more common in discussion of politics and religion. Neither of those two have as wide a base as LOLcats but probably get insane levels of engagement from a motivated core.

Is there any place on the Internet where people of all political and religious persuasions actually interact with each other?

God, no. Then they'd have to listen to THE ENEMY. Why would you ever leave your cozy internet echo chamber? Neither politics nor religion are founded on rationality.

There's really not much interest in hearing what the other side has to say (at least for people who are serious about it.) I don't think the Fox News folks listen to much NPR and vice versa, except to froth at the mouth and "justify" their rage.

I like listening to them both, at times.

Other times I like turning them both off.'s super entertaining if you listen to both of them at the same time. it starts to sound **almost** like the truth ;O)

Christine, I need to try that. Thanks for the idea! :)

Growth hack: Take something timely and make it fun, funny, or novel.


I like that you're digging into this! :-)

Me too Semil! In fact, I'm adding this convo to my Semil stash.

so interesting...i have been testing the waters with FB and twitter prior to launch of my edu startup...i don't have many followers yet, the majority of my FB likes are teenagers and the majority of people talking about just the FB page are their moms :O)i've been testing diff content to see what gets the most views and then i attached one that i thought was pretty interesting to a FB ad campaign...and got 50,000 views in one day--of course, it didn't equate to a noteworthy spike in FB likes but that's ok...for now! :O) guess it's time to find some clean kitty porn videos and see what that does ;O)

I've never heard the term "clean kitty porn videos" before.

50,000 views in one day is really, really good.

The biggest challenge is sustaining it.

"It's easy to be great. It's hard to be consistent." - Steve Martin

10,000 hours.

Quantity produces quality.

Just write code and talk to customers.

I'm going to tell myself this every day:

It's easy to be great. It's hard to be consistent.

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