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What makes us share? The effortless ability to make something our own.

Stashed in: Memes!, User Generated Content, Community, FALSE., Content is king., Viral Content

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We have been told these characteristics matter in viral sharing:

1. Great or compelling content (a random Tumblr title? A recorded busy signal?)

2. Positivity (they’re basically neutral, and in the case of Tumblr – it can be whatever you want)

3. Emotionally compelling (except for being slightly silly)

4. Practical or useful


As evidenced by the most popular Tumblr post of all time.

So what made the Tumblr blog in 2012 and the voicemail message in 1995 go so far so fast?

The one thing I see in common with both is the almost effortless ability to make them your own, using the meme as a form of self-expression.

Craft a ridiculous/humerous/provocative Tumblr title, record a message and fool your co-workers into listening – the act of creation equals instant participation in a community of thousands.

Essentially, these viral phenomena are so powerful because they let us both create and share in the joke.

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