Wednesday, 21 September 2011

All the grace of a baby unicorn

In my first post on this blog I mentioned the most expensive book I’ve ever bought. In this post the book I have bought the most number of identical copies.
I am going to talk about ‘going viral’ or ‘viral marketing’ mostly to explain what it is. I also hope that should you encounter a promiser of such a thing you scowl and stroke your chin with skepticism.
Back to that book, for a couple of weeks I have shamelessly repeated all the best bits to make me seem clever and insightful. Rather than the usual polite humouring I normally receive interest pricked up and the subject intrigued.
Do you believe that you should work to succeed in order to be happy? Positive psychology has a fair bit of evidence that says that it is the other way around. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is a very accessible account of the science that suggests we should work at being happy in order to be successful.
Below is a video of the author giving an overview, much better than hearing me drone on about it in a Hebden coffee shop. But even my drone inspired purchases of the book. One chat in Makepiece - Sheep to Chic in Market Street results in an email asking me ‘What was that author’s name? My friends looking for that happiness book on Amazon.’
This is the essence of something ‘going viral,’ I, who has no stake in selling this book, mention it and a friend of a friend goes off and buys it. In the old days this was called word of mouth but with the Internet it has to get reinvented and called viral, ugh. But you can see that ‘going viral,’ (ugh again) is actually a good thing. The thing with the Internet is we can measure this activity, I am sad to say this phenomenon is rare and tiny.
Shawn Achor was lucky with me and my friends that took up his ideas, it turns out that there is nothing you can do which will encourage word of mouth other than write the best book you can and pray to Fortuna.
Viral: know what it is, then forget about it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading it, loving it, recommending it and have put the youtube link on my FB pages!!!!

    Sooze xxx


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