Stop Saying Viral - A Case for Spreadable Media
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Stop Saying Viral - A Case for Spreadable Media

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This is a presentation about viral media. It was prepared as a workshop and draws heavily on the writings of people like:FARIS YAKOB, BUD CADDELL, MIKE ARAUZ, HELGE TENNO, HENRY JENKINS & ANA DOMB, ...

This is a presentation about viral media. It was prepared as a workshop and draws heavily on the writings of people like:FARIS YAKOB, BUD CADDELL, MIKE ARAUZ, HELGE TENNO, HENRY JENKINS & ANA DOMB, NOUVE INTERPLAY and others. It essentially makes a case for the adoption of the term "spreadable media" when referring to viral. To know why, you will have to read on.

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Stop Saying Viral - A Case for Spreadable Media Presentation Transcript

  • 1. STOP SAYING VIRAL!
  • 2. HOW MANY TIMES HAS A CLIENT APPROACHED YOU AND SAID “WE’D LIKE YOU TO MAKE US A VIRAL OR A CREATIVE TEAM “I HAVE A REALLY GREAT IDEA FOR A VIRAL” WELL WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY THAT? WHAT IS A VIRAL? … I THINK WE’D ALL AGREE THIS IS A VIRAL.
  • 3. BUT IS THIS A VIRAL? IT SURE GOT PASSED AROUND A LOT.
  • 4. AND WHAT ABOUT THIS CHAIN LETTER?…. I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT THE DEFINITION OF VIRAL IS A LITTLE FUZZY. AND IS USED TO CHARACTERIZE A WIDE RANGE OF BEHAVIORS: SENDING LINKS BY EMAIL, MASHUPS, CLIPS, MOVIES, COMMERCIALS ETC.
  • 5. SO WHAT MAKES SOMETHING VIRAL? NO DOUBT WE’VE ALL HEARD SOMEONE SAY AT SOME POINT OR ANOTHER: “VIRAL MEDIA IS VIRAL BECAUSE IT SPREADS LIKE A VIRUS”. WELL I’D LIKE TO QUESTION THAT PRESUMPTION BY WILL LION ON FLICKR
  • 6. THE VIRAL METAPHOR IS FLAWED //Douglas Rushkoff A VIRUS IS ESSENTIALLY A SET OF GENETIC INSTRUCTIONS WRAPPED IN A PROTEIN. ONCE ATTACHED TO THE HOST CELL, THE VIRUS INJECTS ITS INSTRUCTION INTO THE CELL, REPLICATES ITSELF, THEN DETACHES FROM THE HOST CELL IN ORDER TO FIND A NEW CELL TO COMMANDEER. THE ONLY PURPOSE OF A VIRUS IS TO PRODUCE MORE OF ITSELF.
  • 7. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? @BUD_CADDELL WE BEGAN APPLYING THE VIRAL TERM TO DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS WITH THE INVENTION OF THE COMPUTER VIRUS. THIS MADE SENSE AS THEIR PRIMARY FUNCTION WAS TO REPRODUCE THEMSELVES; SEIZE THE NORMAL FUNCTIONS OF THE SYSTEM AND INFECT EVERY HOST FILE ACCESSED
  • 8. @BUD_CADDELL WHEN MARKETERS REALIZED WE WERE SPENDING MORE AND MORE TIME WITHIN NETWORKED DIGITAL SYSTEMS, AND MORE EXAMPLES OF HIGHLY SHARED CONTENT APPEARED THEY STARTED PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT WE WERE WATCHING NOT BOTHERING TO WONDER WHY WE WERE SHARING AND SPREADING CLIPS OF SILLY MEN DANCING RATHER THAN THEIR AWARD WINNING ADS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WmMcqp670s&feature=player_embedded
  • 9. @bud_caddell @BUD_CADDELL INNEVITABLY MARKETERS DECIDED THERE MUST BE SOME TRUTH TO THE VIRAL METAPHOR IF WE WERE CONTAMINATING OTHER PEOPLE LIKE AS IF IT WAS THE FLU. TO THEM IT MUST HAVE SEEMED THAT IF NUMA NUMA COULD HAVE MILLIONS OF VIEWS, ALMOST ANYTHING COULD. REGARDLESS, THE VIRAL TERM WAS APPLIED TO THESE VIDEOS AND TOOK HOLD.
  • 10. @FARIS SO WHAT IF WE USE THE WORD VIRAL - IT’S JUST SEMANTICS RIGHT? WRONG. WORDS MATTER. ARTISTIC LICENSE SHOULD BE USED TO ILLUMINATE, NOT TO OBFUSCATE.
  • 11. THE CONCEPT OF VIRAL MEDIA IS FLAWED FOR MANY MORE REASONS
  • 12. THE IDEA OF VIRAL MEDIA BREAKS DOWN BECAUSE IT IS AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION THAT STRIPS ASIDE THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS IN WHICH IDEAS CIRCULATE AND THE CONSCIOUS HUMAN CHOICES WHICH DETERMINE WHICH IDEAS ARE PASSED ALONG. @FARIS
  • 13. “When we say something is viral we focus entirely on the content itself and not on the needs of the people that we are asking to spread our ideas” @Faris VIRUSES DON’T SELF PROPAGATE AND WORDS DO MATTER. VIRAL ASSUMES THE MECHANICS FOR DISTRIBUTION ARE BUILT RIGHT IN. THEY ARE NOT.
  • 14. IN FACT, WHEN WE FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON THE CONTENT, WE END UP WITH A VIRAL METRICS SYSTEM THAT DEFINES VIRAL SUCCESS BY A VIRAL’S “STICKYNESS” –HOW MANY VIEWS A VIRAL GOT AND HOW MANY PEOPLE WATCHED
  • 15. BY HELGE TENNO
  • 16. WE NEED TO STOP COUNTING EYEBALLS AND OPT FOR THE “SPREADABILITY” MODEL THAT FACTORS IN OTHER CONSIDERATIONS LIKE WOM, BUZZ, AND THE FACT THAT IDEAS GET TRANSFORMED, REPURPOSED, REMIXED OR DISTORTED AS THEY PASS FROM HAND TO HAND. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DvhqPnJzns
  • 17. BECAUSE IT IS ONLY WHEN CONSUMERS MAKE THE BRAND MESSAGE THEIR OWN, BY TRANSFORMING IT AND REPURPOSING IT THAT IT TAKES ON SOCIAL WORTH AND ENTERS POP CULTURE OR WHAT HENRY JENKINS CALLS THE GIFT ECONOMY (MORE ABOUT THAT A LITTLE LATER)
  • 18. ANOTHER REASON THE STICKYNESS MODEL DOESN’T WORK: IT FOCUSES ON THE INDIVIDUAL RATHER THAN THE SOCIAL NETWORK AND DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE FACT CONSUMERS DO NOT LIVE ON ANY PARTICULAR SITE BUT RATHER LIVE ON A VARIETY OF ONLINE PLATFORMS – CONSTANTLY SWITCHING BETWEEN THEM.
  • 19. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF MINE…
  • 20. WE’RE MISSING THE POINT. AND THE POINT IS PEOPLE.
  • 21. “People don’t engage with each other to exchange viruses. People exchange viruses as an excuse to engage with each other” Douglas Rushkoff WE CONVENIENTLY ASSUME THAT VIRALS ARE PUSHED WHEN IN FACT THEY ARE PULLED. EXPERIENCES ARE SPREAD DELIBERATELY. BY PEOPLE.
  • 22. THESE EXCHANGES HAVE A SOCIAL FUNCTION, BOTH PHATIC AND GENEROUS. PEOPLE DO NOT SPREAD THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF SPREADING THEM. THEY OPERATE WITHIN A GIFT ECONOMY, WHERE VALUE IS GENERATED IN TRANSFERENCE, NOT PURCHASE. @FARIS http://www.flickr.com/photos/praisecheeses/3924338139/
  • 23. Coca cola college COCA COLA INVITED COLLEGE STUDENTS TO EXPERIENCE THE HAPPINESS FACTORY VIA "THE HAPPINESS MACHINE". GO BUY A COKE AND YOU MIGHT END UP WITH TEN, OR A PIZZA, OR A TWENTY FOOT SUB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9iCbjXHVG8
  • 24. A GROUP OF ART LOVERS TRYING TO PROMOTE ART & YOUNG ARTISTS SET OUT ON A PROJECT TO CHANGE THE FACE OF NEW YORK’S TIMES SQUARE AND PLASTER IT WITH ART
  • 25. @POLLEMAAGT THE SUZUKI CAR BRAND TRYING TO MAKE RECESSION A LITTLE EASIER ON THEIR DRIVERS TOOK OVER A PETROL STATION AND SUBSIDIZED FUEL PRICES WITH A 30% DISCOUNT FOR A DAY
  • 26. @ANADK SO HOW DO YOU MEASURE VIRAL?
  • 27. WE NEED TO FORGET ABOUT TRYING TO MAKE THINGS VIRAL AND BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO SPREAD AND WHY.
  • 28. WELL WE HAVE ALREADY SPOKEN ABOUT THE GIFT ECONOMY… AND ALTHOUGH THERE DEFINITELY IS AN ALTRUISTIC ASPECT IN PASSING ON AND SPREADING GIFTS, IT ALSO HAS EGOTISTIC AND SELFISH MOTIVES.
  • 29. THE GIFTS I SHARE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT ME AND MY PERCEPTION OF THE PERSON I AM PASSING THEM ON TO, AS MUCH AS THEY EXPRESS MY OWN TASTE AND INTERESTS. THEY ARE A WAY FOR ME TO NOT ONLY CEMENT MY BOND WITH OTHERS BUT DETERMINE WHETHER WE BELONG TO THE SAME COMMUNITY..
  • 30. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
  • 31. HOW DO YOU DESIGN EXPERIENCES THAT SPREAD?
  • 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/22091386@N03/4177218994/ WELL FIRST YOU’VE GOT TO UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE’S LIVES DON’T REVOLVE AROUND YOUR BRAND, THEY REVOLVE AROUND LIFE.
  • 33. “PEOPLE READ WHAT INTERESTS THEM AND SOMETIMES IT'S YOUR AD.” BILL BERNBACH IN A DIGITAL WORLD, PEOPLE SPEND THEIR TIME EXPLORING THE THINGS THEY ARE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT
  • 34. 1 TO EARN A PLACE ON THE CONSUMER’S RADAR AND IN THE CONSUMER’S LIFE, YOUR BRAND HAS TO START CARING ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ITS PRODUCT
  • 35. 2 SPREADABLE MEDIA IS CREATED WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMUNITIES OF THE PEOPLE TO BE COURTED. IT IS CREATED SO THAT MEMBERS OF THOSE COMMUNITIES CAN FIND THE CONTENT EASILY AND SHARE IT
  • 36. BY HELGE TENNO
  • 37. WHAT COMMUNITY WILL SPREAD THIS EXPERIENCE? http://www.wereallfans.com/
  • 38. THIS IMAGE, POSTED TO BUZZFEED, WAS THE 7TH "MOST VIRAL" POST OF THE WEEK, AND 4TH "MOST SHARED”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwoM5fLITfk
  • 39. WHY DID THIS PARTICULAR IMAGE SPREAD SO MUCH FURTHER AND FASTER THAN THE AVERAGE IMAGE POSTED TO THE WEB?
  • 40. LUCK HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, AS DID HUMOR, TIMELINESS AND AN OPENNESS TO INFOGRAPHICS-BASED JOKES BUT MOST OF ALL IT HAD TO DO WITH THE FACT IT APPEALED TO MANY DIFFERENT SOCIAL GROUPS AND WAS ABLE TO BRIDGE BARELY OVERLAPPING SOCIAL NETWORKS – THUS ACHIEVING SOCIAL CURRENCY AND EXPONENTIAL REACH
  • 41. 3
  • 42. BELIEVE IT OR NOT PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE THAN THEM – EQUALITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ARE STILL IDEAS THAT MOTIVATE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rphhfy4qCfc
  • 43. 4
  • 44. ENOUGH SAID ABOUT THIS– WE ALL HAVE COME TO ADMIRE THE SKILLS PUT IN MOTION DURING THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3Ol8YlfWig
  • 45. MAKE SURE EVERY EXPERIENCE YOU CREATE IS DESIGNED TO SPREAD THROUGH A DIGITAL SOCIAL NETWORK
  • 46. @NOUVE INTERPLAY
  • 47. Linkage economy the matthew effect @NOUVE INTERPLAY
  • 48. BECAUSE THE WAY PEOPLE SPREAD AND SHARE INFORMATION IS BY EXCHANGING LINKS @NOUVE INTERPLAY
  • 49. @NOUVE INTERPLAY
  • 50. 5 CATER FOR THE REMIX CULTURE http://www.flickr.com/photos/wild_images/1402152097/ …AND LIGHT LOTS OF FIRES …. HERD LIKE COPYING IS HOW THINGS SPREAD…
  • 51. http://thru-you.com/
  • 52. REMIX IS USED TO MAKE MEANING SO IF YOU LET PEOPLE MESS WITH YOUR CONTENT, IT GETS MORE SPREADABLE BECAUSE SUDDENLY CONSUMERS HAVE A PERSONAL STAKE IN ITS PROPAGATION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY
  • 53. 6 WHAT DO PEOPLE REALLY SPREAD? http://www.flickr.com/photos/11186622@N00/143311736/ THIS IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: IF I WANTED TO MAKE A “SPREADABLE” CAMPAIGN – WHAT SHOULD BE IN IT? WHAT ARE THE LEADING THEMES?
  • 54. BABIES & KIDS ALWAYS WORK – BABIES GIGGLING ARE ONE OF THE 10 MOST ADDICTIVE SOUNDS IN THE WORLD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQcVllWpwGs
  • 55. ANIMALS ARE A SURE HIT: THERE ARE AN OBSCENE NUMBER OF LOLCATS OUT THERE – THIS ONE RANKS #6 ON THIS YEARS MOST VIRAL CHART http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8
  • 56. HUMOR– WE INTUITIVELY UNDERSTAND THAT SHARING FUNNY ANECDOTES IS AN EASY WAY TO STRENGTHEN BONDS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0
  • 57. EXTREME SKILL IS BOUND TO CAPTURE ATTENTION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxNl 9WMyC70
  • 58. SEX - ALTHOUGH SEX SELLS, SURPRISINGLY IT DOES NOT FEATURE ON THE VIRAL CHARTS TOP 20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd27L4RDD94
  • 59. DESTRUCTION – WE’VE ALWAYS LIKED TAKING THINGS APART TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l 69Vi5IDc0g
  • 60. MAGIC– IT’S ALWAYS AN ENCHANTING EXPERIENCE THAT GETS YOU WONDERING AND LEAVES YOU FEELING…WELL BEWITCHED http://www.harrypottertweet.com/ SAMSUNG CAMERA TRICK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX8iVo5vc8o&feature=player_embedded
  • 61. UNIVERSAL CONCERNS – WILL ALWAYS FIND A CROWD TO MOVE, MOBILIZE AND RESONATE WITH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei 6JvK0W 60I
  • 62. http://www.flickr.com/photos/limpopostudio/3186806743/ BUT THE TRUTH IS THERE IS NO MAGIC FORMULA TO CREATING MEDIA THAT SPREADS, ONLY A FEW RULES OF THUMB
  • 63. THE HUMAN BRAIN RESPONDS TO EMOTIONS GENERATED BY SPECIFIC CUES: PARODY, HUMOR, ABSURDITY, SHOCK, INTRIGUE AND SURPRISE ARE JUST SOME OF THEM
  • 64. CONTENT SHOULD NOT BE PERFECT, AMBIGUITY IS GOOD AND PREFERABLY THERE SHOULD BE ROOM LEFT FOR DOUBT & SPECULATION: “IS THIS FOR REAL”?...”HOW DID THEY DO IT” …BECAUSE IT LEADS TO CONVERSATIONS AND EARNED MEDIA
  • 65. WHY IS SO IMPORTANT? EVERY CLICK YOU MAKE ON THE INTERNET IS A VOTE FOR A BRAND. BRANDS HAVE TO EARN THEIR PLACE ON THE INTERNET. BY HELGE TENNO, BUD CADDELL & MIKE ARAUZ
  • 66. AMBIGUITY AND SPECULATION LEAD TO ENGAGEMENT: WOM, CHATTER BUZZ AND SPREAD…A STRENGTHENED BOND WITH YOUR AUDIENCE (WHICH WAS KIND OF THE POINT FROM THE START) Ford Mondeo Desire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va9luw8pjDY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVq0u1BTGgE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W -JRJsxvq0
  • 67. SO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE, GIVE THEM A ROLE TO PLAY http://oneframeoffame.com/
  • 68. MAKE THEM PART OF THE EXPERIENCE...ONLY THEN WILL THEY SPREAD YOUR EXPERIENCE.… AND PLEASE, STOP SAYING VIRAL! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1uwexYeKAg&feature=player_embedded
  • 69. CREDITS: THIS IS THE PLACE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MANY BRILLIANT MINDS I HAVE RUTHLESSLY STOLEN FROM. THE PEOPLE WHOSE WRITINGS I HAVE BEEN READING RELIGIOUSLY OVER THE COUPLE OF MONTHS. FORWARD THINKERS IN THE PLANNING INDUSTRY WHOSE GENEROSITY IN SHARING THEIR THOUGHTS MAKES US ALL BETTER AT WHAT WE DO, PUSHING US TO THINK HARDER AND REVISIT SO MANY NOTIONS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED: FARIS YAKOB BUD CADDELL MIKE ARAUZ HELGE TENNO HENRY JENKINS ANA DOMB NOUVE INTERPLAY POLLEMAAGT I TRULY HOPE I HAVE NOT OFFENDED YOU, (THIS WAS PREPARED AS A WORKSHOP) BUT IF I DID, PLEASE DROP ME A LINE ON TWITTER @HASSONTWINS