Forget the Holy Grail. If you want to see god and possibly even be god in the new media world, you have to get virality – you have to know the secret to going viral. (This is not to be confused with virility, so anyone thinking The Blue Pill holds all the answers needs to take a cold shower.)
Anyway, back to the story: No one’s even sure exactly what virality is, but they know it when they see it. It’s broadly defined as content that gets spread very quickly via the Internet. And that’s what everyone wants. No kidding, everyone in the world – not just those of us in the communications business.
Alas, much like pursuit of the Holy Grail, obtaining virality is cloaked in mystery, myth and … crapshoots.
The folks at SocialTimes.com recently speculated that the key to going viral is “quirkiness,” even suggesting that we “plan quirkiness.” Hmmm….so how do you get to quirkiness, to get to virality? Well, what’s quirkiness, exactly? Here are some definitions the Internet spews:
weird, funny, unique, strange, awesome, cool, odd, cute, fun, random, different, intelligent, silly, amazing, beautiful, individual, dork, awkward, sarcastic, hot, witty, smart, sweet, gorgeous, clever, genius, sexy, nerd, amusing, eccentric, wonderful, happy, crazy, adorable, original, hilarious, offbeat, geek, dorky, oddball, intelligence, comical
Apparently they don’t want to make it too easy.
Planning quirkiness seems a lot like planning happiness – a direct assault rarely pays off. Like happiness, virality is a byproduct. You have to find just the right initial experience for both happiness and virality to emerge. That’s the quest we’re all on.