Skip to main content



How does the rich get richer effect help things go viral?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/can-i-get-a-refund-tho#.ebj66r3nL

Included is a Buzzfeed link to an article about a blogpost which went viral last week. A humorous look at modern dating, it details an anecdote in which a man asked the female author to reimburse for a coffee date after she rejected him for a second date. The post went viral, with many people sharing and retweeting the story.

At first glance, one might think that the story went viral because it was a good story. This is partly true, but there is more to the story than that. The story went viral because it started to go viral, calling to mind the ‘rich get richer’ effect.

This might seem redundant, or even circular, but it makes sense. The initial group of people posting and commenting on it made it appear on other people’s newsfeeds. Facebook’s algorithms picked up on the traffic, so the post was easily visible to people who came across it. This allowed more people to see and share it, which started an information cascade and made it go viral.

In addition to the information effect, there was also an element of direct benefit effect. If lots of people are liking and commenting on a post, it allows other to join in on the conversations and have lots of people see their own comments, benefiting them simply because there are so many people in the conversation.

So, the next time you see something going viral, remember: rich get richer.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Blogging Calendar

November 2015
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives