Vroom Vroom Party Starter! The Virality of the Web

Do you remember this past Super Bowl where there was a Budweiser commercial featuring Conan O’Brien? Well they started airing it again on TV recently and after seeing it again, it got me thinking about how the web has made it so that anything is no longer subjected to being seen in a specific area, whether it be geographic, virtual, or any other area. The commercial basically starts out with Conan being talked into doing a TV ad for Budweiser that will only be aired in Sweden. Assured that it won’t go beyond the borders of the country, Conan agrees. 

There’s a problem with people thinking like that. If you want your marketing campaigns to only be limited to specific areas, then that’s fine, but the added publicity worldwide is not a bad thing. However, if you have a negative reaction on a campaign, you’re going to need to work twice as hard to get it fixed because while you benefit from worldwide publicity, it can also damage your credibility on a global scale.

The beauty of social media allows for information to be shared across all sorts of mediums. When you register for an event using Eventbrite or visit a blog or website, chances are that you’re given an option to post or share your activity with your friends across the world or at least across the Internet. Try it out the next time you’re invited to an event by your friends. If you have to pay to register, check out the registration system and see if it allows you, upon completion, to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. because you might be surprised that it will. 

Virality doesn’t just happen across multiple platforms. It extends to multiple areas of a single platform as well. If your friend is tagged by his or her friend that you don’t know, that information is shared on Facebook so you can see it too. If an event is being attended by a friend, you’ll find out as well and you are potentially given the option to register as well. Twitter itself allows for people to share in the experience. If there’s something you enjoy and tweet about it, those that are following you are able to retweet that information as well. Likewise with blogs as well. Wtih the advent of plugins for blogging software, you can have folks share your posts on a variety of mediums and more. Through the use of sites like Digg, Technorati, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Facebook, and technology like RSS, information is no longer confined to a single area. Virality happens much quicker.

So next time you think that the web can be isolated, think again. Your information will be spread to the masses faster than you can imagine.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."