What Goes Viral

by phil on Thursday Aug 16, 2012 2:15 AM

I've been reading Danah Boyd's dissertation Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics [pdf] and found this gem of a description as to what goes viral online:

The same argument can be made concerning networked media, as what scales in networked publics is often the funny, the crude, the embarrassing, the mean, and the bizarre, "ranging from the quirky and offbeat, to potty humor, to the bizarrely funny, to parodies, through to the acerbically ironic" (Knobel and Lankshear 2007). Those seeking broad attention, like politicians and wannabe celebrities, may have the ability to share their thoughts in networked publics, but they may not achieve the scale they wish. The property of scalability does not necessarily scale what individuals want to have scaled or what they think should be scaled, but what the collective chooses to amplify.
Something to think about while toiling in obscurity or while patting yourself on the back for being Internet famous.

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