Creating Contagious Content

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Creating Contagious Content Psychology of Going Viral Online

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The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses. Edith Sodergran

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This is the story of how my friend, Keith Anderson. Keith was greatly helped when a piece of content I wrote went viral online.

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Keith has a wife, Julie, and two daughters. In this picture, they are enjoying a holiday break one year before a traumatic event affected all their lives.

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One year later, Keith would be diagnosed with pancreatitis, which is severe inflammation of the pancreas. It is very painful, like having a heart attack.

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My friend would undergo four surgeries. He was hooked up to a dialysis machine. Keith was put into drug-induced coma for over a month. He gained 100 pounds of water weight. He lungs were filling up with water (at one point).

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I thought of his family. I needed to do something. I asked Julie how they were doing financially. She said, “Ok.” But, I knew better. So, I did something about it.

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I wrote a blog article asking the community to help out Keith’s family.

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I posted the article on the day before Thanksgiving, which is also known as Travel Day in America. People are traveling to see family. I expected a tepid response.

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We raised one-thousand dollars. I had asked for 1,500 originally. $1,000

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I expected less on Thanksgiving Day. People were with family.

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Black Friday. People would be shopping?

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Cyber Monday. Online Deals? People still shopping?

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In the end, we kept raising money….

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The Importance of Contagious Content

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Brian Sullivan. @BrianKSullivan @bigdesign Hi, my name is #viral

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Design Strategy & Execution Run 3 start of the art UX testing facilities at a major software firm.

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Founded Dallas UX Group Over 1,100 people in the group. We meet monthly.

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I founded Big Design Conference in 2008. September 4-6, 2014

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Industry Speaker

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User Guides

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Cover Articles

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500+ Blog Posts

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#1 Slides from SxSW 2013

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The coolest thing I have ever written was about Keith Anderson.

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What Makes Content Contagious?

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I wanted to know why this piece of content went viral. So, I read Contagious and Made to Stick.

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Contagious by Jonah Berger helped me to understand the reasons for the content going viral.

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Sharable information to make us feel good to those in our circle.

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Social currency was a personal value (sense of belonging and helping out).

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Sights, sounds and stimuli that reminds us to share.

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Rebecca Black’s “Friday” Voted worst song of all time.

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69 Million Views on You Tube

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The natural trigger was to go there each Friday.

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Trigger may have been the family picture (sent on day before Thanksgiving).

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When we care, we share. Arousal leads people to take action.

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730 million views on You Tube Charlie Bit My Finger

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Emotions are Contagious

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Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion

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Seven Most Viral Emotions Awe Anger Anxiety Fear Joy Lust Surprise

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Do Not Create a Call to Action

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Create a Call to Passion

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Emotions were fear, anxiety, and surprise. When donating, love, serenity, and optimism.

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Content is built to show and grow in a public way.

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Men grew moustaches in November to show support for cancer research at a site. Mou-Vember

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1. Mortgage payment in November. 2. Christmas presents in December. Two Concrete Goals

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Behavioral Residue: Social deposits of our own personality.

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Behavioral residue for the public came in many different forms. More public, more viral.

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News people can use or something with a concrete value.

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People Helping People

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Shucking Corn Easily Ken Craig, 86 years old, created a video with over 10 million views. He does not have email.

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1. Mortgage payment in November. 2. Christmas presents in December. Two Concrete Goals

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While there was no practical value, we certainly had concrete values people understood.

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Everyone loves a good story. You love to hear, tell, and share stories.

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The Story of The Trojan Horse

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The Story of Jared Fogle

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The Story of Mean Joe Greene

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The Story of Keith’s Family

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Stories are more trustworthy than ads.

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Just the Story, Ma’am! Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts.

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Stories are more trustworthy than facts.

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The story talked about Keith’s situation, but it also talked about his wife and daughters.

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Lightening Strikes Twice, Sometimes

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#1 Slides from SxSW 2013

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Spoke on Sunday

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Daylight Saving Day

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On Slideshare Home Page

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Lightening Strikes a Third Time, Too

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Molly Holzschlag

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"If Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the Web, than Molly Holzschlag is its fairy godmother."?

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She Ended the Browser Wars

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Molly Founded W3C

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Molly Has Liver Cancer

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Raised $67,000, So Far Original goal was $10,000. It went viral. I told the group that we would hit $75,000 eventually.

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Some Final Thoughts

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Create a Call to Passion

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The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses. Edith Sodergran

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Create Contagious Content Make a Difference, Be Different!!!