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The Things That Make Stories Go Viral

Persuasive Stories

Persuasive Stories

Content persuasive and memorable enough has the tendency to evoke the person to share it to others, has ethics, emotion, and logic. If the content is credible, has some emotional appeal, and is logical, it has a high probability to be shared among others.

Why some stories go viral and others don’t was first discussed back in 350 BCE by Aristotle.

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The Things That Make Stories Go Viral

The Things That Make Stories Go Viral

https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-six-things-that-make-stories-go-viral-will-amaze-and-maybe-infuriate-you

newyorker.com

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Key Ideas

Evoking Emotion

Studies on the ‘viral’ tendencies of articles showed that:

  • Positive messages were shared more often.
  • Articles evoking an emotional response to the reader fared well.
  • An exciting headline made a big difference.
  • Amusing stories of the same event or news performed better than the duller versions.

What Makes Content Go VIral

Content can go viral when one takes care of the following things:

  1. The emotional value of the content.
  2. Arousal of positivity or excitement in the reader.
  3. An insider culture, a social currency that is understood by a subset of people.
  4. A memory-inducing trigger, which helps one remember the core message.
  5. Practicality and usefulness of the information, making it shareworthy.
  6. Good quality content, packaged in a great story, making it compelling to view and share.

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Memes
Memes

The content shared online is always changing because of the creativity of users who remix, parody, or caption popular images or videos, to create memes.

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Origins of memes

Memes have their origins in the world of academia. Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins describes a meme as "a unit of cultural transmission or imitation."

The word comes from the Greek 'mimema', meaning imitated.

Going viral

Internet memes are units of popular culture that are shared, imitated, and changed by users.

The first meme on the internet was the sideways 'smiley' :-) , created in 1982. The practice of using punctuation markers to show emotion spread quickly and later other expressions, such as :-( and ;-) were added.
The first example of digital viral content is the Hampster Dance meme - rows of dancing hamster GIFs - created by an art student in 1998.

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Storytelling is...
Storytelling is...
...the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.
Why we tell stories
  • Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages;
  • Stories bring people together: stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them;
  • Stories inspire and motivate, by tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad.
Good stories are …
  • Entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • Organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

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