Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Viral Loop - Adam L. Penerberg

The internet has transformed how we communicate and it has given virality a whole new lease of life. In the past, word of mouth generated publicity for goods. Recommend a book to a friend and chances were that they might buy it too. However, with the advent of the internet, this effect has snowballed.

Virality is now an integral part of life, with events on the internet taking on a life of their own (recall how Obama's campaign used the internet and Twitter to groundbreaking effect). Penerberg has written a book which focuses on the viral effect used by sites such as and Facebook. In essence, what good is posting a video on YouTube if no one sees it. To grow, these sites have to get people to visit, connect and share. The author discusses the concept of the Viral Loop, or the point of referral which a website has to pass in order to become self-sustaining (i.e. have a viral coefficient greater than 1.0).

While the book claims to reveal the "Power of pass it on", it really is more a history of the most successful websites in recent years. It takes us through Ning, Hotornot, Facebook, Flickr and many more, but doesn't really reveal too much other than a potted series of anecdotes. Ultimately, while interesting, it's not very revealing.

1 comment

Unknown said...

Yeah as you told me it is very true thinking for all Internet issues. Viral loop is one of the most part from its work on net. Thanks for the post and too interested in it...

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