Going “viral”

When I was a kid, “viral” referred to a type of infection/disease/health issue. Something caused due to a “virus”.

However, in last few years since the advent of Social Media, “viral” has a new meaning. Today, “going viral” refers to the sharing of something — often a video or a website link — via email or social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, which picks up exponentially!

It can be explained by a combination of concepts in psychology such as Social Proof, or Heard mentality,  or another concept in Economics called Bandwagon effect

Most popular example of this was a Korean song called “Gangnam style” which went viral on YouTube and has so far got 2.95 Billion views! If you check multiple versions of the song it would have got well over 5 Billion views!

Closer to home, you might remember the song “Kolavari Di” song sung by Dhanush. This song went viral few years ago and it has so far received 128 Million hits! Not bad!

When something goes viral in social media, more people watch it, or follow it just because it has gone “viral”. It creates a Flywheel Effect and the trend further grows momentum. Nobody knows what is that tipping point or that flash which makes something viral. There are Digital Marketing companies which try to make something go “viral” – through hashtag or simulated hits, links etc.

But why am I saying all this now? Well, my blog was never read by more than a few hits (maybe 2-3) per day – most likely new people everyday, since nobody would (willingly) revisit my blog to read 🙂

And a couple of days back I posted something on “Infosys” – related to tussle between Narayana Murthy and Vishal Sikka. The blog quoted Peter Drucker’s line: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast everyday”.

I don’t know why but suddenly the blog post saw a manifold jump in hits yesterday. Instead of 2-3 views per day it suddenly shot up to 63 or so! I don’t know why…I thought it was probably some random event. However, today when I woke up, I got following alerts from WordPress:


So I looked up the analytics page and found that for the second consecutive day, the same blog post had received 80+ hits! (130 as I write this post…)


The Infosys article alone got 70 hits! Clearly the post (and thus the blog) has gone “viral” – compared to its “abysmal” levels earlier…and the flywheel effect is evident, since the trend sustained for the second day.

I am not claiming that the article was good or deserved the hits/views it got. I was just amused by the “Going viral” trend as it happened with me.

Now that I have got your eyeballs, I better churn out some more posts to keep you engaged! Some motivation to clear some of my long pending drafts/blog ideas…


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