How viral stuff really works

Posted by on Jun 5, 2007 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Great interview on HBR podcast with Duncan Watts (Mr “it’s the trees not the match” Forest Fire).

To mix metaphors: It’s not the seeding but the fertility of the ground and the conditions in which your little weed grows that really counts.

Sound common sense and dose of cold-water reasoning for the over-excited in the viral space. Oh, and an interesting story from Cincinatti.

Listen with pleasure, my friends.


  1. John Dodds
    June 6, 2007

    Interesting indeed, but isn’t it a big assumption that the act of pasing on one message that resonated with you should be equated with granting permission to receive further messages which may have a different slant. That relationship word was thrown in a little quickly for my liking.
    How soon will the mailing list of 900,000 begin to get pissed off with new messages or by the prevalence of other marketers using the same techniques? I heard nothing about permission and that worried me.

  2. Mark Earls
    June 6, 2007

    Good point, John (as ever). Think the overall model seems to be much more sound than the widespread one at the mo’.
    Had an interesting disagreement with someone in the States a couple of weeks ago…didn’t want to believe that this kind of model.
    Essentially, the fella saw it as too simple – the old nothing complex can arise out of simple causes error, I think. I was struck by his preference for something quite arcane and cobbled together and complete lack of interest in other ways of thinking. Like he didn’t care about evidence – he believed what he preferred to believe…