The New York Times has a great article about viral video.
I found this quote very interesting
It’s written by Natalie Kitroeff, and it’s very good, go read it.
What is interesting is they didn’t say tell the truth, make it more intellectual, or make it be visually stunning.
It’s all about the emotion.
The character of Linkbait is all about emotion.
But here’s the thing, most people are proud. People want to appear more intelligent and well read than they actually are and so will ignore the creation of the simple emotional signal for the complex intellectual one. I am guilty of this. It’s not about dumbing down, it’s simply about understanding how the human brain works and how it reacts to some dumb video.
The journalist wants the cat to die, because that is what happens and that is what journalists do, they report the facts.
The viral expert wants the cat to live because a positive emotion is more likely to be shared than a negative one.
Thing is, people will not tell you what they really like, but they will show you by what they react to and what they allow on their screens and into their minds.
Creating website melting traffic is not about intellect, it’s about being savvy about the human mind.