Some poor guy who jumped off the roof into a tube of goo and didn’t exactly make it

Dr. Terre Layng Rosner's picture

I’d like to talk about websites in my entry to you this month. Websites… hmmmm, websites… urrh. What about them? I mean most of our students grew up with “surfing” the WWW (and if you don’t know that acronym then you aren’t my target audience), and they are comfortable, if not bored with what they see. What seems to be the exception are those sites that have some kind of humor or unexpected injury to that “poor guy who jumped off the roof into a tube of goo and didn’t exactly make it.” What goes viral is unpredictable. Or is it?

What if we could predict which websites and social media would go viral? Well, we’d be millionaires, billionaires, right? Not necessarily. Most studies show that viral sites are fleeting and that they go “out” as quickly as they come “in”. Additionally, they don't make the producer any money! So, what is the secret to building a website where people will visit and stay for a while? The best answer is value. If a website brings a sort of value to the user then it will be remembered and shared. In the end, that is our goal—to get people to share. So next time you view one of those viral videos or memes, consider using your time more wisely and share something—some information—of value to your receiver. It’s just the right thing to do.

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