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virality with a kapital ‘V’

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The web is currently obsessed with this concept of virality, how can a site grow exponentially in terms of traffic, user registrations and ten thousand other metrics. This reminds me of some sort of a gold rush, very little analysis behind what is right or wrong … people seem to be blinded by success and attempt to replicate it rather blindly.

With the advent of web 2.0, the metrics for measuring the success of an application has been the number of users in the system, how the social network evolves …. etc etc. I saw it very specifically in a video at googleplex by the founders of billmonk.com , the first thing they listed was about their user registration growth rates blah … even facebook founder at f8 convention displayed some crappy “extrapolated” user growth graphs …. the funniest part is … these guys forget that the growth rate is bounded in effect by the slow pace of internet growth in US and europe.

I am perplexed at how simple math can really skew up people’s attitude towards products. facebook is like crazy big, or is it ? Alexa still puts Myspace.com as the king … what say to that …. hyper Virality has been achieved by applications which are really useful and keep users in the system (widgets play an important role in such applications).

We all think that fooling the user into registration may work, but stickiness seems to play an important role for a brand to succeed. To get that one needs a real utility, look at hotornot.com simple concept … but it has been really taken to the next level in terms of utility …. ego massaging with social networking … works for most people … simplicity really played the key role for HoN.  I really feel portals need to assess their proposition to the user before looking at hyper viral tactics

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