So what makes a post go viral?


Having put out over 2500 posts in my two years blogging I find it quite interesting to reflect on what has proved most successful in terms of number of views and what hasn’t.

there does not seem to be any rhyme of reason to it. You put out a number of similar posts and get the usual number of views and then suddenly one will take off and receive lots of attention. For some reason it seems to capture people’s imagination.

It makes me certain there is a zeitgeist (or some similar mass psychological process) at work.

It is weird.

My most successful blogs in terms of numbers of views have been:

Roy Harper Dissident on trial

Roy Harper acquitted but where is the justice in this?

Thank you Scotland

and recently:

Buffy St Marie – Carry it On – Lyrics of defiance with hope.

I’m Not Like Everybody Else – Ray Davies and the Kinks – Lyrics and how they impacted.

Anecdote – Hitching across the Pennines to A Roy Harper gig

By no means were these my best posts but they were all among the best. There was something about them that captured people’s imaginations. They propelled themselves into the stratosphere.

What was that essence that sparked the shamanic zeitgeist and enticed people to check out and pass on that particular post?

12 thoughts on “So what makes a post go viral?

  1. To work out the correlation between viewers popularity you’d need to analyse the day you posted, the time of day you posted and time of viewings. Basically apply the same principles applied by on-line Market Research companies. That graph will give you a better handle.

    1. There is an element of that. There is certainly a factor involving time of day, day and context. But I suspect, given the fact that it is accessed over a considerable time period, there are bigger factors at work.
      It would be interesting to analyse it further but I’m too busy to be bothered at the moment. Maybe when things have calmed down.

  2. I’ve asked myself those same questions. People seem to like the ones I dislike so much. I can’t figure it out! That’s a lot of posts, Opher. I just hit 1000 a month or so ago and I feel positively winded!!! 🙂

    1. Well done Cheryl – a 1000 is very commendable. Sometimes there is plenty of inspiration and sometimes it all dries up.
      What I can’t figure out is how people all latch on to one. They don’t know what it is until they open it. Why do they go mad?

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