Not Going Viral

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Nothing I have done has ever gone viral. I am talking about Charlie Bit My Finger viral. (840 million views, 500k comments) Ok, maybe even something with a few thousand likes. This is the kind of viral that usually happens in numbers similar to winning the lottery. Very few have done it and usually it is just once. Some people win a few thousand dollars sometimes and it is a momentous time in their lives.

I have no direct experience in going viral or even semi-viral. I am not famous. Despite this blog being around for 19 years, nothing in it is that spectacular. However, there are a few posts that get more views every day than anything else I write. Every day, day-in and day-out.

  1. WTF per Minute
  2. Conference Room Names
  3. GMail and p.MsoNormal
  4. Interface Not Supported Windows 7

Now, of course, none of these are viral. Also, none of these are UX related. They are just posts that happened to resonate with a daily theme of Google searches. The last one is specifically a driver issue from 9 years ago. It literally doesn’t matter anymore. GMail and p.MsoNormal is from 2009 and couldn’t possibly be relevant anymore. Yet, every day it gets another 50 views.  Conference Room Names, at least that makes sense. People search for that kind of thing consistently. But MsoNormal?  Come on.  And of course, WTF per minute is a joke that I didn’t even make up.

Sometimes, I imagine something I do becoming viral. In my dreams, it is something exceptional and inspiring like MLKs “I have a Dream” speech. However, I know that it will be for something stupid. Like making a funny face or some unrelated nonsense.

We don’t get to choose how are 15 minutes of fame comes about. I can just tell you that it will be for something that annoys you. The good news is that it will only last 15 (figurative) minutes. The only thing you can do is keep trying to create. Let the universe do its thing.

Side note: I have been talking about a rollout strategy of software that is slower than viral. I call it fungal. It sounds funny to me, but it creeps some people out. This is a chart of why I think it’s funny from my blog, 5 years ago.




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