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What can we learn about social media and society in general from the hype generated by Kony 2012?

Although I have known about Invisible Children for quite some time, I was surprised to see the sudden boom in attention pointed towards the group due to Kony 2012. I want to explore - what causes a social media boom like this? What is it about the movement that makes people react so emotionally (in both positive and negative ways)? How can we use this time of energy in constructive ways in the future?


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    Mar 13 2012: for me, the main question is whether it was a lucky shot or an engineered success. and i don't mean the intent. the intent is of course engineered success. but it was truly a reproducible result of masterful engineering, or it was just random.

    we all know how much role luck plays. youtube puppy videos range from hundreds to hundreds of millions of views, despite the apparent lack of any meaningful difference.

    but if someone can reliably design a successful viral internet campaign of this magnitude, it is something we need to be aware of. mostly in order to avoid it.
    • Mar 13 2012: I totally agree that popularity on the internet is assigned rather randomly. I agree with your concerns regarding these viral internet campaigns, but I still can't help but feel that if only we could understand the culture of the online community and what characteristics make certain media more likely to catch attention it could be used in a more constructive way to bring needed awareness. I feel that right now the internet is used for shallow purposes and full depth of what is possible has not yet been documented.

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