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Virality of Movement, Processing Signals & Health Talk

Weekly eNews Blog: October 30, 2017

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October 30, 2017


This powerful phrase has spread like wildfire and in a short time has managed to permeate virtually every social and traditional media newsfeed.

Considering that a google search revealed 95,500,000 hits, it’s undeniable that #metoo is a movement in the making.

It’s organically growing and not yet-commercialized. It ignites emotional, yet contentious discourse. It sheds a critical light on the “why” underlying this campaign — a serious but overlooked epidemic.

So this week we’re wondering, what makes a movement move?

Every movement starts with an idea– that is, a foundational issue that requires a solution.

It need not be politically motivated. Much like Hamilton’s dramatization, it could start in a bar over a round of beer. The American revolution, for example, found root in a simple idea that “we hold these truths to be self evident that all men (and women) are created equal.”

So let’s explore why and how ideas move.

Viral Networks
Virality is achieved when an idea’s rate of penetration, reach and scope of impact grows with each individual adoption. Conversely, an idea with network effects only gets more valuable after reaching a critical mass.  Irrespective of the differences, however nuanced, movements thrive when supported by an optimal platform for distribution — one that increases the likelihood of increasing awareness and by extension, impact. Thinking beyond business concepts for a moment, at the heart of many movements is an idea or issue that requires a deeper level of engagement that a simple marketing strategy or how much social media attention is achieved.

What You Get for the Money
The value proposition of idea movements is quantified by more than dollars and cents. TED talks, with all their addicting content, were established on the belief that some ideas are truly important and worth spreading—not just locally, but globally.  According to Unrly’s research as dissected by HBR, virality is traced in part to social motivation:

Ideas move not just when jettisoned out in the ether.  Rather, momentum is fueled by motivation, or why the idea is worth sharing in the first place.

But how do you feel?
Ultimately, the rapid adoption of an idea movement boils down to one’s psychological response. In essence, how the idea makes you feel is what matters the most.

Think about the idea movements in your personal and professional lives. From a new flex time policy in your workplace to Buzz Feed videos which likely capture an inordinate amount of your internet browsing time. Consider what makes these movements stick. Why do they resonate? How do you  know?

These are the key characteristics necessary to make your ideas move, gain traction and if you’re lucky, go viral in effectuating meaningful change.


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