How To Never Go Viral
By Erik Stinson
The most important part of never going viral is staying off the Internet. This might sound OK now, but imagine 2011.
Don’t Name Anything or Use Meta Tags
The Internet relies on a series of math equations that factor in language when deciding where to send users. If there is no language connecting you to the sweet viral shit someone is searching for, there is no way for anyone to find you and make you viral.
Avoid Anything with the Phrases “iPhone 5” or “Mac OS 11”
Something that will keep you from going viral is staying away from things people really want. There are a wide variety of things you can do to avoid extremely viralwords and ideas. You could move to a bleak, authentic ‘off the grid’ home and live off carefully harvested organic onions. Or, you could simply never type the words “Dakota Fanning will be creative director for the new self-driving Google car. Cupcake kittens.”
Employ the Use of Vapid Trends
On the other hand, people who spend time on the Internet looking for things to click on are very tired of many things. They are looking for something new. If you show them old images and ideas, they will probably leave you alone and never click on you again. Like your parents and your friends from high school, you will remain obscure by being out-of-date thematically.
A List of Things that Can Probably No Longer Go Viral
- Print ads involving a visual metaphor
- Erotic NSFW images of any kind
- Unimaginative references to celebrities
If you plan something really well and it becomes widely known, that’s called ‘making something well,’ not ‘going viral.’ Viral must have the aura of shitty. Example: ad agencies that employ the ‘viral look’ AKA grainy camera phone shot of an impossible physical feat. Working hard and producing a popular cultural product is the opposite of going viral.
Tell Your Friends
Your close friends will have no interest in your brilliant idea or video. Thank Christ. They see you as a person and not as the creator of ingenious online dementia. If you let them know about your wonderful new shit – via Facebook, for example – they will probably look at it passively and wonder why you are becoming such an asshole. Your hits will decrease dramatically.
Really Want It
Caring means you tried too hard. You will probably not go viral. The thing you made will lack spontaneity. The movements will be too rigid, the colors too justified, the language too considered.
Work in Advertising
I work in Advertising and let me tell you: the only thing we want is to “go viral.” It almost never happens. At least I am getting paid to try.
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