Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tip#126: The Good In A Virus - Pay It Forward

The term "viral" has become a positive term when it comes to internet marketing. It refers to the chain reaction of a message being passed on to others online. It is a reminder that there is a good side to a virus.

I recently became entangled with a mass email virus. It originated from someone else's email list and spread to 100's of others instantaneously. Whenever someone replied with a request to be removed from the e-list it replicated the virus even more. The next morning there were over 120 unwanted emails in my inbox.

The responses to this unexpected event were very interesting. Some were polite and simply asked to be removed while others were clearly irritated by the inconvenience. Some had a curious attitude to the mess while others saw the positive side that it was connecting strangers and presenting potential business connections.

Optimistic Responses

It was enlightening to read the optimistic responses. Everyone had a different default response to the situation and I was very inspired by those who embraced a sense of fun with the mass emails. It was a good example of how the term "viral" had its positive effects. It's like the word of mouth buzz that spreads about any intriguing message or product.

For example, remember the teaser trailer for the movie, CloverfieldI wrote about in tip#124. The mystery of the theatre teaser caused an instant viral curiosity and discussion among movie fans online. It attributed to the word of mouth buzz and success of the film's marketing campaign.

Pay It Forward

I'm also reminded of how a negative virus can spread in zombie movies like 28 Weeks Later, Dawn of the Deadand I Am Legend (see tip#114). Now take that negative viral zombie concept and flip it onto the positive side and you get a movie like Pay It Forward.

The film features actor Haley Joel Osment who initiates a class project to help change the world. His idea was to do a random act of kindness for 3 people and then have them each do the same for another 3. The concept quickly becomes viral and helped make positive changes for hundreds of people. (For more on 'Pay It Forward' see tip#2)

So be inspired to make your default responses an optimistic one. Look at the silver lining of your computer problems or other unexpected changes in your day. It could be life prodding you to learn something new or to make new connections with others.

In the end just being optimistic can be viral to others!

Emmanuel Lopez
Silverlining Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

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