The 3 Characteristics of Successful Viral Campaigns

I've been musing about this topic lately -- what is the difference between the email, video, post, article, site, forum, service, widget, or whatever that "goes viral" and the one that just hangs out there languishing ad infinitum without achieving the reach, awareness, and traffic that it's creators had hoped for? Well I may not have the complete answer, but here's my summary perspective on the 3 key characteristics that seem to spark and sustain viral phenomenons. You might say, "it can't really be that simple, can it?" I think it just might be. Have ideas or opinions to take umbrage with, or complement, mine? Feel free to add your comments to this post. The more laughter, adrenaline, or money it creates for web users, the more likely it is that THIS post will go viral too... Oh, and a couple points of definition to qualify my statements below. "Quickly" means in two minutes or less, and "for free" means really, truly no financial cost now or in the future. And one more thing: possessing not just one, but instead two or all three of the characteristics below has a multiplicative effect on the speed and reach that something goes viral, in my view. Cheers. THE 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL VIRAL CAMPAIGNS: 1) It dramatically entertains quickly - for free 2) It dramatically surprises quickly - for free 3) It makes or saves people money - for real - for free

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