Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to make the most emailed list...on NYT

Here is a very interesting article from the NYT - Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome - talking about something that is dear to the heart of anyone who is interested in social media for fun or academic reasons. The article is about the findings of a research study focusing on the most emailed articles from the NYT to figure out what made an article more or less likely to be circulated.
People preferred e-mailing articles with positive rather than negative themes, and they liked to send long articles on intellectually challenging topics.
Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list. In general, they found, 20 percent of articles that appeared on the Times home page made the list, but the rate rose to 30 percent for science articles, including ones with headlines like “The Promise and Power of RNA.” (I swear, the science staff did nothing to instigate this study, but we definitely don’t mind publicizing the results.)
Interesting on one hand, but not very surprising, eh? People are more likely to want to share good news, surprise and inspire their friends with information most of the time - unless it is me emailing my husband a bunch of links to beat him up in a debate...I am a barrel of laughs, why do you ask?.

There are a lot of lessons in this to not just bloggers, but to investors in social media - a sunny disposition that also disburses knowledge? Social media gold!

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