Going Viral: podcast discussion


In this podcast, Steven Koss and I, Sandra Harris, discuss the book Going Viral by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley. Listen as we briefly explain Nahon and Hemsley’s definition of virality and the way the book explains how a piece of information goes viral and the reasons a piece of information goes viral. We quickly touch on top-down virality versus bottom-up virality, both of which can lead to information becoming viral and reaching the masses.

The book touches on viral events such as Susan Boyle, Kony and Alexandra Wallace. In our discussion, we take a look at how the social media events following Osama Bin Laden’s death played out on Twitter and eventually on the news. These are the specific Tweets mentioned in the podcast by Keith Urbahn and Brian Stelter.


Screen shot of tweets from twitter.com (Sandra Harris)

Listen as we discuss how examples in the book successfully frame the idea of virality in events that the reader most likely experienced as it happened. We also take the time to examine the downside of using such timely examples in order to simplify a complex topic.

This article quoted toward the end of our podcast includes an interview with Nahon that gives a little more background on the idea of virality and reveals some unintended consequences of virality.

In this video, Researcher and Author Jeff Hemsley sheds a little more light on why he has chosen to focus on virality as a vital topic. This video summarizes his research well.

In this video, Researcher and Author Karine Nahon answers questions on the impact virality has, and could potentially have, on our society.

For more information and reviews of Going Viral you can checkout this article by Nikki Soo, PhD candidate at the University of London, Book Review: Going Viral by Karine and Jeff Hemsley. For a more comparative look at the book and the idea of virality, take a look at this article titled Plague of Viral Memes by Scott McLemee, the intellectual affairs columnist at Inside Higher Ed.



Author: Sandra Harris

Hi, my name is Sandra. I am a senior at Wayne State University majoring in public relations with a minor in new media. My anticipated graduation date is May 2017. I hope to pursue a career in either corporate communications or copy editing. At Wayne State University I am one the "Salute" editor-in-chief for the Wayne State chapter of PRSSA. I am also a fourth year member of the Wayne State University cheer team.

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