Not all that is called ‘viral’ is viral.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Not all that is called ‘viral’ is viral. 50,000 downloads of a YouTube video in one hour is certainly an achievement, but not necessarily a viral achievement. Unless we know what the mechanism behind a certain phenomenon was, the word ‘viral’ could be misleading or simply a synonym for

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Models of social infection

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: There are three basic models of (scalable) social infection, equally applicable in the organizational world and the macrosocial world (see the graph on the next page). (1) The first model is the one I call ‘Zero model’. In epidemiology, the ‘zero patient’ is where the epidemic starts.

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There is no such a thing as a ‘viral’ anything.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: No video or song is ‘viral’ until it is spread like an infection. There is no such a thing as a ‘viral’ anything. There may be different characteristics in the piece of world I information that may make it more suitable for a viral spread, but even a very suitable

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Scalable influence

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: During 2009, the advertising agency DDB in Stockholm created a campaign for Volkswagen in which the car company sponsored a competition to find ideas that would make people change behaviours…by making something more fun. Not surprisingly they called it ‘The Fun Theory’1. The three original experiments were fascinating (see

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Don’t do that

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: Giving airtime to X reinforces X. If X is a negative behaviour or a negative behavioural pattern, X gets reinforced, even if the intention is to stress ‘don’t do that’. I am a collector of ‘don’t do that’ signs from public and private places8 as a way of understanding

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Behaviours and airtime

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero: What gets reinforced (rewarded, recognized, gratified), increases in frequency. What is not, fades. This is your PhD in psychology in a sentence. At a social level, the most simple reinforcement mechanism of behaviours is airtime. And that means having the behaviours present and visible, and spending time talking about them

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