I chose to read “Going Viral” by Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley. As I started read this book, I thought to myself, “Wow, this book is going to be boring.” I was wrong. Very shortly into the first chapter I found myself genuinely enjoying my time reading. The part that really drug me in was on page 7 and 8. This was about Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff of Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defense tweeted, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot Damn.” He tweeted this before President Obama had the chance to make a formal announcement. The reason this stuck with me is because of how much we rely on social media, especially to get our news, and most of us don’t even realize it. One of the most important things that has happened in the 21st century, the death of Osama Bin Laden, was announced via twitter, rather than a formal press hearing from our President.

Another part of the book that I think was excellently written and researched is chapter 7, “Afterlife”. This chapter is about the decay of viral events. According to Nahon and Hensley, “Even after the peak of a viral event, people continue to consume the content and the number of cumulative views continue to rise. However what is decaying is the rate of growth of the number of views that a viral event receives.” This quote from the book really stuck with me because, personally I never even thought of viral events and the word decay going together. It is so interesting to me that there was actual research done, and they proved that even after the video was up for a while, people still view it (obviously) but they are not viewing it as much, and there are fewer new people that are opening it.

There was just one part of the book that I was not very interested in, and that is chapter 2. The only reason I did not like it as much as the rest of the book, was for the simple fact that there were so many graphs. I understand that sometimes you need a graph or chart for a visual aid, but it got to the point where there was one on every page, for a few pages.

Other than the graph, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very informative, and I feel educated on the topic of virality.

Check out these other reviews on Going Viral:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/06/09/book-review-going-viral-by-karine-nahon-and-jeff-hemsley/

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/12/03/new-book-going-viral-explores-nature-impact-of-internet-virality/

 

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