4 Things I Learned From Going Semi-Viral On Google+

most talked about people on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

Last week I came up with a funny idea for a graphic. I called it “The Most Talked About People On Social Media“. It had a photo of the most talked about people on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. As you can see those 3 people are Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Albert Einstein. I had no idea that it would go semi-viral just a few hours after posting it on Google+!

I came up with the idea after noticing day after day that Einstein was showing up on the “What’s Hot On Google+” feed (now located under the “Explore” tab). Everyday there is either an Einstein photo or quote that is seeing a lot of activity. Seriously, Einy is everywhere on Google+. And it sparked a thought that led me to search out who the most talked about people on Facebook and Twitter were.

I found an article on Rihanna being the most talked about person on Facebook in 2012. That was easy enough to find, and credible enough to go with. And being that Bieber has more Klout than the President, and he’s constantly in the Trending Topics, it was a safe enough assumption that Bieber fever is the dominant force on Twitter.

So this fun little graphic I created came out of my own observation and a creative humorous spin. Here’s what happened next:

For the majority of the next day my post was on the “What’s Hot On Google+” page and was reaching thousands of people. I had no idea that it would go semi-viral, but I was ready to see what would come of it!

The degree of popularity it reached was nowhere near something like the most viral video of all time. However, after it lost it’s steam I had some time to reflect on what I learned from this experience. Below are 4 of the most interesting things I took away from my semi-viral experience.

Each social network has different responses

People on Google+ love when you make them sound smart. For the most part, I was met with positive feedback for the graphic I created despite the few Trolls– but I’ll get into that later.

People on Facebook hate you when you talk about Google+. It’s true, die-hard Facebookers are by nature Google+ haters. It’s almost as bad as the Mac Vs. PC war. Some people just don’t want to hear anything about Google+, especially when it makes Google+ look better.

People on Twitter don’t care, they’re too busy tweeting about Justin Bieber. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true, but it’s funny. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Twitter!

Some people need to lighten up

One bit of resistance that kept showing up was people asking for statistics and claiming my claims to be false. They demanded to see the source of my information and refused to believe me until they did. I wonder if they analyze every cat meme they see with such criticism. “There’s no way that cat was thinking that! How do you know that is what he was thinking? I want proof!

Seriously, it’s just a funny meme. Nobody is dying over it. No one will be getting fired for it, and no kittens were hurt in the making of it. It was intended for entertainment value. If your first response is, “I want to know where you got your statistics,” I think it’s time you sat down and played Angry Birds or something. Lighten up! Here’s a video to help you:


Always put your name on your artwork

I knew before I posted that image that somebody was going to take it and repost it without giving me proper credit. So, what did I do? I made sure I put my name on it. Not only that, I did it in a way that Google+ enthusiasts would recognize, with a “+” in front and my full name spelled out.

Within the first 30min. of me posting that image, somebody had copied it to their desktop and reposted it as their own post. If that wasn’t bad enough, they posted a lower resolution version of the image, which was really unfortunate. This person actually got more shares and +1s than mine in the first few hours, which gave them a pretty good headstart on my post.

I was more put off by the fact they posted a low quality version than the fact that they didn’t share it directly from me (giving me credit). If you’re going to steal something and share it with the world, at least steal the best quality!

Forget trying to keep up with comments

As obsessive as I am at following up with people when they comment, there was no way I could keep up with this post. It was actually pretty annoying. I wanted to respond to the intelligent comments, but by the time I would get to it, there was at least a dozen or so that I would have to sort through to get to the one I was after. It just wasn’t possible to keep up with all the comments.

After all that, it was a pretty fun experiment. I don’t know how people like +Mike Elgan, +Michelle Marie, and +Daria Musk stay sane when they have at least a few hundred comments per day (it seems like). This is one more reason why when people say Google+ is a “ghosttown” I just look at them, smile, and nod.

What do you think about my fun little graphic?

Dustin W. Stout Avatar

15 responses to “4 Things I Learned From Going Semi-Viral On Google+”

  1. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    I’m glad you liked it Antonio! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Antonio Avatar

    Mate, that is one of the most hilarious, best written, smart ideas I’ve read in a long time. Not only your graph is good, but it also proves some good theories about online user behaviour. Good job!

  3. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Yes! Sometimes lessons are painful, but as long as they’re learned they’re worth it!

  4. @PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman Avatar
    @PamelaMKramer – A Renaissance Woman

    I love it! I think you are accurate only because I follow all of this fun stuff. The fact that someone ripped your image is super annoying. Before I knew better I posted images of content without my stamp on it. Now my Paleo experiment photos are on a few weight loss/trainer sites. Some legit and some that are robots. Either way no one ever asked me if it was ok. I always wondered why that post was getting the most traffic. I have written about my experiences with Paleo and Crossfit but I would never classify myself as a Crossfit blogger or Paleo blogger. Now I know why! Lesson learned. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    You’re welcome Adam!

  6. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Thanks Marshelle! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. adam Avatar

    I loved it! Genius… Thanks for sharing!

  8. Marshelle Avatar

    liked it so much- i’m gonna “pin” it! Crediting you as the original source, of course.

  9. Catarina Stout Avatar
    Catarina Stout

    I thought this was so funny love! Very creative and insightful! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    I appreciate the compliment but since the focus of my posts are usually scripture verses and quotes it doesn’t seem as fruitful to post there ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course if Google+ would more simply repost what I tweet or status I would be on there daily with content.

  11. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    It’s never too late! I noticed you actually did go ahead and share it… thanks Erin!

  12. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    David… as intelligent as you are to understand the concept behind my “work of art” here… you should be on Google+ way more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Erin Jackman Avatar

    Wow! That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing your experiment. I haven’t been on Google+ a lot lately so I missed this post. ๐Ÿ™ I would have shared it and given you credit. I guess it’s probably not too late.

  14. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    Oh…and we always LOVE the little man ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. David Willard Jr Avatar
    David Willard Jr

    I thought it was great ๐Ÿ™‚ I kind of gave my own little comparison on your post because I think it’s right. Even if you don’t agree with the people the basics behind it work. Google+ tends to be a lot about tech, Facebook tends to be mostly family drama (we all know about Rihanna and her boyfriend issues), and Twitter is where everyone dishes about Celebs all day. So the Meme really fits.

    While I may not be a big fan of Google+ I certainly don’t see why people have to hate on it. It may not be the most talked about network but neither is MySpace but people are still on it. People ARE still on MySpace right? LOL.

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