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Social Science Space: A Viral Paper On Determining What Makes Online Content Viral

From Social Science Space: “Although it is clear that social transmission is both frequent and important, less is known about why certain pieces of online content are more viral than others. … Is virality just random, as some argue, or might certain characteristics predict whether content will be highly shared?” This question, and its correlates, animated the 2012 paper “What Makes Online Content Viral.” The authors, Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman, considered their own findings in crafting the article … and seems to have paid dividends. “What Makes Online Content Viral,” published in the Journal of Marketing Research, is a recipient of Sage’s fourth annual 10-Year Impact Awards. The 10-Year Impact Awards recognize three papers published in Sage Journals from a decade ago which have been cited more than any other papers from that year. The virality paper has been cited 1,333 times. “These awards were created as part of Sage’s larger effort to inspire and change the conversation around research impact,” said Ziyad Marar, Sage’s president of global publishing. “While a large part of this effort focuses on finding new ways to recognize impact beyond counting citations and outside of academia, the 10-year awards celebrate research with influence that has lasted longer or grown over time.” This longer time frame for a paper to prove influential is common in the social and behavioral disciplines. Sage asked Berger, an associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Milkman, James G. Dinan endowed professor of operations, information and decisions at Wharton, to reflect on the paper and its own virality. Read more at Social Science Space.