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FYI: New book about 'Going Viral.' Just published by Polity.

The book is an interdisciplinary look of virality as a process. It
leans heavily on the research of many folks in this community, but
also brings in literature from communication, marketing, sociology,
media studies and more.

The book provides a definition of virality and a method for
identifying viral candidates. It discusses factors that drive virality
as well as its impact on individuals and society.  Virality is a
consequence of dialogue and tension among many forces. The main
tension occurs between emergent sharing patterns of users (usually
constituted through bottom-up processes) and the control mechanisms
exerted on information flows (usually driven by top-down processes,
e.g. network gatekeeping and social and network structures). We
discuss these tensions in the book.  The book also discusses virality
as a mechanism that reproduces social norms, but it can also be a
mechanism that challenges institutions and their structure. Viral
events may play a role in events that destabilize traditional
institutions not only by spreading information, but also by bringing
people together who share common concerns or grievances. Since
virality spreads quickly and is resistant to control, it may have the
power to circumvent the regulatory power of the prevailing social

So, while it relies heavily on work done in this community, it links
into many other areas to give a broad view of it. More information
about the book can be found here

If you pick up a copy and read it, we'd love to hear what you think.

Happy holiday everyone,

Jeff Hemsley
Doctoral Candidate
The Information School
University of Washington
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