The ruckus over #thedress.
Marketing teams invest thousands in an effort to try and make their campaigns go viral. Though I’ve read that some of the best in the agency business follow formulas that can potentially get you there, no one really is able to predict with certainty what will go viral. Who would have thought that a dress would spark a worldwide debate over the color and practically take down the internet? But that is exactly what happened. Buzzfeed reported that their post about the dress broke the site’s traffic records, with more than 670,000 people viewing the post simultaneously and garnering 16 million hits in six hours. Millions of tweets. Multiple arguments that had people lining up like the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s about to embark on an epic battle to prove who was right and who was wrong.
Was the dress blue and black (it is) or white and gold? That was the big question on Thursday, and I have no doubt that not much work was being done that day. When I first saw the picture in my Facebook feed (and I would see it more times than I cared to after that), I immediately saw blue and black. What was shocking to me is how many hundreds of thousands of people could actually see it as white and gold. Then, of course, articles popped everywhere explaining the Phenom. Color blindness, rods and cones, lighting of the picture and lightness constancy and color constancy. Regardless of these explanations, it is hard for me to understand how anyone could blame the lighting. I posted the original Tumblr picture in the post. Blue and black. Although I have no doubt someone reading this now will be as firm in their position that the darn dress is white and gold. Get over it. It isn’t! The dress maker has confirmed the color, but good for them that the sale of that dress jumped 347%.
What I didn’t get is why anyone would care. Oh, but care they did. Not only did this go viral but mainstream news sources were writing and reporting about it. Boston Globe, Wired, New York Times, Jezebel, Huffington Post and Forbes all had something to say about it. Even CNN and CNBC jumped on board.
Soooo… with all the books, videos and content marketers spouting off their strategies to help people and companies ensure virility of sharing their content, in the end, I think nobody actually knows. I mean, a dress? Really.
Search bar on your website.
This falls into the category of things that bug me. In. A. Big. Way. When I visit any content rich website and especially blog sites, I want to be able to quickly search for the content I want to read. I found myself annoyed by a company who put out a press release about a list of twitter influencers that all salespeople should follow, but failed to put a link to the actual list. Huh? I go to the website to find the article and you guessed it… no search bar. I wasn’t about to waste my time trying to scroll through all the posts to find it.
I suppose it is the little things. If you are going to report on a particular list, ebook, whatever… link to that specific piece of content not just to your website. While you are at it, make sure you have a search bar on your site. Make it easy for people to find the content they want. Isn’t that the point of bringing them to your site in the first place, so that they can consume and engage with your content?
Keeping it real.
I’m hearing the phrase more often these days. It begs the question, what does “keeping it real” actually mean? I suppose an apt definition is that keeping it real means to be who you are without censoring yourself to be more appealing to other people. There is a dark side to the phrase, I think. I’ve observed people use the term as license to hide behind bad behavior. They insult you, or try to bully you but they’re just keeping it real, ya know. Be yourself. Absolutely. But there is a very fine line between being who you are and just being a jerk to other people.
Unplugging from digital.
I chuckled this morning when I saw a couple of my Facebook friends talking about how they were suffering from WIFI withdrawal, which evidently wasn’t on the flights they were taking. OMG, how can anyone live 9 or 10 hours without being plugged in? I’m happy to report that they both survived the experience and are doing fine. As for me, does it mean I’m old if I remember when we didn’t have all this digital, cloud and mobile technology?
Frankly, I think it is okay, and in fact, quite necessary to unplug now and again. Constant ON leads to missing key happenings in life, stress and perhaps a little attention deficit disorder. There is something to be said for being present in the moment, which is why I shake my head when I see people walking their dogs while texting or yakking away on their cell phone. My colleague Joanne Black wrote a book called Pick Up the Damn Phone (good read by the way), and I say sometimes you need to put the damn thing down!