Just sat in a really good session by Ben Huh. He’s one of the dudes behind I Can Haz Cheezburger. His talk was entitled “LOLcats and the Secret of Virality.” It rocked. Here’s the gist:
He talked about how most achieve virality by shotgunning invites out to as many people. This works in the short term but there is one big downside. People will see you as a dick. Plus it doesn’t achieve sustainable traffic. People will come to your site, find out they don’t like it, leave, and never come back.
The key is sustainable traffic. You’re not going to get it fast. It takes time but they’re users who’ll come back over and over and over
You do this via… having a good product that someone wants. People like good content.
You need to show love to your users. Engage your users. Show them you appreciate them. This will build goodwill with your users.
Then make it easy for your users to share your content with their friends. (Maybe do this with widgets/Clearspring? :-))
If you wanna check out his slides, go here: http://icanlol.com/ichc-wordcamp.pdf