Human relationships, and friendships, are really really viral in nature. By viral I am not using the term in relation to viruses, but rather in relation to the nature in which there is a spread, a contagion, in the process through which people get to know each other. A common buzz word in the world of internet marketing is “viral marketing” which means promoting information or products that other customers are compelled to give to other friends, colleagues and family. By definition viral marketing is a way to promote a service or product exponentially. When effectively done one person will give it to several people who in turn will promote it to several other people.
The reason I am thinking about this now is that I’m planning a party. I graduate on Thursday, so I decided it would be nice to throw a “little” party on Friday for my friends as a way to say Thank you for their support, and to celebrate this journey I’ve been through.
I started with a guest list of about 12, and then I decided that I should invite some of my good friends from my class to come too, if they didn’t have parties of their own. So that shot my guest list up to about 22. Then I started thinking about each person I had invited and realized that if I invited X, then I would have to invite Y, because I had come to know Y through X, and then I would have to invite Z, because come to think of it, we’d all hung out a few times together, etc. Now multiply this by about 10 and you can see why my guest list is currently at 45 and growing!!! That’s the viral nature of friendships, and relationships. That’s one of the factors that makes applications like Facebook and MySpace so powerful, because they appeal to this viral nature in which people relate to and interact with each other.
Anyway, it’s an interesting thought… and I still don’t know what I’ll do with 45 people, but they’re all invited, and we’ll figure it out. It’ll be fun, if nothing else!!