I recently released a short video, The Writing Spirit, an inspirational compilation featuring Sir Ken Robinson, Yann Martel, Richard Bach, and several others. You can watch it here. I am happy to report that the video has quickly begun to go viral, in the best – and I guess only good – sense of the word. This is due in large part to Ken Robinson, whose single tweet about the video generated hundreds of hits alone, thereby stoking the viral fires. I did not begin writing or start a magazine because I had a love of marketing. In fact, I viewed marketing as an odious duty I would someday hand over to savvy professionals. But necessity breeds not only invention but education, and I have come to understand marketing as what it obviously is or at least can be: a tool to share what we love the most.
Which is why I love the concept of the viral video/email/article, and the technologies like twitter, Facebook, and email that enable this viraling. Human beings are absolutely hard wired to share what they love, whether they created that thing they love, or beheld that thing they love. We share fear as well, of course, and this is the traditional concept of the virus. Just as you can catch a cold, so too can you can catch fear: the government is run by morons who don’t care about us; the publishing world is impossible to break into; no one makes any money as a writer.
But love can spread just as quickly as fear, and because I loved this video, because I loved making it, because I couldn’t bear to see it sullied with even one frame of fear, I can only assume that these strangers emailing the Youtube link to one another must love it too, for why else would they share it? This is when this thing we call marketing becomes not just exciting and profitable, but inspiring. It is the greatest testament to humanity’s fundamental generosity that the first thing any of us think to do when we find something we love is share it. Love is not some commodity to be acquired and traded, it is every bit a virus, something living that only increases with exposure.