We have heard about viral a lot, and we think that we know it. But, experiencing it is totally different from knowing it.
I’ve started to write blogs since last year. One article around a month. I enjoy writing blogs but it also takes quite a lot of time because I am not that good at writing. Every time I finished an article, I wanted to get as much feedback as I could. But there were not much. So I started to introduce my article to my twitter followers and Facebook friends.
Facebook is a good platform to get quick feedback from my friends. If they think it’s meaningful to them, my Facebook friends click the Like button and leave a short comment on it, instantly. And I enjoy the feedback. Good platform! Finally people read my blogs.
By contrast, I did not get as much feedback from Twitter as from Facebook. I once thought twitter is not a good platform to interact with others. In other words, Facebook seemed to be a real SNS.
But, I was wrong.
I posted an article to my blog in Aug. It’s an email that I sent to CEO when I left LG Electronics in April. It’s mainly because I wanted to build a popular web service, which was not part of business LGE does. Working at LG Electronics, I often felt frustrated because of its culture and management. Though leaving LGE, I wished that LGE would overcome the difficulties it faces in the mobile industry. It is because it’s the company that I’d worked for over 5 years and would be listed in my resume forever. And I love the people whom I worked with. So I wrote an email to the CEO who recently took the CEO job. I did not put the blame on him in the email but tried to tell the problems in a very constructive way. But no reply. It seemed that the mail did not reach him. I did not want my email just to disappear. And I thought that LG Electronics was likely to keep its wrong direction without this kind of voice of the field engineers. That’s why I posted the email to my blog. I did it with good cause.
Posting the email to my blog, I also updated my Facebook wall to introduce the post. Many comments and Likes from the Facebook friends. It was good to have feedback on it. But that’s it. It was just talk between me and my friends, which the management of LG Electronics would not acknowledge.
Then, I tweeted about the blog post 2 days after I did it on Facebook. Compared to Facebook, there was no ‘instant’ feedback from my followers, as usual. It was because I had only around 70 followers at that time while over 200 friends are there at Facebook. After a while, one of my followers retweeted it with his quotes. He was not my Facebook friend, therefore he had not read my Facebook update about the email before. The thing is that he had over 1,000 followers. Then after a while, his followers started retweeting his quoted retweet. Push messages from my twitter app bursted notifying that my twitter id was mentioned. I checked out the stats of my blog. The number of visitors soared. I mean compared to the usual visitors. I felt excited and I went to bed.
I woke up next morning, and I checked out the timeline of my twitter account as I usually do in the morning. Reading the tweets from my timeline, I was so surprised to find out that the email to LGE CEO was mentioned by one of the most influential twitter user to Korean users, @estima7. Then that morning, Korean internet news media started to deal with my email and blog. When I got to the office around 11 AM, one of the colleagues said to me, instead of “Hello”, that my story was in the front page of the Korean No.1 portal service, Naver. Over 60,000 people visited my blog that day.
It was the ‘viral’. I experienced viral. I could say all that I want in my blog, but I did not think I could impact on society. But it turned out to be wrong. As long as one can give an opinion that people agree with and sympathize with, we all have the power to speak up to our society. And Twitter plays a key role in that.