One of the primary lessons that can be taken from this video is that the internet has cultivated a very particular and lucrative audience for any business willing to take part in the process. While it might seem that the digital is difficult to get into, the internet is a space where specific rules and tactics can be applied in order to reach desired results. The example given by Reddit’s founder can be seen as particularly telling, as it shows the primary trait of internet communities – their preference for “cool” and “funny” ideas and actions (Castells, 2018). As seen with the whaling campaign, marketing and social action on the internet regularly works most effectively when large groups of people get behind a cause because of its potential to be amusing. More drastic and impressive effects can be achieved if the actions of the online crowd cause a massive public reaction, outrage, or other kinds of desired response. Organizations can take advantage of this tendency to reach desired results.
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Current social movements on the internet can be primarily identified for their quick and rapid rates of becoming popular and disappearing. Internet culture favors “fads” that dominate the discussion in brief succession before being replaced by something else. The speed of communication and interaction offered and facilitated by the internet today is very much unlike any social movement of the past. Before the digital age, progressive action had to be built from the ground up, taking both considerable time and effort. The work put into creating social movements increased their longevity in the public consciousness (Castells, 2018). By comparison, digital social trends change and constantly evolve, facilitated by open discussion and fast communication.
Castells, M. (2018). Networks of outrage and hope: Social movements in the internet age. Polity Press.