1 min read

Workshops and Going Viral

When I was at high school, I vividly remember my maths teacher putting up on the whiteboard the six steps to understanding a subject. At number 6 (the final on the list), was “teach it”.

This is the spirit of the Betarocket article where local (Newcastle) programmer Richard Powell encourages people to think about organising workshops. Not only do they ensure you know a topic:

I thought I understood JQuery very well and it’s only when you have to explain it to someone who has no knowledge of it that you realise maybe you hadn’t got the understanding you thought

but they also can help you get work, as well as add to the local community.

Speaking of language, when it comes to interface language, should it be “your stuff” or “my stuff”? Dustin Curtis explores this (tl;dr version: he believes you should work ‘with’ an interface, thus ‘your stuff’).

Speaking of yous, remember it’s not all about you when it comes to video blogging, the New York Times advises. (The article is also available, appropriately, in a version that includes video examples). Some other tips are to be enthusiastic but not to enthusistic, and above all to keep it short (2-4 minutes max).

For more specific tips relating to making tutorial video, Creative Bloq has a post on such details (practice, don’t ramble, use good imagery for your tutorials).

Of course, you ideally want your content to go viral. What determines that? According to Susan Weinshenk (aka The Brain Lady, as she’s done decades of research into cognitive computing) it comes down to one of five traits:

  1. The piece elicits a strong emotional response — either positive or negative
  2. The person who is doing the communicating is passionate and committed to the idea
  3. If there is a compelling story around the idea
  4. If it’s cute or funny (cats in hats, babies, puppies)
  5. If by passing it on to your network it will make you look smart

See more on her theory on her site.

Arguably, the ultimate successes are seen on social media. Facebook (I think, or someone who’s done their research at least) has compiled a list of companies who’ve led campaigns to success on Facebook (sales, recognition etc).