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Unleashing the IdeaVirus: by Seth Godin

Steven General
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The point of “Unleashing the IdeaVirus” is pretty straightforward: treat a product or service like a human or computer virus, contends online promotion specialist Seth Godin, and it just might become one.

In Unleashing the Ideavirus, Godin describes ways to set any viable commercial concept loose among those who are most likely to catch it and then stand aside as these recipients become infected and pass it on to others who might do the same.

“The future belongs to marketers who establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other,” he writes. “Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.”

Godin believes that a solid idea is the best route to success in the new century, but one “that just sits there is worthless.” Through the magic of “word of mouth,” however, the Internet offers a unique opportunity for interested individuals to transmit ideas quickly and easily to others of like mind.

Taking up where his previous book Permission Marketing left off, Godin explains in great detail how ideaviruses have been launched by companies such as Napster, Blue Mountain Arts, GeoCities, and Hotmail.

He also describes “sneezers” (influential people who spread them), “hives” (populations most willing to receive them), and “smoothness” (the ease with which sneezers can transmit them throughout a hive). In all, an infectious and highly recommended read.

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