Blog Tag And The Viral Nature Of The Blogosphere

Before moving off the blog tag topic I thought it would be interesting to trace the line of bloggers that led to me along with the dates they posted to see how fast things can spread online and how viral the blogosphere can be.

All told it took six days and twelve steps to get from David Gale to me. It’s even quicker if you consider that first step from David to Avinash took two days. Even more the only people on this list I’ve ever held a conversation with are Yuri and Kim. I think that’s pretty impressive considering an idea that started with someone I don’t know traveled to me in just a few days.

What’s also interesting is I first learned of the tagging game through Kim’s blog the day before it hit me without realizing that it would come to me through her blog post. In fact as I was reading Kim’s post I wondered if log tag would spread to me and a few hours later it had.

Spreading Linkbait Through Blogs

Imagine for a moment that instead of blog tag it was a linkbait idea that was spreading. In just a few days of launching an idea it could reasonably spread a dozen levels deep. That’s not to mention how much it might spread laterally at the same time. Have a look at all the names in between David and myself on the blog tag tree.

Blog tag is spreading as people see their name called out on a blog and then post and tag to spread the game further. There are many empty lines so you can see not all want to play, but if you have an idea worth spreading it would be less likely to die out along branches. Keep in mind too that with a viral marketing campaign you would be a little more active in trying to get the idea to spread off the start. You probably wouldn’t just be tagging five people. The campaign would start with many more branches.

Consider too how many links the blog tag tree will end up generating as many in the game will inevitably link to it as will many only following the game.

An admittedly quick count tells me 77 people have been recorded as participating from this tag line in those same six days and again this isn’t something people are actively promoting. Start with more branches and give it a few more days and think of how far an idea can spread.

Blogging as a form of marketing is still misunderstood by many I think. I’ve seen questions in forums implying that it’s the underlying software that makes a blog such an effective seo tool, but it really is the social interaction of the blogoshphere that builds links, and brands. Bloggers tend to read other blogs and when they see something they like it becomes fodder for their own writing, usually accompanied by a link.

While being tagged was fun and made me feel a part of a larger community I think the game is a good way to show how far and fast an idea can spread. It’ll be interesting to follow how long it continues and how many levels deep it ultimately gets. Most of the branches are shorter than the line that grabbed me and I assume many have already stopped growing, but as the tree already shows it doesn’t take much for many new branches to grow.

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  1. The blog tree that you may be referring to doesn’t track all the taggers.

    Searching for “things you didn’t know about” won’t reveal the taggers, because people write about more than just themselves (PETA, for instance).

    But yes, the tagging game is pretty contageous, probably because it is interesting and doesn’t revolve about baiting and monetary/link incentive

  2. Don’t be sad. Perhaps someone I tagged will now tag you. Actually I saw that Stoney had been tagged by someone else a few hours before I had tagged him and has responded to that tag. So I’ll happily switch his name over to yours later today when I’m publishing another post.

    Yuri, I think the fact that not all taggers are being tracked only shows how well the blogosphere can spread things virally.

  3. Yeah, I guess. The key point here is interest, not link bait, though (hard to see who benefits from this linking, really, except leser known bloggers, who appreciate the traffic from the Its).

    Now if I can come up with something more interesting than this..Hmm.

  4. I guess I was less thinking about how this would really benefit me. I have noticed some traffic from the tag tree and if it brings a new reader to me that’s great. What was more interesting to me was just seeing how we’re all connected in the blogosphere and seeing how quickly an idea can travel from blog to blog.

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