Interesting piece by book publicist Brian Feinblum* of public relations firm Media Connect, on what makes people want to share content online, and what makes them decline to do so. The riddle he’s trying to solve is a key one in the Internet age, and one that strikes me as analogous to a question I often pondered when I ran my bookstore, Undercover Books: what makes browsers apt to pick up a book and put it back down again, or what makes a customer walk to the cash register with a firm resolve to buy the book. I haven’t worked in retail since 1985, but I still think about consumer behavior, and nowadays, online behavior. The analogy isn’t an equivalent one, because sharing online doesn’t cost money, but clicking the share button does represent an investment of one’s prestige or reputation. Feinblum must be doing something right, because I decided to share his link and word of his article.
* Full disclosure: I’m on Feinblum’s email list and received a message from him where he asked his subscribers to consider sharing the above article. After reading it, I decided I would because I could stand behind its content as offering something valuable to my readers too.