Lady Gaga, Angry Birds and the Separation of Social Media States

Lady Gaga, Angry Birds and the Separation of Social Media States

Yesterday I experienced the equivalent of a one-day best seller for my blog post about innovation lessons derived from studying Lady Gaga (“The Tens-Ten Lessons You Can Learn About Innovation by Studying Lady Gaga“). This little blog shot up from closely-held respect to international destination. Why? Because this blog post was elevated to the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress where it remains today, sited as “The best of 362,344 bloggers, 467,237 new posts, 428,385 comments, & 109,491,329 words posted today on”

Current stats sit at 1,921 reads for August 24, 2011 and 871 reads so far today.


This is not the first time my writing has been the focus on an Internet frenzy. When I wrote the article, “10 Lessons from Angry Birds That Can Make You a Better CIO” thousands of Facebook likes and tweets floated around the Net and CIO ended up translating and republishing the article into Danish (Sådan kan Angry Birds gøre dig til en bedre CIO), Korean (당신을 더 좋은 CIO로 만들 수 있는 앵그리 버즈로부터의 10가지의 교훈,) Spanish, Thai, Portuguese, Swedish and German.


The article for CIO was tweeted widely for days, eventually devolving into a carrier for spam in South America.

What I found fascinating yesterday was that only one tweet mentioned my Gaga post. During the Angry Birds frenzy, the meme was transmitted almost exclusively via twitter and Facebook. There is a lesson for would-be social media mavens:. The channels may not cross. I always tell my clients to use all available channels because these days, they can’t anticipate where they might find an audience. Although this personal experiment only represents two data points, it reinforces that conviction. Although the messages in the two articles were directed at a management audience, the channel, and perhaps the search terms, attracted a different readership that had very few cross-over members, and the end of the day, it was only Jason who stepped up to tweet about the post.


This also implies that organizations using social media marketing strategies may want to consider packaging messages in different ways while maintaining brand integrity at the center. Don’t assume a single wrapper spread across multiple channels is going to receive equal uptake across those channels.


This WordPress report illustrates the nearly  isolated SM traffic pattern

In light of transparency this Lady Gaga post was not an overnight sensation. It was actually a bit of an experiment as I reposted it to the blog after writing it and posting it to my research page in May (more Serious Insights can be found here). Social media marketers should take from this that saying something once on the Internet isn’t always enough. Sometimes it takes the serendipity of the right person paying attention at the right time to elevate an idea or a message above the noise.

And thank you again to @ladygaga and her little monsters for all the Internet love the last couple of days. And a special thank you to those readers who aren’t Gaga fans but got past the title and the inspiration to find value in the observations.

Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

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