A site that lets people share and vote for their favorite bands tried to make something viral happen.
The Hype Machine promised to unleash its new version when 10,000 people visited the site simultaneously.
Thankfully, the Hype Machine folks recognized they weren’t going to hit their goal without a massive effort, so they just launched anyway.
Sanity prevails, and now people can see what the lack of fuss was all about.
Hype Machine is a site that pulls together the best of music blogs, and lets people select their their favorite music and blogs.
With the right combination of hip people, good streaming music and posts by smart writers, this is a great place to find out what’s hot, talk about which bands you like the best, who sucks, and why some writers get it and others don’t. And of course, listen to great music (with links to online stores where you can buy what you like).
Anatomy of an Attempt to Go Viral
Getting 10,000 people to do anything together at the same time is a massively tiresome job of cat herding.
Remember, music fans skew young and rebellious.
Tell them you’re not going to give them what they want until they all simultaneously jump through a hoop. Then watch them do what young and rebellious people do best – they rebel against whatever instructions you give them.
The plan was to get some attention by holding off on their launch until their devoted beta users beat the bushes and convinced 10,000 people to simultaneously visit The HypeMachine site.
But 10,000 people simultaneously doing anything is a lot to ask, in this world where we measure our freedom by not having to tune into a TV show or radio program on the network’s timetable.
Part of the problem is the static nature of the page they directed people to. No attempt to capture references to the viral campaign in the media, blogs and elsewhere. No links to the Digg submission, or what some bloggers and journalists were saying about them.
It was about as exciting as watching paint dry via webcam.
The other problem was that the goal was completely arbitrary, and served no particular purpose, beyond getting some buzz going. Thank you, Taylor, Zoya, Scott and Anthony, for not holding out, waiting to hit your target. Let the fun begin!
Update: The backlash was beginning.