Not only do people select channels that appeal to them, but we all tend to read content with a bias that reinforces our worldview.
Stories mutate as they spread, and they typically mutate with a self interested bias. In response to voting for the blogging scholarship some people have stated self biased / inaccurate things like:
- x has one of the few real academic blogs, which is what this scholarship is supposed to be for anyhow
- why are there tech blogs on there, I thought this was only for science bloggers
- help me win $20,000
When I pushed the blogging scholarship on Digg it was flagged for spam when it reached the homepage. When voting opened someone else submitted it to the wrong category, pushed it, and it made Digg's homepage. If a story was spam once then why was it remarkable and homepage worthy only a couple days later? People see what they want to see.
In some cases it may make sense to leave your messages vague such that they can be more applicable to a wider audience. In other cases it may make sense to be as specific as possible to control the messaging. Story mutation is also going to largley depend on where a story is seeded.
I think if it is generally related to your main brand you want to be specific, but if what you are doing is a one off or occasional marketing event it might make more sense to let people misinterpret it to help the story spread and help them tell you what they really wanted, such that you can refine it going forward. A lack of mutation and a lack of spreading are indications of bad marketing.
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