When I was a kid, my parents bought me the World Book Encyclopedia Childcraft set. If you grew up anywhere in the 70s, 80s or early 90s you could probably find some of these in your pediatrician’s waiting room. Perhaps you remember how awesome they were. One book in particular, Mathemagic, offered a mathematical proof using multiplication to show why there is no such thing as vampires. Basically, the author postulated the theory that starting with one vampire biting one person per week, and in turn that person becoming a vampire and so on, the entire world’s population would be vampires within 32 weeks. While this early childhood lesson in exponential distribution disproving the existence of vampires was certainly reassuring to my five year old mind, the writers must’ve felt like they didn’t want the kids to sleep too soundly, because they illustrated the story with pictures like this:
Now I’m about twenty five years older and finally getting over seeing those pictures. While the night terrors have worn off somewhat, the application is still as sound now as it was then. Where social media is concerned it is definitely applicable. The major search engines have figured out that the greater the number of people liking, sharing or retweeting your content, the more relevant that content likely is. In a recent post I talked a little bit about getting friends and family in on liking, sharing and retweeting your content. (I know, it seems sort of cheap. But if you can’t depend on those folks to help you grow your presence online, who can you depend on?) Now, if you can get those folks to share with all their friends and followers, and one or two of those in turn share your content with everyone of their contacts, your content can be pretty widespread in a relatively short amount of time. Just think, if it only took the vampires in the Childcraft story 32 weeks to turn the entire world population of 6.5 billion people into blood sucking demon spawn, I’d figure reaching all of Twitter’s 11.5 million users to be entirely doable in a couple of months (give or take, of course). I know what you’re thinking, and yes, my math might be off a little bit. But that’s not the point. The point is every impression counts. And who doesn’t like to count?