Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
July 5, 201210:36 PM

A Fascinating New Trend

"If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else." - Marvin Gaye.

I just saw an image on Facebook of this quote. It's not the first time. Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a veritable onslaught of motivation and personal development quotes that are embedded in images (with varying degrees of artistic quality). Some of them are profound and powerful and some of them are quirky and cheesy. My added interest in this trend is the request to share, comment and spread them.

What's going on here?

What's with the sudden fascination in sharing powerful quotes and why is this, primarily, relegated to Facebook? Have the people of Facebook suddenly had a global awakening that life is short and we need to cherish not only this moment but the people in our lives? Have we become tired of LOLCats, Someecards and  other random memes?

Fascinating memes.

The Internet provides a deep river of flowing memes that are fascinating (and funny) to watch. The most random of content spreads with a speed that is uncanny. On top of that, the majority of these memes disappear without notice as well. A few manage to have some semblance of longevity. In makes me wonder: if these random memes can go viral (and we can debate the definition of "viral" at some other point in time), why do brands (which have access to resources and more creative horsepower than the average human being) struggle so hard to find their groove?

Follow the memes.

As trends like these unfold, it's important to put on your marketing hat and analyze the words, the images, how these memes spread, who is spreading them, what the comments look like and more. Is there hardcore data in this information? Probably not. It's much more subjective than scientific when it comes to what captures people's attention, but there's one thing you can bank on: the people who start these trends are learning too, and the ones that are successful at it, tend to get better at it with each successive iteration on the theme.

With that, I'm still trying to figure out why these motivation quotes on Facebook are so pervasive and popular. What's your take?

By Mitch Joel