While this talk did not share the magic recipe for creating addictive content, it did offer some interesting points on the psychology of sharing.

People share content for one of two reasons:

  • To participate in a community
  • To build their personal brand

The idea of community is one that has come up in nearly every talk I’ve attended at SXSW. As developing and growing relationships is an inherent part of human nature, sharing content that interests us with other people who too may find it interesting, seems only natural.

What I struggle with is sharing content that builds your personal brand. Not because I don’t see the value in it, but because it may not be authentic. We are invited to create the best version of ourselves through social. Jonathan Perelman, the GM & SVP of Buzzfeed, spoke about the high rate at which people share hard hitting news articles before reading them—projecting a version of themselves that may not be entirely accurate. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it seems to go against the primary reason for sharing—participating in a community of truly like-minded people.

So as content creators, it only seems right to create for the community driven consumers, and those concerned with their personal image, can hop on if it’s right for their brand.

Reposted from our coverage of SXSW on www.wundermanReports.com

SXSW: Designing for the Fringe