Getting Likes, Going Viral, and the Intersections Between Popularity Metrics and Digital Composition
Computers and Composition Volume 42, Number 1, ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This article explores how the virality made possible by shareable content and its popularity metrics – Shares, Views, Likes, ♥’s, Tweets, etc. – influences the composition, circulation, and assessment of digital texts. As popularity metrics are increasingly linked to sharable texts, the lines between content designed to inform, inspire, and educate, and the content designed to illicit clicks, earn likes, and proliferate are blurred. Calling attention to the presence of popularity metrics, the frames of contagious content, and their respective impacts can help students (and scholars) better understand how such compositions cross between academic, personal, and professional networks. The article begins in the classroom, moves into a more theoretical analysis of the spread of educational content via platforms like Ted.com, and concludes with a discussion of a “writing viral video” assignment that I use to help undergraduate students examine the affordances and constraints of sharing their multimodal compositions and the possibility of going viral.
Wuebben, D. (2016). Getting Likes, Going Viral, and the Intersections Between Popularity Metrics and Digital Composition. Computers and Composition, 42(1), 66-79. Elsevier Ltd.