What news we want our friends to forward to us

My sister forwarded to me a NY Times article reviewing research that sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania had undertaken to study which news articles readers emailed to their friends and colleagues. The fascinating part was that gossip, news of the weird and sex were not the leaders.  Articles that inspired and were intellectually challenging were the most emailed and seem to generate the most interest.  The researchers were looking of articles that went viral.  An interesting trend was the the balance between emotional and intellectual content.

Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list.

How can you use this study to influence what you put into your email blasts, newsletters and communications?  Are you giving your customers and patrons what they most desire?  Can you invite guests or experts in your field to submit an article that engages your membership?  Can you enter a dialogue that creates energy and interests?

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