The 'Blue Dress' And The Incredible Scalability Of Content
The recent vast viral distribution of "The Dress" story through Buzzfeed, and many other popular news sites, created a media tsunami.
It's an example of Foremski's First Law of New Media at work!
Silicon Valley investors love the scalability of a software-based startup. If business takes-off you add more servers and run more software.
There's far less need to add people, which is good because a people-dependent business doesn't scale through technology, e.g., public relations.
The traditional media industry is a people-based business and it usually requires additional people to produce additional media. It's not scalable in the same way as a software-based business, by adding more machines.
However, there is a very important distinction about a media business that is usually missed: Content is near infinitely scalable on the Internet. The Internet was built to scale content in seconds.
Other people's servers will gladly carry your content to wherever the Internet ends -- for free!
With one story you can potentially imprint the entire Internet! Try matching that performance with a servers and software business, for example, offering a web service.
Back in 2006 I cheekily dubbed this effect: Foremski's First Law of New Media -- Content is infinitely scalable.
I'll tell you the Second Law in a future post!