The limitations of viral marketing are starting to be recognized by some of the technology companies who've been on the band wagon. So, of course they need a new piece of jargon: contagiousness. In the same issue, Alice LaPlante also has a good interview with the people at Sun Microsystems about what they've done to attract more members to their online communities. To get consumers, as opposed to developers, more involved with promoting Java, they set up a web site where all the games and utilities which use Java can be showcased. Golf Solitaire, for instance.
InformationWeek: Beyond Viral: Using The Web To Nurture 'Contagious Behavior' Among Customers, 2006-Aug-23, by Alice LaPlante
"Contagiousness takes viral marketing a step further by paying attention to the conversations between people, nurturing them, and using them to develop collaborative communities," says Perry Klebahn, a consulting professor at Stanford who was formerly the head of sales and marketing at retailer Patagonia. Rather than being the flash-in-the-pan that most viral campaigns are, contagious conversations "significantly affect the general customer experience over the long term," he says.