The 80/30 Rule

This is a bit of a continuation of my post from the symposium. I read this weeks reading tonight, and it sparked a few more ideas on the subject.

Pareto’s 80/20 rule is essentially something that can apply to every industry. As the reading says, in business it can be observed that 80% of profits are made by 20% of employees, 80% of customer relations issues are caused by 20% of customers, etc. So in relation to the internet, the reading says 80% of links go to 15% of web pages (15, 20, 35, close enough). For the industry I’m interested in, (film production) it’s said that 80% of links go to 20% of actors, which is definitely true and can apply to so many things in that industry. 80% of films are probably produced by independents but 20% are successful, etc etc.

In thinking about the internet and links and going ‘viral’, this rule is so fitting. There’s so much content out here on the web, it just wouldn’t be possible for everything to get the same amount of links. Obviously some things are more ‘deserving’ of attention, whether based on content or because of who posted it, like Emma Watson’s UN speech, or a picture of Kim Kardashian’s rear end from her Instagram.

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I didn’t say it had to be quality content.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are things that don’t deserve that kind of attention, like the videos and content posted by the kid that shot up the college in Santa Barbara. And yet, they still get that 80% of links and attention, because the right news agency picks it up, or they commit an act of violence that brings attention to their thoughts and words. So is there a formula to all of this, or is it all just random?

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