Social Contagion: What Makes Some Things Catch On

My objective with this blog, with my book Deep Green, and with my low-footprint lifestyle, is to help spark a widespread, enduring craze for low-footprint living. Not just a flash-in-the-pan fad, but an enduring passion. And one that is widespread across geographic regions, segments of society.

In my mission, I rely heavily on social media, primarily Facebook and Twitter. Social media have been a great asset to the low-footprint-living movement, as they have to the permaculture design movement and other ecologically oriented movements.

The other day on Facebook, I came across a widely shared post that linked an article about how the late rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle inspired a book club for black men. The Facebook post showed his reading list. (Here is his reading list via .)

The list is wide-ranging and anyone would do well to embark on it. One of the books that caught my eye was Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger. That book is now tops on my reading list. I plan to order it and read it in the next three days and will get back to you with a post about it.

For now, a few links for you — may they support you in whatever you are setting out to popularize, be it low-footprint living, homeschooling, the greening of your city, or something else wonderful.

Nipsey Hussle Book Club Creates a Space for Black Men (L.A. Times): The rap star was a bookworm, and black men are finding inspiration in his reading list. (Here is his reading list via .)

“What makes things popular? Word of mouth is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising, but why do people talk about and share certain things rather than others? Why do some products catch on, some ideas diffuse, and some online content go viral?” (from, regarding his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On)

“In Contagious, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. … Contagious provides specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share.” (from Amazon listing of Jonah Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On)

Jonah Berger on YouTube: 6 Reasons Things Go Viral (he has numerous other videos as well, including what looks like a 40-minute TED talk or TED-like talk)