Today, we’re launching xZeitgeist, the best way to find breakout social content. We’ve witnessed the rise of the meme page and social media curation, but have found that these curators are lacking tools — they’re stuck in the rat race without tools. That’s what we’re building, and here’s why.
Over the past few years, the concept of echo chambers has been vaulted into the mainstream and rightfully so. It is an important concept that no one is immune to. The impact that echo chambers have had on society are plentiful and one of the impacts I’ve not heard anyone discuss is the impact it has had on virality. This is likely because compared to the other impacts this is rather insignificant but regardless, it is interesting to unpack what has happened here.
Echo chambers have created an entirely new class of media providers — I call them Chamber Rangers. They’re brands, dank memers, or intellectuals that have found a niche, an echo chamber, and are building a new-age media company around it. They scour the web in search of relatable, comedic, or otherwise enjoyable content for their niche — their echo chamber — and they deliver that content straight into their feed. Chamber Rangers have created the social media equivalent of the television channel: their audiences tune into their content, ready for the memer dopamine rush. Rangers are the hunters that track the best content and go in for the kill, the share, bringing the best content back to their village for the plentiful social media feast.
Have you heard of @fuckjerry? That’s a Chamber Ranger.
Chamber Rangers have appeared because of the algorithms that have pushed each of us into some computer generated corner. Remember Red Feed, Blue Feed? Within each of these algorithmic echo chambers are people, people with broader interests than platforms can understand — and Chamber Rangers are filling that gap in curation. They supplement their echo chamber, their channel, with content that performs well elsewhere. They expose content to a broader audience, with the belief that some content is relevant to multiple echo chambers. There is often a race between Chamber Rangers to find the next viral piece of content first; they want their channels to be fresh, trendy, and unique. Content moves from one ranger to another until it has reached an audience saturation, until it has run out of views and likes.
Here are the four stages of any piece of viral content:
- Content is shared
- The content receives a disproportionately large amount of engagement
- Meme status is achieved! Chamber Rangers find the content
- The content is distributed via Chamber Rangers until engagement drops
But where does the viral content originate? If you are a big enough nerd, you can check out 2,000 words I wrote about that topic over here. The gist of it is that viral content originates on all large social products, but a disproportionate amount is created on Twitter.
Due to the fact that Twitter creates a significant percentage of the viral content and that they have a pretty solid API my team and I thought it would be a good idea to create a tool that would help the Chamber Rangers more easily find viral tweets. We have done this with xZeitgeist — it is a tool that categorizes and ranking the most popular tweets, every day.
Chamber Rangers reposting tweets is already a very common practice, but unfortunately, it is a little bit like the wild, wild west, with very few rules. The best practice is for Chamber Rangers to ask the person who created the content for permission to repost and then tag the creator once the post is made. We are committed to helping propagate these best practices and will build tools that will help do so.
Right now at xZeitgeist, we are only focusing on helping Chamber Rangers find the best tweets, but in the future, we plan on building more tools that will help Chamber Rangers discover, create and share all kinds of viral content. If you are a Chamber Ranger or someone else that might find xZeitgeist valuable get in touch with me via Twitter or email (jacob@xZeitgeist.com) and I will give you a discount.