(By Info-Tech Analyst Tim Hickernell– Printed with permission from Processor magazine www.processor.com).
We used to worry about being infected by Word viruses; now, we're infected by the word viral. It's the “space age technology” or “laser technology” product branding of the 21st Century. Soon we'll see abdominal exercise machines “made with genuine viral technology.” Or, as humorist Dave Barry might put it, “With viral XYZ, you get a seat in the US Senate and the power of invisibility!”
Flashback to the “Old Days”…The Mid-1990s That Is
So where did this viral madness all begin? I don't recall whose idea it was to first apply the word viral to marketing, but they really did have good intentions and it is a useful analogy, when used properly.