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Publisher's Summary

Many of the most successful Web 2.0 companies, including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, and rising stars like Twitter and Flickr, are prime examples of what journalist Adam L. Penenberg calls a "viral loop" - to use the product means having to share it with others. After all, what's the sense of being on Facebook if none of your friends are? The end result is a business that spreads rapidly, scales quickly, and has the promise to create staggering wealth. In this game-changing, essential book, Penenberg - who identified the phenomenon in a ground-breaking cover story for Fast Company - tells the fascinating, vivid story of the entrepreneurs who first harnessed the unprecedented potential of viral loops to create the successful online businesses (some with billion-dollar valuations) that we have all grown to rely on.
While Viral Loop is fascinating for Penenberg's savvy, incisive explanation of the concept, it's even more valuable for its prescriptive nature. Throughout the book, Penenberg explains how any kind of business can uncork viral loops to benefit its own bottom line, even retrofitting the concept for the offline world.
Penenberg explores viral loops and their impact on contemporary American business, while illustrating how all kinds of businesses---from the smallest start-ups to nonprofit organizations to the biggest multinational corporations---can use the paradigm-busting power of viral loops to enable their business through technology.
©2009 Adam Penenberg (P)2009 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"In tight, engaging prose, Adam captures the essence of the ever-scaling power of the virus. It's not just for geeks anymore." (Seth Godin, author of Tribes)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 05-26-10

Good content, but a tough listen...

I found the book quite interesting and informative. Its not really a how to, but more of a history lesson of sorts. It moved quickly and there was not a lot of repetition, which it seems is quite common these days. I felt like I had a good grasp of viral networking from 5000 feet when I was done.

My mediocre rating was solely due to the narration. When reading a book, its critical to respect the punctuation. The narrator basically rambled through chapter headings, title breaks and paragraph breaks. It was very difficult to follow and keep it all in context when seemingly the book was just a series of sentences...

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By John on 05-16-10

Misleading Title

The title of this book suggests it is about how to set up a viral marketing campaign. In reality, it is a very lengthy history of viral marketing. If viewed in that light, it is somewhat interesting and might merit at least a three star ranking. If you are looking for a "how to" book, this is not the one for you.

The narration by Richard Allen really drags the book down. Yes, I know he has a familiar voice and I know he has been nominated for awards. However, Mr. Allen has an almost comical tendency to mangle words. If Mr. Allen does not know how to pronounce a word (or someone's name), he just mispronounces it and goes on. And he mangles a lot of words. This leads to a really shoddy production value that, to me anyway, is pretty irritating for a premium-priced audiobook.

If the producer had reviewed Mr. Allen's work and had him re-record the mangled parts, it would have greatly helped the audiobook. Apparently, however, no one cared enough to do this.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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