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I often think my projects will last forever. Or at least until I stop paying the domain service or the hosting service goes kaput. I have yet to have my domain payment outrun my hosting service. I think this is common for most people.
We build with the notion that our projects will live on. This is why advertising projects or marketing projects can be soul crushing. The work you invest yourself into is predetermined to be short lived.
I want to make some projects that are purposely timed in their value. Specifically, I am fascinated by the viral growth a website or app can develop through their service growth. What if this viral growth wasn’t sought to be sustained. What if the viral growth had a time limit.
What would a service look like if it exploited the variables associated to viral growth, while simultaneously engineered to collapse.
I assume the average viral video starts out with a slow natural growth or lack of. Once the factors that influence the video’s sharing emerge (through blogs, social networks, accidental link sharing, etc) the videos growth rate explodes. Post-explosion and post-hype, the video returns back to its relatively nonexistent view rate. This results from the natural process in which the ‘new hotness’ overtakes the communal attention span. Ads, youtube videos, hot single releases all get this viral growth curve.
The eventual decline is often undesired. The factors that determine the shared contents viral elasticity are dependent on the sharing communities. These communities are influenced mainly by their exposure to the content and their relationship to the people they would want to share with.
I assume all of the factors involved could be manipulated to some extent. In store ‘flash-sales’, importance is placed on time by providing a deadline for action. In social networks, the ‘aha moment’ often results from a certain tipping point where a certain number of a user’s friends are online. The factors that influence the likelihood for buying or sharing or joining a service are readily manipulatable, so a service that purposely seeks to get critical mass isn’t new.
Often by mistake, the services that get critical mass have some ‘thing’ that results in a leaky bucket syndrome. People stop discovering the service, start leaving, stop returning. Its often an uncontrolled phenomena.
Instead of this eventual fatality happening, what would a community or online service look like that depended on this.
Edit: From Tina – Self-destructive game – dominikjohann.de/impetus/