Powered by Awe

Newspapers, television and the Internet news channels for the most part (with some notable exceptions) focus on disaster, terrorism, and corruption etc. Often it seems the positive section of the daily news is confined to animals, particularly cute ones, being saved, born or at least not being wiped off the face of the planet. The justification for this is that bad news sells.

Bad news may sell but awesome news also sells. According to Jonah Berger’s research
news that inspires awe gets our attention in a similar way to bad news. Bergers’s analysis of the The New York Times most e-mailed list showed that articles that inspired awe were 30% more likely to make the top e-mailed list.

So, stories that invoke awe in the reader have the potential to go viral, the new Holy Grail for marketing professionals, in the same way as stories that make the reader angry. But there is an additional upside to powering ideas with awe instead of anger. All the bad news tends to make us feel like we are surrounded by people who are greedy and mean, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. These bad news items are only news because they are relatively rare.

The unfortunate side effect of bad news is that the kind, caring majority start to feel outnumbered, and making the world a better place seems like a hopeless dream. Awe inspiring stories tend to have the opposite effect. They show us how we too could make a difference or overcome a handicap or master a taxing skill.

Why not give your thriving index a boost by adding a daily dose of awe? There are masses of great stuff happening all around the world. If you would like a few moments of positive news here are some links you may find useful:

Goodnews Network
Positive News
Happy News
The Optimist

And there are many more read more


Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger March 2013

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