Being on BBC Radio 4, and going viral

On Saturday, I was asked to appear on BBC Radio 4's Saturday PM programme to talk about old wine. It was the final item on the show, and was very much a lighthearted piece, but it was great to discuss wine on national radio. I tried to make some reasonably salient points about ageing wine and what makes up the value of particular bottles. You can listen again to the interview on iPlayer here, from about 25m30s onwards.

When I got home, I checked online to see if I could find any discussion about the piece on social media. Nothing. Then I checked my site metrics to see how many hundreds of people had logged on having heard me on the radio. Zero hundreds.

So much for radio. Weirdly, however, a fairly innocuous tweet of mine went viral earlier this month. I thought of it spontaneously and tweeted it quickly, without giving it much thought. Previously, my most 'successful' tweets this month were one announcing my MW, and one about learning the MW gang sign.

These got roughly 30 retweets each, and were favourited 300 times between them. Twitter's analytics tells me the impressions - that is, the number of people who saw this tweet - was around 17.5k and 11.5k respectively. Pretty good.

The tweet that went viral? Well, here it is, followed by a screengrab of its current metrics. Nearly two weeks later, it is still getting activity.

I think this makes an interesting point about the impact of social media versus traditional media, but also about the unpredictable nature of creating viral content. I'm sure there are sound reasons behind why the synonyms tweet went viral. Perhaps because lots of people use Twitter while intoxicated, inebriated, drunken, befuddled, incapable, tipsy, the worse for drink, under the influence, maudlin ...