A recent New York Times article examines the science behind online sharing.

A recent New York Times article examines the science behind online sharing. Over a period of six months, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania checked the most emailed list on the New York Times every 15 minutes to understand what helped get an article passed along.

They discovered that positive articles tended to get shared over negative, longer pieces worked better than short ones – and that science was a popular topic. Emotion is important; the more emotional an article was, the more it got passed along. But even more important,  was that an article contained an element of surprise, or inspired awe.

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