The secret of online success: don’t keep secrets

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The secret of online success: don’t keep secrets

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Can you keep a secret? Image by Girius

Can you keep a secret? Image by Girius

Yesterday, a friend told me the story of last year’s summer internship competition at Saatchi & Saatchi. Eager young beavers had to start a Facebook group, and the one whose group got the most members won the coveted internship. Only problem: within two weeks, Bristol university graduate Tiffany Philippou’s brainchild, Secret London—devoted to sharing members’ inside knowledge of London’s more elusive delights—had won 182,010 members and promptly morphed into a startup.

Marvellous, the power of the web. What interests me, though, is why Secret London worked so well. For starters, it’s a self-evidently good idea. People love sharing inside information about bars, gigs, bands and locations on social networking platforms. That’s why yoof spends so much time online, up to its armpits in Tweets and tinyurls. But why do they love it quite so much—and what larger social purposes is

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  1. August 21, 2010

    Don Amaro

    I believe that the concept like Secret London can help especially small businesses and institutes that, in these hard economic times, are screaming for to being noticed and having someone on their porch (and come in).

    Based on that same concept we started with the Secret Madeira and its Secret Sisters. Although it has not reached (yet) the totals like Secret London … it is very vivid and starting to be viral within the local population.

    For many years there a lots of unknown (hidden) places worth to visit on Madeira, Funchal and other villages on the island … but these are still unknown for most visitors. Even for a great part of the local habitants they are unaware of certain locations. It sounds strange but its true. Even I living here for 5 years on the island … each week I learn something new. I have to laugh at those who say that they have seen the whole island in one week. I call these people ‘short-sighted’.

    And thus … if there is so much yet to see … why not give a starting hint for everybody to find it out.

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Tom Chatfield

Tom Chatfield
Tom Chatfield is an associate editor at Prospect. His latest book is "How to Thrive in a Digital Age" (Pan Macmillan) 

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