When Shetland entrepreneur Andrew Irvine created an experimental social media “app” called Influential Albums, little did he know that it would end up hitting blogs and airwaves on both sides of the Atlantic.
It was only the second Facebook app that Andrew, who runs small firm CU Marketing with his sister Christena, had created. It consists of a quiz entitled “100 Influential Albums – very few people own 70 or more. How many have you got?”
Much to his surprise, it went viral on a global scale. It has now been shown on Facebook over 68 million times and installed by over 700,000 people, over 300,000 of whom have shared their results.
Some 547 other websites are linking to the page, which has been featured on Bristol Community FM radio and covered in a blog by Dan Weiss of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York alternative news weekly Village Voice.
Andrew said: “The list is made up of some of my favourite albums and a few others picked up from various lists on the internet. The only relevant website domain name I could find was www.influentialalbums.com, so I just went with it.
“I’m no expert when it comes to music. For me, the whole point of doing this was to learn more about Facebook apps. I had no idea it would annoy music buffs so much that they would write blogs about it and post their comments about it on hundreds of music forums.”
He said some of the feedback had been quite amusing, including a suggestion that the development must have taken “big marketing bucks”. A couple of people suggested that the app must have been created by the director of stricken music chain HMV “to clear some old albums”.
“Little did they know, the total ‘marketing bucks’ spent was £8.14 and that it was just me improving my knowledge on developing Facebook apps.”
Andrew has now started adding new features and allowing people to suggest their own albums for inclusion on the list, as he strives to reach one million internet users.
• How many of Andrew’s 100 most influential albums do you own? Find out at www.influentialalbums.com