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Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements by Spike Jones, Geno Church, Greg Cordell, Robbin Phillips

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Chapter 4. Movements Have a Barrier of Entry

There's a supposedly secret driving track in the Southeastern United States where BMW tests new concept cars. It's a pretty nondescript place, but the earth is raised around the edges, and bushes and trees have been planted along the hills to obscure the track. And then, of course, there's the 12-foot chain-link fence topped with spiraled razor-sharp barbed wire. Seeing the Keep Out signs posted up and down the fence, anyone who drives by begins to wonder what's in there. What are they trying to keep you from seeing? What's the big secret?

Those of us who are naturally curious immediately want to know. We'll drive around the entire perimeter and strain our necks to see if we can get a glimpse. It's exclusive. It's top secret. And if only we could see something, then, boy, would we have a story to tell. The barrier of entry is calling us to want to know what we don't know.

One of the secret sauces we've discovered in igniting movements is that a barrier of entry is vital. Yes, we want to keep people out of the movement; in fact, it's a key to success, growth, and sustainability.

How many social networking sites do you belong to on the Internet? You know: FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, message boards, blogs, brand communities, and the like. Now, how many do you visit on a regular basis? Better yet, how many have to you gone to, signed up (as in gone to the "create account" page where you create a user name and password), looked around for a ...

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