It's the only currency that sells in the modern era. Used to be that you could put an A-Lister on a poster and it was guaranteed, but things are different now, we have the internet.
It's being sold as a great opportunity, that everyone can get their work seen. Truth is it's mostly a way to get NOT seen, because nobody cares about your work. If you look at the statistics, you see how little people are interested. I have 1,000 people on the Facebook fan page for this site. But when I post something new, only 21 follow through (on average).
It's not the fan pages or the tweets that do the work, its actually the precious few who follow through. If what they read/watch isn't great, then it won't get passed on and shared.
And that's what this is really all about, word of mouth. You have to be GREAT in this day and age. You can't cheat it. Even if you pay thousands of people to tweet your project, NOBODY CARES! Nobody is committed.
Facebook pages, Twitter, etc, they're great tools but they're not the answer. The answer is better material. I watched a TED talk the other day, and the guy was talking about viral comedy, and how we CAN'T WAIT to share a funny joke. You see it on YouTube, you see it from that friend who always texts you offensive jokes.
It's not just comedy, it's anything that reaches the heart, we can't help but share it.
A strong recommendation from someone who is personally trusted is worth more than a thousand random impressions. I was having a meal with friends on Monday night and I said "Oh my God, 'Chronicle' is so awesome, I had so much fun watching it!" My friend John immediately turned to his wife and said "we're definitely seeing it now!". They're going this weekend. We talked about heaps of new movies, and I mostly said "yeah it's alright", and they weren't sold. But my energy regarding 'Chronicle' sparked them into action.
You can repost your article or short film a hundred times but it doesn't mean anything. If the juice is there, people will connect. And if they do, they'll bring an audience to you!
We are in an age where greatness sells. It's just that no-one believes it, they think we still need to try and appeal to the masses. Do the best you can do, your personal vision, put your whole heart into it and people will respond, but only if it's GREAT.