I don’t think TechCrunch is presenting anything new here about virality, though it is making it more depressing by putting it in the context of the older internet, the internet where stationary sites had a degree of constant readership (being an RSS user that makes me an old fogey, apparently).
What fascinated me about the article was the bit at the end about Jonah Peretti, the founder of Buzzfeed. The fact that Peretti was on to something with identity capitalism in 1996 while in college just goes to show that at some level this was all predictable. It just takes someone smart (and in the case of Peretti, at least a little self-serving and/or grandiose) to use the principle to destroy the internet.
Or maybe that’s just me the old fogey talking again.