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SXSW Interactive 2013

Sweet Memes Are Made of This: How to Go Viral

Peter Shankman, world renowned author and entrepreneur, moderates viral success stories Lian Amaris (Silicon Valley Ryan Gosling, Planned Parenthood vs. Komen Foundation), Ricky Robinett (FakeGirlfriend, World of Fourcraft) and Michael Selvidge (Callin’ Oates) in a panel about best practices for creating, cultivating and distributing viral content.

Though virality can't be guaranteed, there are a few ways to best position a creation to become a meme. From tactical tagging to tweeting at influencers, the panel will discuss the "how," "when," and "who" of strategic creation, so companies can target the best audience that will want and need to share their content.

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  1. Memes usually happen organically (or 4Chan-ically), but how can you engineer content to go viral?
  2. What are the common pitfalls that keep memes from getting off the ground, and how can you avoid them, get around them, or take advantage of them?
  3. What are the best media channels to drive viral content?
  4. What is the greatest meme of all time, and what can we learn from it?
  5. When you achieve viral success, what is the best way to utilize it, what should you be ready for, how long should you rely on it, and how can you address “selling out”?


  • Michael Selvidge, Sr Mgr, Corporate Communications, Twilio
  • Lian Amaris, Social Marketing Manager, Songbird
  • Ricky Robinett, Senior Software Engineer & Head of APIs, Ordr.in
  • Peter Shankman, VP and Small Business Evangelist, Vocus Inc


Michael Selvidge, Sr Mgr, Corporate Communications, Twilio

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Advanced
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