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SXSW Interactive 2015

Going Viral: The Science of Predicting the Web

What do Animals with Hangovers, a WestJet Christmas Miracle and Barack Obama’s “Ask Me Anything” Reddit forum have in common? They grab people’s attention and spread. So what is the technology behind identifying these digital content snowballs that grow into pop culture avalanches?

Mashable’s Velocity scours the social web, collecting data around the behavior of people engaging with digital media content and feeding it into the company’s predictive engine to forecast what content is about to go viral.

We will discuss the story of Velocity and how it has been a crucial tool for Mashable, and we will unveil what 360i found when the agency partnered with Mashable to use Velocity to predict and track the viral lifecycle of digital content.

This session is for those who want to know how to better utilize data to help anticipate the viral lifecycle of digital content, and for those who want to know how to create and curate content that resonates.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What is Mashable Velocity?
  2. What makes the best digital content?
  3. What is the life cycle of digital content?
  4. Why does content resonate and spread?
  5. How can I create and curate awesome digital content?


  • Matt Wurst, VP of Social Media, 360i
  • Robyn Peterson, Chief Technology Officer, Mashable


Ashley Stewart, Director of PR, 360i

Meta Information:

  • Tags: content, innovation
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Level: Intermediate
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