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We all love the idea of “influentials”—those hyper-connected, ultra-respected thought leaders that can make your product reach the tipping point. But have you ever actually met an influential that can repeatedly and consistently make a product go viral? Probably not, because the latest science and real world experimentation shows that “influentials” don’t really exist, that viral growth is partly random, and that riding a wave is much easier than creating it.
In this session, you will learn from a leading viral media expert how to adapt your marketing to a world where ordinary people are the key to word-of-mouth. We will cover the latest scientific theories, look at world real data of successful viral seeding, and explore new tools and applications. Then you can stop wasting time talking to influentials and start riding some good waves.
Jonah Peretti has spent the last six years creating viral hits, tracking online social behavior, and building technology to amplify buzz. He has been called a “viral marketing hotdog” by the New York Times, “the poster boy of guerilla media” by AlterNet, and was selected by Men’s Vogue as one of 13 American Visionaries. Peretti is currently developing a new platform called BuzzFeed designed to help good things win the online popularity contest.
Peretti co-founded HuffingtonPost.com and has consulted for Sony Pictures, Proctor & Gamble, and other leading brands. Peretti’s viral media experiments include the Nike sweatshop email, BlackPeopleLoveUs.com, the New York City Rejection Line, and FundRace.org. These projects started small but spread through word-of-mouth to millions, illustrating the practical application of 6-degrees of separation and tipping points.
Peretti is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab and has taught at NYU and the Parsons School of Design. His work has been covered by Time, the Economist, and Fortune and he has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN. His most recent publication, “Viral Marketing for the Real World,” is in the May 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review.