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Contagious content: the challenges of memes you don't want

Content is highly contagious. In my online communities, I've learned this over and over and over again — both for good and bad. We all know that content's contagiousness is what drives funny things going viral on the web. It drives the memes that I eat for breakfast each morning. Contagious content makes corners of the internet feel like one big hilarious inside joke. We're all infected with the awesome!

The challenges with contagious content is when the infection doesn't line up with the brand or editorial goals of a given website. LOLcats being contagious is AWESOME for the Cheezeburger folks — less awesome for someone trying to run a community dedicated to, say, ailurophobics.

Here are a few examples of contagious content challenges we deal with on the Empire, and how we deal with 'em:

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How I engineered a viral post

Recently, a post I wrote about cell phones at weddings went WAY viral, getting shared 43,000 times in one day. It wasn't an accident. Here's how I did it.