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Satire and the Web: How to Make Ideas That Spread Online

July 13, 2012

"Ideas that spread, win." And people are far more likely to share something funny than something serious. So, how to make serious ideas funny--and spread them online?

There may be no one better equipped to answer this question than Baratunde Thurston, co-founder of the black political blog Jack and Jill Politics; longtime director of digital for The Onion; and author of the new book, How to Be Black. He's just left The Onion to start his own company, called Cultivated Wit, which will use comedy to connect communities in meaningful ways. As the Roman soldier and poet Horace said, "A cultivated wit, one that badgers less, can persuade all the more. Artful ridicule can address contentious issues more competently and vigorously than can severity alone."

About @baratunde

Baratunde Thurston is conscious comic and vigilante pundit who has successfully merged his interests in technology, politics and comedy. He blogs at Jack & Jill Politics, The Huffington Post and his own site www.baratunde.com. He has authored three books, including Keep Jerry Falwell Away From My Oreo Cookies, was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, declared a Champion of the First Amendment by Iowa State University, and called “someone I need to know” by Barack Obama.

Baratunde was an early member of Laughing Liberally, and his stage presence has earned him emcee duties at the National Conference for Media Reform, Netroots Nation and South by Southwest. He has been featured in various media outlets including NPR, the BBC, CNN, The Boston Globe, The UK Independent, The New York Times, C-SPAN and ComedyCentral.com.

Baratunde speaks at colleges and conferences around the country and performs regularly in New York City, where he lives and works by day as an editor for The Onion.

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