Of the millions of images shared online daily, what makes some go viral? In attempting to answer this question, I will be employing traditional art-historical techniques to analyse social media. My aim is to explore how iconographical approaches might help us explain why some images become widely viewed. Working with social analytics company Pulsar, I will explore how iconography might help predict whether a given image could go viral.
Art history and viral imagery seem like they inhabit very different worlds. My professional background reflects both sides of this divide. Academically, I first trained as an art historian at New College Florida and Princeton University, and then acquired a degree in Information Studies from the University of Sheffield. After that I worked as a graphic designer and web developer.