Baratunde Thurston on ‘Blitter’–Black Twitter–and Being Authentic Online [Video]

Baratunde Thurston, director of Digital at The Onion, gives the rest of us some advice on to be viral on the internet.

By Jorge Rivas Jan 12, 2012

Baratunde Thurston is a man with a pretty amazing list of credentials. called him the 16th most viral person on the internet, Melissa Harris-Perry says his new book is a ‘must read,’ he’s a keynote speaker at South by Southwest this year, and he pointed out black tweeters tweet a lot more than whites a year before any research think tanks did.

Watch the video above to get some advice on how you too can be more viral on the internet.

Also, earlier this week Thurston was also profiled in the business magazine Fast Company. Below is an excerpt of Thurston talking about some of the principles of being a responsible online citizen.

"It’s irresponsible not to use the tools of the day," he charges. "People say, Oh, if I master Twitter, I’ve got it figured out. That’s right, but it’s also so wrong. If you master those things and stop, you’re just going to get killed by the next thing. Flexibility of skills leads to flexibility of options. To see what you can’t see coming, you’ve got to embrace larger principles."

Among those principles: "The uncertainty is the certainty. Change is the constant. Experimentation is rewarded. Stability is an impediment." So what are the important skills, given that environment? "To manage large amounts of information is super important," he says. "And the ability to tell a story is more important than ever. Coalition building is an important skill, the ability to connect. You can have a distinct edge if you can take advantage of community." Growing up, Thurston says, "I used online bulletin boards, hacked into libraries, I was using the web as it was being written, so I got an early understanding of how to leverage the platform. I’m not a very good programmer. Programming is very tedious. But everyone should try it."

Thurston’s new book ‘How to be Black’ will be released on January 31, 2012.