The Meme Master
Matt Nelson (Campbell University)
Two months into his freshman year in 2015, Matt Nelson started a Twitter account, thinking he’d use it to make jokes in between classes, and maybe get a few Likes along the way. Realizing that his tweets with dogs got way more action than those without, Nelson came up with the idea to rate dogs on Twitter. In true millennial fashion, he posted a Twitter poll to his personal account to see what others thought of the idea -- and people, as he says: “lost their s--t.” The first doggo rate got more than 500 retweets and 2,500 likes, and the viral meme account We Rate Dogs was born. Within 17 months, We Rate Dogs had 2 million followers (that’s now grown to 3.3 million); it’s expanded to a mobile phone game and online store, and Nelson, now a junior at Campbell, even has a book coming out in October. Plus, he’s credited with helping bring “DoggoLingo” into the mainstream. And it all happened before the kid earned his degree.