The Dogfather

Matt Nelson

Creator of WeRateDogs

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 30, 2017

Discussion

The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
Hey! My name is Matt Nelson, I'm the creator/owner of WeRateDogs LLC (@dog_rates on Twitter). I made the account in November of 2015, and it's been quite the rollercoaster ride since. I've delegated to the point that my focus is primarily on content creation and expanding the style, tone, and online persona that initially brought people to my page. Thanks for tuning in!!!
Product Hunt
Product Hunt@producthunt
Hello Matt, thank you for joining. Do you plan to go into the cat rating business?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@producthunt I will absolutely not be expanding into the cat rating business.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Have you monetized @dog_rates in any way?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@andrewett WeRateDogs.com is our primary revenue stream.
Courtney Rogin
Courtney Rogin@courtneyrogin · marketing @ poll everywhere
Hey Matt! How do you manage the mass amount of social engagement across channels?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@courtneyrogin I used to take advantage of Twitter Engage, but I believed that's been discontinued. Most of my time has been spent bouncing from app to app or from account to account. Like, a stupid amount of time.
Jordan Gonen
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
Hey Matt! Awesome stuff. I heard that guy @rrhoover likes cats. Thoughts?
HΛLΞY
HΛLΞY@stayvndrthetide
Hey Matt! How do you go about choosing which doggos and puppers get featured? Do you have a process based upon how much viral potential the post will have, personal preference, or is it random selection/something else?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@stayvndrthetide Hey Haley! So right now I have an independent contractor who goes through the ridiculous amount of submissions we get every day. He then texts me 20-30 of the best and I pick from there. If a caption immediately pops into my head or a picture then that's most likely one I'm going to post eventually
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hey Matt! What have you learned about the format of content that performs best? How do your followers like to receive your content?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@theo_dimarhos WeRateDogs only works on Twitter. We have a snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, but they don't have anywhere near the following we have on Twitter. When writing the WeRateDogs book, I was excited to try a more longform approach. I thought unlimited characters would provide more freedom and make the captions better, but I was wrong. The short choppy sentences and the style that I developed on twitter is by far the most entertaining way to systematically objectify dogs.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Have you thought about doggy dating apps?
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey Matt, thanks for joining us! Big fan of @dog_rates, and super impressed with how far you've taken the account. Curious how you got it started? With 2M+ followers the account now has a life of its own (and the content is awesome) – but what does it take to grow an account like that to the initial critical mass, of say, 100k, 200k, 500k, etc.
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@nivo0o0 @dog_rates Hey Niv! So, when I first made the account, I was posting up to 20 dogs a day with captions that were pretty absurd compared to today. That constant bombardment of new, exciting content and the fact that I was having so much fun with it, I believe, lead to the immediate follower growth.
Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman@simoncchapman · Founder. Need.ie
Hi Matt, what is your favourite dog of all-time? Share the tweet?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@simoncchapman It was absolutely Pipsy for a very long time, however, this post last week may very well be my new favorite! https://twitter.com/dog_rates/st...
Andreas Klinger
Andreas Klinger@andreasklinger · Tech at Product Hunt 💃
Which dog is overrated?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@andreasklinger none, they're all perfect and rated fairly (by me)
Igor Akulov
Igor Akulov@igoruphere · Founder of Picax
"They're good dogs, Brent"! Hey Matt, you do God's work. Found out about you from Imgur, where you became a true fenomenon. How much becoming a meme there helped you grow? Was it all a happy accident or did you plan it? And any future plans - cats, otters, food, people? 😂 Stay wholesome AF.
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@igoruphere Hey Igor! Imgur played a crucial role in spreading my content beyond twitter. Several things went viral because of Imgur's influence. Everything was a happy accident except what I have pinned on my personal twitter account. That was the first time I attempted to manufacture something to go viral to benefit my account.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@matt___nelson @igoruphere this is super interesting! "You can force virality under the right conditions" https://twitter.com/matt___nelso...
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@nivo0o0 @igoruphere It's clearly manipulative, but I think fascinating enough that the deception can easily be ignored. Marketing is manipulative at its core. And hey, at least I revealed my trick
Igor Akulov
Igor Akulov@igoruphere · Founder of Picax
@matt___nelson @nivo0o0 Cheers ;) Was amazing to learn.
Seth Williams
Seth Williams@sethbwilliams · Designer, Product Hunt
What does success for WeRateDogs look like for you?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@sethbwilliams as long as I keep making people happy I'd consider that success. That was my goal from the start. Even though opportunities have led to some financial success and new goals outside of content creation, if I'm not making people happy none of that matters.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hey Matt thanks for joining us today! What's the origin story of WeRateDogs? Did you ever expect the Twitter handle @dog_rates would be such a hit?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@ems_hodge @dog_rates I made the account in an Applebee's. I had the idea floating around in my head for a while before I finally created it. I wish I had some fascinating eureka moment to entertain you with, but that's just not the case.
Ben Tossell
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Makerpad.co
If you could trade lives with a tech CEO for a week who would it be and why?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@bentossell I would trade lives with Jack and bring back "favorites"
Connor
Connor@connor_tarter
Do you think that your account would have risen to this level of notoriety and success without the "They're good dogs, Brent" moment?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
Kelly Sopek
Kelly Sopek@kelly_s176
When you started the weratedogs page, did you ever think it would get as popular as it did? And what's your reaction to how it has grown?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@kelly_s176 I had a slight inclination that it could succeed, because dogs and humor are a pretty likable combination, but could not have ever predicted this level of success. I've been in shock for the last two years
When did you realize you had something special with your account?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@wildfan3711 I knew I was onto something when Cole Sprouse became the 3,000th follower. He still hasn't replied to any of my DMs
Jordan Garvey
Jordan Garvey@jordan_garvey · React Developer
Hi Matt, massive fan of WeRateDogs. Even submitted my own Golden Retriever to be rated but she never was😟 she took it kind of personally and thinks it’s because she’s a bad dog, but was wondering how you pick which dogs to rate?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@jordan_garvey they're all good dogs, Jake. And the process is explained in an earlier reply :)
echunny ❅
echunny ❅@emilyc_carlson
henlo matt, how does your family feel about your success in the dog rating business?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@emilyc_carlson They are very supportive. My mom comments on everything I post
Dylan Easterling
Dylan Easterling@easterlingd03
How do you manage balancing running the account with college? Also how many employees does we rate dogs currently employ
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@easterlingd03 Thankfully, my college workload was never outrageous and WeRateDogs always took priority. I have no "employees" but I do have two independent contractors. Tyler Macke (@mackemode) runs just about everything with our store and John Ricci (@dejected) handles submissions.
Matt Hundley
Matt Hundley@_hundley_
Hey fellow Matt! How'd you decide to on which dogs should be the face of WeRateDogs? Did it just kinda happen that way or was there a thought process behind it?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@_hundley_ I searched "funny dog" on Google and found that pic. We've since licensed the photo because it's pretty much how WeRateDogs is recognized.
Robin Judice
Robin Judice@mopie4all
Hi Matt ~ You make me happy every day. Thank you for that. Some of the comments you apply to your doggos seem like they might have true backstories. Do the owners sometimes share things that you riff off of? (I wondered for example, if Jamesy's Person told you he really DOES kiss other dogs on the street)
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@mopie4all I have no clue if Jamesy does that to other dogs, but that was the most entertaining way I could portray the photos. Most come with a little backstory such as the name, breed, and sometimes age, but very rarely do I screenshot what the owner has sent and only if I couldn't communicate it in 140 characters.
debs10N
debs10N@debs10n
Are you considering transferring this fall?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@debs10n my educational future is very unknown at this time. Not a clue what to do
debs10N
debs10N@debs10n
Do you have any appearances with MLB set?
The Dogfather
The Dogfather@matt___nelson · WeRateDogs LLC
@debs10n Pretty sure I'll be at an Athletics game in July and a Nationals game in September.
debs10N
debs10N@debs10n
@matt___nelson yay!!! Wish you the very best!!
Kemalcan Bora
Kemalcan Bora@kemalcanbora · YEY!
Hey Matt! I have idea about pc games and statistics can you check this and feed back us? no one can't helped us lol http://gamerik.com/