About Amanda

I’m a disgruntled Metro-North commuter by morning, real estate journalist by day, insomniac by night, and cancer butt-kicker for life.

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My First Time Going Viral

I’m a big fan of Buzzfeed and its lists. So on February 11, I decided to try my hand at making my own Buzzfeed, which apparently not many people realized you could do.

Inspired by my friend Meg’s discussion about glitter roll-ons that were popular when I was in high school, I decided to focus on the typical day of a teenage girl in the late ’90s. The result: a 23-point list of how we spent our days, from morning to night, drawing on mine and my friends’ experiences in high school.

I had no clue how big this Buzzfeed article was about to blow up.

It was merely an experiment for me, to see how far a Buzzfeed article would go just by my promoting it a few times on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Buzzfeed gave it a nod and a bump, and suddenly the hits started pouring in. I was elated that 500 people looked at my article.

Then at 11:56, I got an email ding on my phone. Buzzfeed sent an email that I had won a 1,000 views award. I was awed and crowed about it on Facebook. 1,000 views—take that! My friends congratulated me on my accomplishment. I then went to sleep.

The next morning, I was awoken by another ding on my phone. The 10,000 views award. In only six hours! Later that day—at 81,000 views—I received an email from a PR exec I work with out of Pennsylvania. “There was a Buzzfeed link being passed around our office this afternoon on being a teenage girl in the 90s. And then I saw your picture and byline on the article. There are many jealous PR girls that want your job right now (and it has to be more fun than writing for real estate) J,” she wrote. And then I received another email from a women I know in Florida. It was getting around!

I started seeing friends posting it on both Facebook and Twitter, not realizing that I’d written it. One of the best reactions was from my best friend Karen (one who didn’t realize) commenting how #22 was her life—she’d been my inspiration for that very bullet point!

By the end of the day, I had shot into the Top 10 of Buzzfeed community contributors, and my article had gone viral on Facebook and Reddit. The following day, it went viral on Tumblr. I was receiving emails, tweets, and Facebook messages galore about how I hit the nail on the head and it was like I was spying on people’s lives. (I only really needed to spy on my own to write it… no matter how many of us thought we were beautiful, unique snowflakes back then, we were for the most part—as the Buzzfeed reactions prove—the same.) By the 15th, it had hit 1 million views, and as I write this today, it’s well over 1.7 million views.

None of the subsequent articles I wrote for Buzzfeed gained the same sort of traction, although 15 Smells That Take You Back To Elementary School did fairly well. It was nothing like my first time, though. Every few days I get a tweet or email about the Typical Day article, with people adding their memories or noting what I forgot (I still refuse to acknowledge Tamagotchis).

What a trip—who knew high school days would hit such a good nerve?

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