Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Interview with the teenage volunteer who generated so much traffic for Buzzfeed

NYMag interview:

I first started making quizzes during my high-school yearbook class. We had computers with us all the time and I would always get my deadlines done fast, so at free time me and my friend Katie would take quizzes. One day I actually realized anybody could make them and I thought that was pretty cool. I think my first quiz was in April 2017.

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Is it fair to say BuzzFeed really encouraged you, as a community member, to contribute for free?
It always seemed to me that they wanted me to make quizzes, but now I’m getting responses [on Twitter] where people are saying I should have realized I was taking these people’s jobs. I never really got that vibe because they were telling us to make more quizzes.

You mentioned on Twitter that you feel bad and like you might have been a cause of the layoffs. I just want to tell you, and I know a lot of people on Twitter have been saying this too, that none of this is on you.
When I first read Matthew’s [Perpetua, formed head of quizzes and games at BuzzFeed] blog post I thought, “I’m that Michigan teenager. I’m causing all this traffic.” I felt a lot of weight on me. Luckily, people have been reassuring me that it’s not my fault. I really felt like it was as I first learned about the layoffs. I felt really bad.

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I never knew I was the second-highest driver worldwide. I always knew my quizzes did well based on my dashboard views. Toward the end of the year, BuzzFeed actually sent me a package with some clothes and water bottles, a recipe book, and a coffee mug