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The Anatomy Of A Viral Post

With a big assist from our Viral Dashboard (you have one too! use it!), here's a case study of one of our most popular posts in the past month: Hipster Dinosaurs, by dino-hating BuzzFeeder IHateDinosaurs.

Last updated on July 3, 2018, at 10:48 a.m. ET

Posted on September 27, 2010, at 1:28 p.m. ET

  • The Post Itself

    IHateDinosaurs made this awesome, awesome, awesome post about Molly Lewis's series of coloring book hipster dinosaurs on his Dino-themed BuzzFeed page earlier this month.

  • Mechanics Of Sharing

    This was a good thing. Everyone in the world thinks that hipsters need to be taken down a peg. We are all like, "Hey, hipsters! Get some gears on your bike!" and, "I don't really understand your T-shirt!"

  • Meanwhile, almost nobody hates dinosaurs - not even Tea Partiers. (We'll leave I Hate Dinosaurs himself out of this for the time being. If he is racist against dinos, that is something between him and the great Brontosaurus in the Sky.)

  • This perfect confluence of awesome dinosaurs making fun of holier-than-thou hipsters was a good post that people responded to, so it took off like a dinosaur-powered fighter jet via social sharing.

  • For the first two weeks, the post started to gain steam on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. People were even using good, old-fashioned ELECTRONIC SNAIL MAIL to send e-messages about the Hipster Dinosaurs to their grandchildren. 676 of them, to be precise!

  • Other Sites Take Notice

    That's when BoingBoing showed up and put some muscle behind it. BoingBoing's post had two effects: 1) It sent an additional 11,000 pairs of eyeballs (or 22,000 one-eyed people) to the Hipster Dinosaurs (who were all, like, oh, shit, now our scene is being featured on BoingBoing. I'm not even all that into being a Hipster Dino anymore), and 2) it triggered a new round of sharing on Facebook.

  • That's the spike you see around Day 15. Around then, Look At This Fucking Hipster joined the party, and it's been raging ever since.

  • Latecomers To The Party Search Using Google

    Eventually, "Hipster Dinosaurs" became kind of a popular search term on Google, which was convenient, because IHateDinosaurs' post has the number one result for that term. THE SNAKE IS EATING ITS OWN TAIL.

  • That's pretty much it. All courtesy of an awesome post from a BuzzFeeder and some nifty analytics from the Viral Dashboard. "Nifty"? Really? Jesus. I am like 100 years old.

  • Moral(s) of the story:

  • 1. Do awesome posts!

  • 2. Use your viral dashboard!

  • 3. Dinosaurs!

  • Check It Out For Yourself On The Dashboard