The wisecracking train manager and the Buzzfeed experiment

buzzfeed screengrab.png

On my commute from Market Harborough to Sheffield I have often noticed that one of the train managers is particularly witty and entertaining.

One evening I decided to tweet about him and minutes later he messaged me and invited me to come and sit in first class for free.

I got talking to him (in the flesh) and looked him up on Twitter. I soon realised that he was very popular among passengers and there was perhaps a story there.

I decided to try out a little experiment to see just how far a story based on tweets could go. I joined the Buzzfeed Community and put together this story based on many of the great comments @mattymidland has received.

To date Buzzfeed has not promoted the story on the community page (so no-one can find it without the link) but it has already been viewed by more than 1,000 people via social media.

social lift 3

Most people have seen it on Facebook where it has been shared many times and as a result it currently has a ‘social uplift’ of 216 x in the last 48 hours which I think is pretty good.

social lift 1

BBC Sheffield picked up my story and one of their freelancers – a former student of mine – created their own version.

And Matt Dawson AKA @mattymidland was delighted, telling me via direct message that things had been “crazy” ever since I put the story out.

In fact my story ultimately led to a follow-up article in The Star, Sheffield and a TV spot for Matt, who appeared on BBC Look North a little over a week after my story went live.

 

 

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