Sitting at her computer, Jessica Wang ’18 logged onto BuzzFeed, focusing intently as she arranged pictures of different shades of blue below the question, “Pick a shade of blue,” on her screen. She then moved on to the next question, “Choose a bird,” where she organized photos of various birds, some of which included an owl, a penguin, and a flamingo. Next, Wang arranged pictures of spring, summer, fall, and winter under the last question, “Pick a season.” Finally, Wang described in an interview with The Phillipian, she clicked the “Publish Now” button, creating her BuzzFeed quiz, “We Know Your Height Based On Random Questions.”
“[My quiz] was actually much more successful than I thought it would be!… There were over a thousand responses to [my quiz] and people were either like, ‘This is completely off,’ or ‘This is completely amazing.’ It felt really good to see people be like, ‘How did BuzzFeed know? You’re psychic!’ But I was just like, ‘Nope, it’s just a random quiz,’ ” said Wang.
Wang began blogging for BuzzFeed late last year, having stumbled upon a post instructing how BuzzFeed Community users could create original posts and quizzes. Since Wang has been an avid user of BuzzFeed for many years and is a fan of taking their quizzes, she immediately jumped at the opportunity to contribute.
“I didn’t know normal people could actually make quizzes and posts. I clicked on [the post] and I read it, and I was so amazed, and I just tried to make my own quiz. It actually was a lot more work than I had thought. My first quiz took me a couple hours because when you’re taking them, it’s like, ‘Oh, [you’re just clicking] pictures and [there are] results,’ but there’s a whole process to it,” said Wang.
Wang describes her approach to blogging as very spontaneous and sudden, without planning potential topics ahead of time.
“I’ll be sitting in [silent study] and then I’m like, ‘Wait! I just thought of an amazing quiz idea!’ It’s really spontaneous. I usually try to think about things that I really love and things that I think other people really like, and then try to base what I blog off of that,” said Wang.
Although Wang writes about things that she loves and is passionate about, she also strives to make her posts and quizzes upbeat and relatable, so a large range of people can connect with her work.
“I make a lot of quizzes and the topics of those are scattered, but I like to blog about positive things, kind of positive experiences that I’ve had. I went organic farming over spring break, and I wanted to share with people what I learned from the experience and what I gained from it. At the start of 2016, I had a post that was like, ‘16 Things To Try In 2016,’ so I guess I want to share my thoughts with people and motivate people and share my thoughts with the world,” said Wang.
Because of BuzzFeed’s popularity amongst teens today, Wang believes BuzzFeed is the most fitting platform for her to share her thoughts.
“I think BuzzFeed is definitely the biggest, most major, up-and-coming news networking site for young people. [There are] a lot of those really uptight news networks and not a lot of people, especially teens, like to read that. BuzzFeed also has such a wide range of things that [they offer]. They have [categories including] life, news, quizzes, just everything, so I think it really caters to a large audience and also it’s just a really interesting news network in general,” said Wang.
Wang’s main inspiration for continuing to blog is the positivity she receives in response to her articles and quizzes.
“It just really makes me happy when people are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I took your quiz!’ and that’s what motivated me to make more. At first, I just made [quizzes] to try it out but then people really started enjoying it, and I was like, ‘Oh, if I can make people’s day a little better by a small BuzzFeed quiz, why not?’ ” said Wang.