The story behind the inexplicable rise of #UNCCFollowTrain

The story behind the inexplicable rise of #UNCCFollowTrain

Credit: Twitter.com

#UNCCFollowTrain trended nationally on Twitter for an entire day on February 20, 2013.

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by JEREMY MARKOVICH / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Wednesday afternoon, #UNCCFollowTrain started trending on Twitter. Nationally. As with a lot of trends, we have no idea why this was. Neither did some of the people using the hashtag:

If nothing else, people were using it to try and connect with other UNC Charlotte folks, to boost their follower count, or both:

Other folks just spammed the hashtag. We’d show you, but they’re stupid and mention Kurt Cobain and are spambots. Trust us.

So who started it?

“We didn’t start it,” said Brandon Kirkley, who runs @UNCCharlotte, the university’s official account. Once it started trending, Kirkley hopped in and started tweeting pictures and links to UNCC’s Facebook page.

By using a high tech method (endlessly scrolling through #UNCCFollowTrain tweets until we got to the very bottom), we found what we think is the original #UNCCFollowTrain tweet, posted at 11:55 a.m.:

I just transferred this semester,” said Pamela Rhodes, a.k.a. @PamgoinHAM, “There’s not a family feeling at UNCC. I wanted to meet more people.” She tried launching the #UNCCFollowTrain before, and got barely a peep. She has no idea why it took off this time. Maybe she’s met more people. Maybe she has more followers from UNC Charlotte. Either way, the hashtag spread across Twitter like wildfire. Pamela, a 20 year old political science major from Charleston, has 150 more followers than she did this morning.

Some folks are planning get-togethers. Some people are pushing big events. And people are meeting. All using the hashtag. All over the course of about six hours. Whatever Pamela set out to do worked, and then some.

So again, why is this trending nationally?

“I really have no idea,” she said.

Still, not bad for a sophomore.

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