(Feb. 18, 2017; by Jordan Green; 137,145 pageviews)
Triad City Beat’s website, triad-city-beat.com, has amassed more than 5 million hits since we began clocking them with Google Analytics in April 2014. But none got more than this one, in which our reporter described a strange conversation at a conservative political meeting at a Kernersville seafood restaurant, in which Frank del Valle said, “I’m ready to start taking people out.” It got picked up by Reddit, Huffpo, the Washington Post, Raw Story and other national and international outlets.
(July 20, 2017; by Jelisa Castrodale; 96, 285 pageviews)
Jelisa Castrodale really tapped into something when she dedicated her Triaditude Adjustment column to the absolute evisceration of an internet couple who tried to make viral their Goodwill Date Nights, in which they wore clothes purchased from the thrift store and inhabited characters to go with them for the night. “Their toothy selfies should be distributed as a cautionary tale for what white privilege looks like,” Castrodale wrote. “It’s playing dress-up in second-hand clothes before you cut into a ribeye, giggling to yourself about how you’d never really wear something like that, and there’s no way you’d ever reduce yourself to wearing someone else’s hand-me-downs, ugh!”
(May 28, 2014; by Billy Ingram; 62,902 pageviews)
Billy Ingram’s piece about Frances Bavier — aka Aunt Bee from “The Andy Griffith Show” — who abruptly retired from television in 1970 and moved to Siler City. Short version: It did not go well. This one has become something of an office joke that harkens back to the days when we obsessed over our daily pageviews, because it gets hit almost every single day by people doing a deep Andy Griffith internet dive. Still does.
(Feb. 21, 2017; by Joel Sronce; 57, 120 pageviews)
Everybody about went nuts when the late Bill Whiteheart, formerly of the Forsyth County Commission, posted on one of his Business 40 billboards a simple piece of text that read: “Real men provide, real women appreciate it.” Whiteheart maintained that it was a paid spot. But protesters stood in front of it anyway. A Facebook group was formed, a formal protest and art exhibit was held and, eventually, the billboard came down, only to be replaced by one that was even dumber.
(Oct. 8, 2014; by Jordan Green; 50,864 pageviews)
Our first viral story concerned a “dress like a black person” party held by the Kappa Alpha Order at Wake Forest University. It was hot enough to give us our first huge day on the website — which, incidentally, alerted us to all sorts of technical issues, but also put us on the radar of the national media. If we had pictures of the event, we would have broken the internet.