A Day in the Life of the Creator of a Breakout Meme

It was almost happy hour, but Veronica De Souza was having a pretty awful Tuesday. She has just been laid off from her job as a social media manager and what else did she have to do but pour a drink and watch the debates... 

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It was almost happy hour, but Brooklyn's Veronica De Souza was having a pretty depressing Tuesday. She had just been laid off from her job as a social media manager, so what else was she to do but have a drink and watch the debates? That's when, suddenly, her fortunes changed.

Around 9:38 p.m. ET, Mitt Romney, in response to a question about the gender gap in income, told an anecdote from his days as governor of Massachusetts about searching for potential females he could hire, explaining how women's groups, "brought me binders full of women" to look at. De Zouza broke up laughing. Binders full of women! She then had a eureka moment: This was a meme in the making. But how best to showcase it? By making a Tumblr, of course. At 9:42 p.m., De Souza tweeted a link to her new creation, Binders Full of Women. It was quickly picked up. Our Elspeth Reeve posted about it on our site at 10:02 p.m. Others, too, were noticing. Within 20 minutes the "binders full of women" meme was alive and thriving, and De Souza's Tumblr was at the center of it. By this morning it was everywhere: Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Wire, TechCrunch, ABC News, Jezebel.

Within 12 hours of getting laid off, De Souza was born anew. When starting a Tumblr gets you job offers in less than a day, you've had a pretty good rebound. By late afternoon Wednesday De Souza was  getting calls for profiles from the Wall Street Journal and weighing her new meme-mentor role against her existing personal brand. Whattatown! as they say.

Not everything's peachy keen under the Tumblr sun, though. When you start something, it's important to watch out for sharks -- or, "Internet Goblins" -- like Perez Hilton, who are going to come around and bite at your ankles. Or at least steal your stuff.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.