Dartbeat's Guide to Writing Moderately Popular Yik Yaks

By Hayley Hoverter | 5/5/15 7:05am

From avoiding someone on the Green, standing in line at Collis or just staring at a blank page of an essay you haven’t started, Yik Yak has rescued us in our times of need. Yik Yak is the metaphorical courtroom of cyberspace, where our thoughts, observations and most secretive embarrassments go to be judged by a jury of our peers.
Yik Yak is polarizing — some of us get hundreds of upvotes, while others will never live to see the day when they get more than 30 upvotes on a post. Regardless, it’s important that even if we can’t be the best, we still put our best foot forward with our Yaks. Because when we’re procrastinating hard enough, we read everything posted there anyway.

Here are some tips to make sure your Yaks are moderately good — or at least not terrible:

1. Event-based Yaks
Is there something going on around campus? Trick question — there always is. Chances are that someone already Yak’d about a winning shot in a sports game or the most poignant 200-character op-ed on Moving Dartmouth Forward. If that person wasn’t you, it’s okay. If you can’t be timely or amazing, posting a generic and observational Yak always get some attention. Then when you read that Yak out loud at dinner, really let your friends’ smiles and nods sink in — you worked hard for those 45 likes.

2. Do something embarrassing
The 60 upvotes you’re guaranteed might not undo the fact that you wiped out on the steps of Dartmouth Hall in front of an admissions tour, but pity points always count. So go rinse the scrape on your knee and reach for your phone, because you need to Yak about it before whoever saw you fall does first.

3. Typos
You had the perfect joke—you wrote and rewrote the punch line until you got it just right. You post it and wait impatiently but there are only 30 upvotes. What happened? Are you not funny? No, that’s not it. Well, maybe it is. But in this case, you can blame it on the typo. It’s okay, though, a few people understood what you meant. Words are hard, and you were on the right track. Well done, you!

4. Obscure puns
Mainstream puns are often well received on Yik Yak, but some are a hard sell. Either way, you should always try your puns out. And when the initial disappointment of only getting 20 upvotes wears off, you will rejoice in the fact that at least about 0.48% of Dartmouth undergrads think you’re funny. This is more than 0, not bad at all.

5. Handles
I’ve actually found that using handles helps get more upvotes on Yik Yak. But whether this gets you to the top of the hot list or below the fold completely depends on you and your worth as a person. So Yak wisely.

Hayley Hoverter