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Internet Star Turns Viral Fame Into Big Business

If you think viral videos and links are only good for a quick laugh and 15 minutes of fame at best — think again.

Remember the young woman who allegedly quit her Wall Street job via whiteboard, capturing the imagination of disgruntled workers everywhere?

Source: Facebook

The stunt turned out to be a hoaxbut the star of that viral Internet link, a budding actress named Elyse Porterfield, has turned her viral fame into big business. She's received a flood of job offers for commercials, TV shows and more.

While most actresses her age (she's 22) are knocking on doors trying to get whatever offers they can, the offers are coming to her.

This is the new power of the Internet, and how advertisers are harnessing it. Porterfield already has 5,000 friends on Facebookand 3,000 followers on Twitter.

Some of the jobs she's gotten since appearing as "Jenny DryErase" have involved a whiteboard: She’s promoted the Festy music festival in Virgina via whiteboard, done a top 10 list — "10 Signs She's Faking It" — for Askmen.comand yes, she was even hired by Expo dry-erase markers to do a Facebook campaignfor them using dry-erase markers and — you guessed it —a whiteboard.

Cube, a new social-networking site that launches next month, has asked her to be the face of their campaign. And she’s currently in talks with Ray-Banabout doing some advertising for them. She’s also in talks for a few television deals — to possibly be a fill-in host for E! Newsor to do a TV show with The Learning Channel. She’s also vying for a couple of shots on the big screen.

“I had no clue!” Porterfield said of her newfound fame. She says all she did was respond to a casting call to do a video, and now, people recognize her on the street and ask to take pictures with her. “It’s pretty cool,” she admitted.

So what’s next for “Jenny DryErase”?

I’d love to be on “The Office” or even “30 Rock,” Porterfield said.

You can kind of see it, can’t you? Michael Scott calls her a HOPA, Dwight keeps following her around because he thinks she's a spy for Staples and finally, she just can't take it anymore and quits via whiteboard. Jim glances over at the camera ... And, scene.

When "Jenny" quit her job that first time, she wrote on the whiteboard, "Although I don't have another job...Something tells me I'll be just fine."

You can say that again!

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  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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