I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me…. (Ecclesiastes 1)
I already referenced what happened in a post a few days ago (The Pay-Off in The Writing Biz). But at that point I didn’t know how big this would become. If you’re interested, it’s a fascinating study.
VIRAL! A piece of my writing went viral, legitimately viral (it still is). But the funny thing (the ironic thing) is that no-one knows I wrote it!
Here’s the short version of what happened:
So I scrolled down to take a closer look. The first couple of items sounded familiar, like it was written in my voice. By the time I’d read the entire article I knew it was mine.
When I searched my computer I found that I’d written the article a couple of years ago, for the All-Pro-Dad website. I’ve written upwards of 150 articles for All-Pro-Dad, and they all appear without my name. That’s our agreement, and while I’d prefer attribution, I understand their reasoning. I don’t agree with the reasoning, but the important thing is the fact that my articles help literally tens of thousands of dads across America.
“10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear” made its way across to the iMom web-site, another division of Familyfirst. The iMom editor changed the word “dads” to “moms.” Next, someone copied it and posted it to their “Pinterest” page. The article got shared any number of times on Pinterest, and somewhere along the line lost the “iMom” attribution.
That’s when someone else took my writing, dressed it up with an attractive graphic, and posted it on their facebook page. Since that day, sometime earlier this week, “10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear” has been “shared” 11,720 times (and that number is still increasing by over 1,000 each day).
“Sharing” means that the writing has been re-posted on 11,720 facebook accounts. That means anywhere upwards from 100,000 (or more) facebook “friends” have seen “10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear” pop up on their news feed.
SO WHAT? The reason I’m writing about this is the irony. If there’s one thing my career as a writer needs it’s more spontaneous publicity. I need people who say they appreciate my work to share that fact with others… to recommend that other people read my blog, my books, my articles .. to lobby their pastors and teachers to use me for church-wide studies… to get the whole “word of mouth” thing rolling.
But then, the day my work literally does “go viral,” and when literally tens of thousands of people are telling one-another, “You’ve got to read this!”… absolutely no-one knows it has anything to do with Derek Maul!
Now that’s irony!.And so I have to laugh. LOL!
But don’t let’s leave it at that. Think about the substance that you read here (but inexplicably keep to yourself) the next time you forward something trite to 380 of your closest friends; who will then, each, forward that gem of nothing to 463 of their closest friends; who will then… well, you get the picture.
Peace and blessings – DEREK