Real life

The Day I Went Viral

Well, I was going to write an entirely different blog post today, properly on topic about my forthcoming short story collection DIP FLASH (gotta keep mentioning it, eh?)

But then this happened:

At the time of writing, it’s showing 2594 RTs and 7315 likes. By the time you read this, both numbers will probably be considerably higher.

Quite apart from the irony of my most popular ever tweet (by a country mile) being one promoting someone else’s book, it’s all a bit weird. All I intended to do was highlight something that amused me, and because I was tweeting from my phone, I didn’t even manage to get in a link to the book itself. And then Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s technology correspondent, RT’d me (no idea how he saw it). Then either Charlie Stross or William Gibson RT’d me, followed by either William Gibson or Charlie Stross. Oh, and then Duncan Jones.

From then on, it acquired a wild and happy life of its own as more and more people spread it to the far corners of Twitter. I’d often wondered how I’d feel if my mentions ever started to heat up, and I finally got the chance to find out. Here’s what it’s like:

  1. It’s very time-consuming. At first, you feel obliged to respond to or at least like all those replies, or argue with the various idiots who insult you, but you get bored after a while.
  2. So you stop reading all your mentions.
  3. Then you worry you’ve missed some from your friends.
  4. So you go back and read them all.
  5. Your friends have been ignoring you.
  6. However, you do find that you’ve been insulted again.
  7. You spend time trying to think of a witty burn.
  8. You tweet a witty burn.
  9. It turns out not to be that witty after all.
  10. Also, there’s a spelling mistake.
  11. You decide to stop reading your mentions again.
  12. You check the number of RTs and likes.
  13. You wonder when you’re going to get to 2000 RTs.
  14. You get to 2000 RTs.
  15. You start to think it’s about time someone else famous RTs you.
  16. They don’t.
  17. You wonder when you’re going to get to 3000 RTs.
  18. You don’t get to 3000 RTs.
  19. You notice that your mentions are slowing down.
  20. You decide they’ve slowed down sufficiently for you to start responding to them.
  21. You find you’ve been insulted again.
  22. You wonder when this is ever going to end.

And so it goes on. I should perhaps point out that the level of abuse I’ve received today is pretty mild and nothing I haven’t been able to brush off. If I’d been a woman, I have a feeling it would have been very different.

 

4 thoughts on “The Day I Went Viral

  1. Ha! Surprisingly, it did. First copy of Mrs Darcy I’ve sold for quite a while. If only I’d timed it a bit better, as I’ve got a new short story collection coming out very soon and the start of a whole new series of novels in September 🙂

  2. It’s as good a reason as any, Mr Jones. Anyway, ta for dropping in. Maybe try a full sentence next time?

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