Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Day I Blew up the Internet

Okay, so I didn't really blow up the internet cause you're all here reading this, but things kind of did explode today. I honestly thought my next blog was going to be about the awesomeness that was St. Louis Comic Con. But something interesting happened to me in the last 24 hours and I wanted to talk about that instead. And it is indirectly related to comic con, so while I gather my thoughts on that, here's the story of how "blew up" the internet.

When I attended the Firefly panel with Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk on Sunday, I knew I wanted to record it. I'd been told that Firefly panels are always fantastic and lets face it, these three are top notch. As a huge fan of the show, I knew I'd not only want to remember it but also want to be able to relive it over and over again. I knew it would be great, but I never expected it so be so downright hilarious. I also never expected Nathan Fillion to drop one of biggest, geekiest spoilers EVER.

Toward the end of the panel, a fan asked Nathan Fillion if because of his connection to James Gunn (a St. Louis native), if he was wanting a role in Guardians of the Galaxy.

"Wanting to get a part... or maybe did," was Fillion's reply. And at that moment the air got sucked out of the room as 1400 people collectively took a breath together. "I'm just saying maybe. Maybe you'll be surprised. Maybe. Check the credits after the movie when you watch it," Fillion finished.

To say the room went bat-shit crazy is the understatement of the century.

I of course took the news to Twitter and Facebook. My friends all replied with "HE BETTER NOT BE KIDDING" and "THIS BETTER BE TRUE" and "OMG THIS IS AWESOME" and other such all caps excitement. And I said I'm pretty sure it is true, but I couldn't put into words the feeling that occurred in that theater as Nathan Fillion answered the question. I couldn't explain why I felt in my very gut that this awesomeness would come to pass. But I did have 40 plus minutes of video including this very announcement.

I wanted fans, truly diehard fans, to share in the news. Sci fi nerds, while on the rise in popularity, still frequently get a bad wrap. So we nerds and geeks have to stick together. We have to look out for each other. We also LOVE to speculate. And this is the perfect thing to speculate about. I wanted everyone to have that opportunity.

So I decided to take the news to one of the biggest sites for geeks, nerds, and fans, Hypable. I wrote up my story and I included the proof. And then I waited to see if it would get approved. An hour later it was on the site and then posted to Facebook.

But a short time after I had a tweet from one of Hypable's site managers, Andrew Sims.
hey! Q for you. Thanks for writing the Nathan Fillion article. Did you happen to find it at ?

My first reaction was to get a little defensive. I'd seen their article, but not until an hour after mine had gone up on Hypable. Apparently they were concerned that I'd stole the story from them. I was being accused of plagiarism. That couldn't be true. I was the one that had been plagiarized before. I never would even dream of doing that to anyone else. It sucks, and I'd never wish that 8th circle of hell on anyone or want to cause them that kind of pain. It was just a crazy coincidence that we both posted the same story with Nathan's quote. It happens a lot, both in the news world and also in the writing world.

I can only liken the feeling to when you start to read someone's book synopsis that just sold and your heart skips a beat thinking they've stolen your idea. But you keep reading on in fear and find out PHEW it's vastly different. It's a tough thing to experience, but it happens. A LOT! And it's equally as bad when it happens with big news you think you've scooped. You can't and probably wont ever be the first person to think of something. But that's okay. The only thing you can do is be true to yourself and your story. Each person brings a different perspective to the situation and/or story and it's important to remember that when writing. And it was a good lesson for me to learn. But that's not where the lessons stopped for me. In fact it's only where it started.

At any rate, I popped in on the story periodically throughout the day yesterday to see if people were enjoying it. I want my fellow nerds to be happy. For the most part people were. (yeah, LESSON #2 is you can't please everyone!) People were excited, chatting about it, and liking the post. The video had a couple hundred views. I'd done my job... or so I'd thought.

This morning I woke up to about 1200 views on the video. Cool. People were REALLY enjoying it. I was a happy nerd. By lunch time I had a post on my facebook wall from a fellow friend who attended the con. The video was popping up all over the internet. And it had over 5,000 views. FIVE THOUSAND! I couldn't believe it.



I started searching and my video was on many news sites. Sometimes my original story was referenced, but often times the video was there and no credit was given at all. NONE. In this case, I honestly didn't care. I'd shot some crappy, shaky video and happened to capture an awesome moment that I shared online. But I quickly realized that this happens ALL THE TIME. People don't give credit where it's due. They steal ideas, images, videos, stories, and on and on and on and don't credit the source. And there's not a whole lot you can do about it. LESSON #3 your shit's going to get stolen. You often aren't going to get credit for it. It sucks, but it happens.

But even more interesting, there were sites that had done their homework, not only credited me by my truncated youtube name, but some had even gone as far to find my full name and give me credit that way. Which leads me to LESSON #4 some people truly are wonderful. They will give credit where it's due. Your job is to say thank you and take it as the credit you didn't get in the past. Enjoy the moment.

And that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm laughing with friends, finding all the new places the video keeps popping up, and watching the views tick up and up and up. Which brings me to my final lesson, LESSON #5, you never know what might explode on the internet. You just can't predict it. I never expected this to happen in a million years. So to that end, be yourself online, and don't be an asshole. I REPEAT DON'T BE AN ASS! Then you wont be disappointed when the thing you least expected goes viral. You'll be proud. You'll be able to laugh about it and truly enjoying the crazy. All 7600 views of crazy and still climbing!

And if you are looking for the Guardians of the Galaxy bit it's at around 38 minutes in.


  1. "Be yourself online, and don't be an asshole.". I'll carry your lesson with me.

    1. You are always yourself online and that's why I love you so much!

  2. Used the wrong account before, but the original sentiment remain: Aw shucks, love you too!

    1. Haha I still knew it was you! I see everything! I own the internet now! j/k ;)

    2. And my comments was supposed to be a reply, dang it. My internet skillz have decreased with your ascension to internet fame! *shakes fist in air* ;)

    3. It's okay, I still love you quirks and all! :)