Bloggers - Tag Your Stuff! A Cautionary Tale
I messed up. Before you read the rest, know that, and then at the end, when you're done reading, come back here and remember that. That, above all, else is the moral of this story.
I messed up.
Have you seen this yet?
If you haven't, and you run in mommy circles, you probably will.
If you have you most likely didn't see it from me.
And it's mine.
I made this card.
Now, you'll notice in the version I have here, I put my blog name at the bottom. It's not on the Facebook version, and here's a little tale to convince you why your name should be on everything you do.
Most little bloggers (like me, and maybe like you?) work pretty hard to increase their following, to get noticed, to have people start paying attention. In order to do that, I started, just in the last month or so, making ecards of some of my personal status updates over the past year. (Yes, that was a status update of mine.) You'll see a bunch more on my page that did okay. None of them have my branding on them.
None of them have my branding on them because when you upload an image you've made onto your FB page, anyone who shares that image gets your link right on top.
You can imagine my joy when this card literally took off. I have more than 1,300 shares! That's huge for me. Like major.
So, I'm derping along, happy as can be that finally I've written something the internet thinks is funny. And I get a message from a friend on my wall.
Hey there! Joella from Fine and Fair says. You might want to brand those photos you're making, so when they go viral, you get the credit.
And I think, aww, Joella! That's a good idea, but 700 shares (that's where it was at the time), is hardly viral. It's just a big deal to me. I'm sure it's fine.
No. Wrong. There was a purpose to her message.
Many people, instead of sharing, downloaded the picture then re-uploaded the picture to their page. Meaning my work is now divorced from me. Meaning my work now goes out under her link. And even though she says right up top that the work isn't hers, that it was shared with her, the millions (yes, more than a million people) seeing the card with her link on top don't know it's my picture, don't know it's my joke. It links back to her, and they go.
They are bigger operations than me (by far) to begin with, so as was likely to happen, it took off much faster on her page than on mine. It is, in fact, outstripping me by ten times.
I'm taking the numbers out because from the time I wrote this post originally until now, the numbers are astronomical, and they have nothing at all to do with the original page I was talking about.
I am so small, I literally had no idea what viral really meant. Now I do. Now it's viral. Really viral.
Someone else makes a really good point about Someecards and their terms of service. Which says that all of this stuff is basically not done. Which I can only say I didn't know because I made these cards more than a month ago, and clearly didn't pay attention. Again, my fault. I may have to go make some right there, particularly if I am wrong.
The safest thing to do, if you are a blogger and trying to do this is to totally make your own meme. Then put your name on it.
Like my Peep meme. That's my peep, my counter top, my everything.
That's what you have to do.
Bloggers don't trample each other because they think others don't count. They literally don't see the small guys because we are small. Most of them found the card from another source, not my page, anyway, and shared from there. They don't see you at all. You have to make yourself seen.
I think this happens a lot.
I never put my name on it. Because I didn't have the confidence to do so. And this viral-thing isn't ever meant to hurt anyone. People share and upload and download, that's just what they do.
The point here being:
1) If you're a big guy, resist the right-click save. You don't know who you are stepping on. Sometimes they'll come find you and be a royal PIA like me, and other times, you'll just profit from their hard work. Share. Use the share button. That's what it's for.
2) If you're a little guy (or a big guy), for God's sake, put your name on your stuff. Put Your Name On Your Stuff.
Put your name on your stuff.
All of it. Any crappy, stupid idea that pops into your head that you're going to share on the internet. If it fails, no one will see it anyway, so they won't know it's stupid, and if it succeeds, you are covered.
For me, it was gut-wrenching because I put stuff up I want shared every day, and this was the first thing the internet ever liked. And I didn't get the credit for it. So, yeah, I'm a whiny mess. (Although this post is the last thing you'll see about it from me. I'm cutting myself off. My poor friends have listened to enough of it.)
I messed up. Don't do the same. Brand your work.