Also known as:
‘That one time I wrote that post about Cape Town that went viral.’
Let me start off by saying one thing…Holy shit.
Not one time when I was writing that article did I think for a second that it would gather the attention that it did.
Following on from my infamous blog war with Gerrit, I made a vow to try to do one blog post a week, as a way of keeping my writing muscles moving and some semblance of traffic trickling into this blog.
Before Thursday’s post, my biggest day ever garnered a whole 160 views, and I only got that through shameless badgering of friends and family to help me win the war. On Friday evening, at the time of writing this, that single post has had almost attracted almost 87 000 views in three days. As some have commented, I’m not very strong in my understanding of numbers, so I won’t try to give percentages, and averages and stuff. But that’s, like, lank more…
For those of you who have a blog yourself and take joy in seeing your following gradually increase (and I’ve realised now how important the ‘gradually’ is for one’s sanity), I’d like to give a blow by blow of what it’s like to have a post explode on you.
Realise it’s been almost a week since my last post. After thinking about conversations with friends visiting over the Easter weekend, think it will be funny to write an article ragging them a little to get back at all the “how can you live here”s. Write fairly silly, ironic city comparison post. Add zombie apocalypse reference at end to ensure absurdity.
Start working on real work. Take a break to speed edit post, removing some jokes that might be a little too harsh, or that may be misconstrued (the irony of this will occur to me only much later). Update post. Get back to work.
Post is published. See views go to 24. Decide, based on this, that this is a good day. Friends post supportive comments. Friends from CT respond favorably. Life is rad. Have butternut soup for lunch.
New traffic record of 245 views. Feeling great, but am sure that the article has peaked.
1 200 views. Starting to feel a bit weird… This is a lot of people… I do not know this many people. I should have proof read the article a second time. Shit.
3 000 views. Weirdness evolves into panic. The first really negative comments start to come in. I ask Adam if he knows why people are taking it so seriously. He reminds me that I did just tell an entire city to go fuck itself. Point taken.
5 500 views. We turn my phone to silent to better ignore the Twitter notifications.
Post has already had 6 000 views just for the day. Realise I am also a little hungover. Piles of awaiting vitriol in the inbox does nothing for my headache.
Struggle to concentrate on work. Comments of all sorts roll in. Tweets fly like ceramic shrapnel at a Greek wedding. The blog has picked up 30 000 views. Panic has mutated into primal shock.
Call Adam into the room as Angel Campey starts talking about the post during her show on 2 Oceans Vibe. Feel simultaneously giddy and nauseous. How did this happen?
50 000 views and 3 blog posts in response. Seems to be a steady ratio of haters to fans. Fairly vicious personal attacks on social media begin in earnest, as does what may yet be a full scale nervous meltdown.
60 000 views. Have a cry- because I am a fucking pussy, apparently.
Adam and friends remind me that this actually amazing, this is the dream. If I had achieved this kind of interaction on a client’s brand during a campaign, I would be uncorking champagne for them. Understand this on a rational level while still feeling emotionally shattered.
Tweets and comments start winding down. I fantasise about my life before the post. At last count there are 71 000 views for the day.
What the actual fuck just happened?
In a million years I could never have anticipated this post receiving the exposure, or the reaction, that it has. A lot of the comments have tried to berate the post by calling it silly, unnecessary or ridiculous.
Of course it is, there are zombies in it. This isn’t a political thesis, and the government won’t use it as a basis for the next national budget (hopefully), it’s bit of fluff, a bit of banter. I had hoped that when my targeted readership of 160 people read this post, they would either chortle into their coffee cups or roll their eyes at me and go back to work. That was it. That was my lofty goal with this entry.
If I could have picked any of my rants to get this much attention, it would not have been this one. It would have been the one about littering. You see, as I tried (but clearly failed) to properly establish, I don’t hate Cape Town, and I don’t hate Capetonians- not even Capetonian trolls.
But I do hate litter. If anything good can come of the last couple of days let it be this: may even 10% of those 87 000 people think twice about throwing a chip packet out of a car window.
I am very pleased and incredibly awed that so many people, and so many people from Cape Town, have taken the time to visit my little old blog, and have shared a kind word about it- or even a rant of your own.
There are no words to describe the insanity of the last 2 days, but I am happy that so many of you told me you got a laugh from the post.
That is, after all, the only reason I wrote it 🙂