Monday, October 18, 2010

going viral

image by Allie Brosh from Hyperbole And A Half

A new bit of slang has made it into the vocabulary, an example of language in motion, this one based on the fact that viruses reproduce quickly. Of course, when people say something 'went viral', they don't mean it got infected and overcome with disease. What they mean is that something spread throughout the population quickly.

I saw a good example of this phenomenon recently. My daughter sent me a link to this very funny post on a generally funny blog. I clicked on it and it had me laughing out loud. It's cartoon-like and the drawings are very child-like except they are so clever and expressive. So of course then I glanced at the list of comments...over 600 at the time (today 905). WTF?! So I looked at the follower list...28,600 (over 29,000 today) and some odd. Holy cow!

Now I am astounded and look to see how long this blog has been up for it to have nearly 29,000 followers. 16 months. It's been up for only 16 months.

My blog has been up for 22 months and I have 137 followers.

Her - 16 months, 29,000 followers

Me - 22 months, 137 followers

Her – 29,000

Me – 137


Story of my life.

Oh well, it's a good life nonetheless.

I poked around in her archives some and this one also had me laughing.

No, I'm not really jealous. I yam who I yam and she are who she are and I wish her all the success she can squeeze out of this phenomenon.


  1. If I could duplicate myself and give you a gazillion followers I would. You are worthy! :)

    She is amazingly funny - the one where the duck got in the house had me peeing my pants.

  2. I have been blogging for ever and only have a hand full of followers and am thrilled that anyone is interested at all! Shocked actually!My blog is just a way to keep me out of jail, off the streets...expression that may or may not be viewed- it's just sort of a mental masterbation thing going on.
    In answer to your comment - YUP- icy friendship-and it really sucks...ANYWAY, There are so many SO MANY blogs out there in the universe- to be read at all is a miracle! Your blog is always worthy!

  3. She's clearly a talent and I think deserves the following. Good for her for being able to make something of it.

    As for the rest of us.. we have the joy of seeing familiar faces come comment on our blogs. And they even return. :)

  4. Well her blog may be funny, but I had a good laugh here at the stats comparison. So keep at it, Ellen ;)

  5. I recently found that blog too - through some totally other blog I read. I was pretty astounded too. Wonder how she did it. Not that I want that many followers! I'm actually happy with my 83...

  6. I remember some bloggers I read recommending that blog back in the day when it had about a hundred followers. Never saw the appeal then, don't now. Maybe it's an American thing.

  7. A good friend has said not to worry about the number of your followers. It's that quality adage... Glad to be back to follow your posts.

  8. I snuck back over to read the comments and I have to agree with Paul 100% - it is definitely the quality.

  9. well ellen you know that quality is in an entirely different realm than quantity. being popular is apparently good for a while - and then not. so, i'd come here for a story from ellen's head, a memory from ellen's head, a photograph or whatever from ellen's head and come away knowing i've spent time in the company of an extraordinary person. that's really good to me - and for me!!! peace out. steven

  10. I looked and found the site mildly funny; I agree she has a talent for cartoons and making something out of nothing.

    You stay as you are, Ellen, I like your site just fine.
    As she is making a living out of it she must be spending whole days doing posts, so it's become a job rather than a hobby.

  11. I echo Steven's sentiments on the distinction between quantity and quality. So Ellen's head has gone "osmotic" (as from osmosis), instead of viral, so be it. I actually prefer it that way.

  12. Adam Sandler is rich and famous. So are the Kardashians. This cures me of ever envying the rich and famous.

  13. Sometimes I ask myself, why do I blog?

    I haven't an answer and not boatloads of followers either.

  14. allie is hysterical...and a very sweet uniquely funny gal. But I have to agree with steven's comment about you ellen!

    Plus, for me?
    I think having so many followers would be scary...and stressful!


  15. I couldn't agree more. I would much rather have my small quality group than her thousands of anonymous minions. It was just a little humor.

  16. Amazing! How about the 29 million visits on the hit counter? And the Donate button? (I thought that was against Blogger's rules?) Oh, the miracles of Twitter!

  17. I think the whole "followers" and quantity and quality and all the rest is interesting and gets at something that each of us has to decide: Why do I blog? I wonder if the creator of that blog has taken any specific measures to increase the following. When I popped over there I expected the posts to be short and sweet, which seems to characterize blogs I've seen with high follower numbers. But no! That was a long post for blogs. So much for that theory.

    I like a smaller community myself, where the discourse is meaningful. Not that it isn't meaningful there . . .

  18. I visited her blog and saw the short film on her cat!! OMG! So funny! I can see why she has so many followers. It just goes to what you love and things will happen. Maybe not to that degree but can hope!!??

  19. I would hate to have 29,000 followers - or 600 followers? I like the family feeling of "knowing" everyone who reads my blog.

    When I see a blog that gets hundreds of comments, my first thought is that the blogger in question doesn't need me. Willow is the biggest blogger I read regularly. She is a GREAT blogger, but not too big for my blog aesthetic.

    You, Linda Sue, Bug, Steven (of course!) are my blog family. I don't care how many come to see you. Your posts are really important to me.

  20. Yup, but we 'know' you a bit better and have a slightly better personal contact. And I prefer that way more than anything else. But she could spare us a thousand each.

  21. But you have us! Witty, silly, goofy! And you have you, too :-)

    You're just as successful :-)
    She is very talented, and good on her for finding such a following. Isn't it kind of nice to have a sense of the personality of the people that end up commenting here, though?

    I don't have many followers, but that's okay. Actually, I think part of the reason I don't find the entire "anyone could read this" scary is that it's a nice group of people.

    I do like her little pink cartoon girl but it's funny, I'm not sure I'll end up going back there. No judgment on her, or anything it just didn't quite capture me.

    Whereas I always remember to come back here.

  22. I like the fact that your daughter sent you the link to a blog post she thought you would like. That is so cool. So is there multigenerational blogging going on in your family?


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.