One of those things that just kind of happens when you put something online is that when someone else likes it, they will usually not think anything of taking it, and then putting it on their own site. Or in their message boards. Or all over Live Journal. Or in their (shudder) fanfic.
Now I prefer that people come here to look at my material, for a few reasons. First, it avoids problems like the one I had with the journalist last year, who didn’t believe that I really wrote it. Also because I have advertising on here and I sell things. By putting more eyes on the site, I help bring in the small bucks that I do, which in turn help me keep the site up. And so, every once in a while I have to send out an email asking that people not copy my stuff on their site.
I try not to be an ass over it and people are generally pretty decent about abiding by my wishes. With the possible exception of some charter member of the tin-foil yarmulke club who said, “I guess Skippy has become a real asshole ever since the Army clipped his wings”. So last week it got brought to my attention that someone had a similar list of things that they couldn’t do. This young lady, Katie, had a similar list up on her site.
And when I say, similar, I mean some of it looked cut and pasted from mine. She then went on to say how she and her friends wrote her list while she was in basic, and if any items on her list are similar to hers, well they originated with her list.
Needless to say, I enter “not amused” mode. But before getting into too much of a fuss over it, I decided to write her to check to see if there was some sort of misunderstanding. And it turns out that there was.
It turns out that Katie went to basic a few months after I got out. And at that time she had never heard of my website. While she was in boot she and her friends started their own list. And some of her friends quoted my material. Katie believed that they had made it up. Years later, she came across my list. She had assumed that at some point I had met the people she went to basic with and incorporated their material into my list. When I pointed out that around half of the list took place while she was in high school, she immediately apologized, and updated her blog so that there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding. She then went on to ask if I was going to keep reading her blog. She said she hopes so, because then two celebrities will be reading it. Skippy, and Wil Weaton.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
See, many people do read my website. And I have made jokes about being a c-list Internet celebrity. But this comparison? It’s either really awesome for me, or really, really sad for Wil.
Probably a little of both.
I was discussing this with David Rodriguez the other day. He pointed out that if people were comparing us, maybe that means that my site is getting a serious increase in circulation and now people are starting to know me. I pointed out that Wil used to actually be on television, and actually gets paid to go to conventions. Hell, he probably gets Trek groupies flinging themselves at him all the time. (“Take me Ensign Crusher! Warp engines to sexy! Engage!”) Dave pointed out that I occasionally get hit on by female fans, via email. To which I responded, “Sure I may get bitches, but I don’t get Wil Wheaton bitches.”