Tonight's topic is the Internet version of the telephone game aka Chinese whispers. Before reading any further, compare my photo above with this picture. At first glance they are almost identical. Look closer. The colors are slightly different and the books are arranged differently on the shelves.
The photo above is one I took when I was in Wheeling, West Virginia a couple of years ago. I didn't post it here but I finally uploaded it to my Flickr stream last September. The sign is outside the Paradox Bookstore across the street from the Centre Market in Wheeling.
From September 9th, 2010 until August 8th, 2011 the photo garnered 52 views.
On August 6th, the look-alike photo was posted to the Tumblr I linked to above.
Three days later a link to that photo gets posted to a reddit books sub-community. A big discussion about how wonderful this policy is ensues. In the middle of that conversation someone writes that's not the original, my Flickr photo is the original and that everyone should go see my photo. That resulted in almost 1200 views in a day.
That got my attention. At first I was ticked off but then I noticed the photos are different. I'm not a reddit member so I couldn't point out the difference there, but I did update my Flickr caption.
At around the same time the reddit discussion takes off the photo also appears on Imgur. Someone on that site also mistakenly points to my Flickr photo as the source. I'm not signed up to Imgur so I can't leave a correction there either.
Interest wanes as the week goes on but by yesterday my photo has about 1700 new views. By comparison, the original Tumber has over 40,000 notes and the Imgur page now has over 164,000 views.
At lunch today I checked my Flickr stats and they are spiking again. Over 2700 new views. As far as I can tell LettersOfNote, which has lots of Twitter followers,tweeted a link to my photo. Ninety-one people then retweeted it.
People! Do not miss tomorrow night's post. It will be a good one. I guarantee!