Saturday, 25 May 2013

Going Viral

Well, I wrote a piece for my usual gig at the BBC America "Mind the Gap" web site, which I think I mentioned. It's a piece about American houses, written for Brits and explaining everything from air-conditioning to screen doors.  Then the Daily Mail picked it up and according to my editor, it's going a bit bonkers out there on the Internet.

Unfortunately, I don't get paid any more, and the Daily Mail didn't even mention BBC America never mind link back to the original piece. A bit naughty in the blogging world, nest-ce pas? They didn't lift the whole piece, and added some of their own material, making for some vague inaccuracies.

First off, I'm not writing, nor have I ever written a "how-to guide" for British houseguests in the States. The amount of people who took umbrage because I "didn't mention it" has been quite surprising. I wasn't aware that I was supposed to tell my entire circle of friends and relatives of my every plan, wish or idiotic aspiration. Anyway, it was one post on the BBC America site.

Second, I didn't write the stuff in the boxes, nor a lot of what one commenter pompously referred to as "twaddle". Tee hee. And I didn't mention washer/dryer combos, which prompted one commenter to say "The author is mistaken about the US not having washer/dryer combos- we do." Oy.

It's one thing getting slagged off* for what I actually write, but quite another to be taken to task for stuff that I had nothing to do with. (Seriously - some of the comments quite take your breath away.)

Still - what do they say? Any publicity is good publicity. Hmmmmm...

* to slag off  - British verb meaning to disparage someone either to their face or behind their back.


  1. I would complain to the Mail - after all they are using your copy, and implying that you wrote the other stuff which is inaccurate. Might not get you anywhere, but it's lazy journalism and ought to get someone a bollocking.

  2. Agree with NVG - it's yours and they used it (blatantly) without permission. Not that it seems like the Daily Mail is too concerned with the quality of their journalism, anyway! As far as the comments go, though: goodness! Who ever could imagine that a discussion about air conditioning could devolve so quickly into a bunch of name-calling?

  3. Seriously? Yes, I agree you need to call them out on their blatant misuse of your material.

    As for the comments? I don't bother to read the comments on most articles (blogs excluded) simply because I have determined that there are far too many idiots with access to keyboards out there and it just results in my blood boiling.

  4. Or does it mean you've arrived...? I mean, not all of us can claim to have been quoted (misquoted) in the Daily Mail and to have gone viral.

  5. Any publicity is good publicity, absolutely. A little frustrating, though!

    I feel slightly similar about The Fast Diet book on the 5:2 Diet by Dr Mosley. He quoted about three pages from my blog, included my blog address and I signed a waiver form... But that was before the book became a world-wide best seller. Not a penny has come my way, and that's fair enough since I signed the contract to say he could us my words without charge.

    And of course I'm not at all bitter. (That's sarcasm for all you US dwellers)

    Helena xx

  6. Its a pity you have to go through all that for publicity!
    People can be very rude.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  7. Bad journalism, but that's the Daily Mail for you. If it was just Daily Mail readers who read it, who would care? But now others have picked it up, v annoying for you. Can you let BBC America website know? If it keeps happening, they'll lose their contributors so maybe they can make the DM print a piece saying that they misled people about the author's words?

  8. WM - I told the BBC but I think it probably happens a lot.

  9. I imagine it does happen a lot. Frustrating but may bring some traffic your way even if it doesn't direct people specifically to your site.

  10. That is absolute shite, mate! Really tho, that is a nasty thing that they did. Good job for calling it out. Your writing is never nasty, either here or on the BBC site. I guess you can add 'as seen on The Daily Mail' to your CV!

  11. Didn't see it, but am going to look now. All PR is good PR. And for the slagging off. Really, don't people have more important things to do? It really makes me wonder.

  12. Bl**dy Daily Mail! Bl**dy Daily Mail commenters! :-)


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