It’s interesting how something perceived as a bad thing for a long, long time can suddenly be reborn as a good thing. This potential for metamorphosis probably gives Dick Cheney the will to live another day. But this isn’t about our bionic ex-Vice President. It’s about the word “viral.”

Before the interwebs tossed our lives sideways nobody, aside from an occasional overly enthusiastic research scientist, wanted anything to “go viral.” Going viral was reserved for those pesky micro-organisms which replicated far too fast to be contained and possessed the power to swiftly kill millions in hideous and horrendous ways. Periods such as the Black Death, the 1918 flu pandemic, numerous cholera epidemics and the sustained popularity of Pat Boone during the 1950’s are some of the more recognizable examples of past viral incidents. Not only did these things scare the bejeezus out of people, they kept the population in check and ruined countless weekend plans.

All that changed sometime in the mid-1990’s. With more robust and effective methods for containing communicable diseases and Pat Boone’s publicly mandated retirement from recording, “viral” turned the corner and evolved (ha) into a mostly positive phenomenon. Today going viral is exciting! People strive for it. Viral events socially bind us in ways we never envisioned. And thanks to the interwebs, globs of stuff go viral all the time, stuff you’d never expect. It seems a few well-situated referrals peppered with a dash of good timing and luck, and Whammo!, you got yourself a viral experience! The moment one of these explodes into our consciousness you can’t toss a cookie without hitting it. Within hours, even minutes, millions of folks hook in. Happily these viral events don’t kill people, although I suspect thousands of brain cells are inadvertently slaughtered every day. I guess it’s impossible to avoid all collateral damage.

Even though I theorize I’m not exactly sure what makes a viral thing go viral. Most likely it starts modestly. Over the past couple of days fellow bloggers have been generous enough to mention my blog on their blog as part of an informal let’s all pimp each other kind of thing. I’m very grateful to both Kana (who Flamingoed me) and Sparklebumps (who Versatile Bloggered me) for their engaging pimping skills. By one measure this recognition helps validate my latest obsession project. (By the way both ladies write terrific, smart and entertaining blogs, so make it a point to click on those links and read ‘em, folks.) This cross-promotion thing has a real “We Are the World” feel to it, only without the music and the easy-to-tease-oh-my-god-look-how-young-they-were-and-how-on-earth-did-Al-Jarreau-manage-to-get-permission-to-even-enter-the-studio-much-less-record-with-them accompanying video. I certainly don’t anticipate any kind of viral to-do happening to my blog as a result, but it’s gratifying to know someone gets enjoyment from it.

Now according to the Versatile Blogger rules I must do the following to accept the nomination:

1)  Thank my nominator and link to his/her blog.
2)  Bestow this nomination upon 15 other unsuspecting bloggers whose sites have entertained me daily and let them know I’ve done so.
3)  List 7 random things about myself.

Being a contrary sort I’ll do this using a slightly different approach. Sue me.

1)  Thanks to Sparklebumps for nominating me. You’re swell. (I hope two identical links in one post doesn’t throw the awards committee into a brain freezing tizzy.)
2)  <—— Take a gander over there. Yes, over there. On the sidebar. You’ll find terrific writers and photographers, all who produce blogs well worth your time. I don’t want to be forced to whittle that list down to 15, so I’m not going to.
3)  You want 7 things? How about 25?

You know, in many ways this is just like the Oscars! The real question is: Who will be my co-presenter during the virtual ceremony? I hope it’s not Adrien Brody. I remember what he did to Halle Berry.

  1. sparklebumps says:

    What a cheater you are. 😉


  2. John says:

    It’s an awkward thing, these blog nominations and awards. Do visit the folks in the blogroll. There are some amazing people there!


  3. Kudos on your handling of this award. Now I’ll have to visit all those on your blogroll. It whould prove interesting and fun.


Whatcha got to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s