Once upon a time, I was famous on the internet.

May 19, 2007

Once upon a time I was famous on the internet. (I started writing this a month ago, forgot about it, and came back to finish it now. The date of the post, and the actual event are not the same. Duh.)

My 15 minutes of ifame have come and gone, and I didn’t even learn about it until today.

As many of you know, I’m kept knee-deep in smokes and beer by writing web copy for futureshop.ca and bestbuy.ca. Coming from an agency environment, working internally for who I would normally call “the client”–with an obvious hint of disgust in my voice–isn’t normally an appealing positition. But given my technical/creative background, this is the right place for me right now. Plus, it’s got its perks. While I do have to practice some level of self-restraint, the things that I write aren’t constantly under the microscope of someone who thinks they know better. I’m kept on a long leash, and I like it that way.

My leash was unexpectedly tightened today when I notice that the copy I wrote for the new Xbox 360 Elite had been changed ever so slightly. Normally, I call the shots on what written content goes up, so this was a bit of a surprise. A suspicious surpise. Some asking around revealed that one of our analysts, a temp, had made some corrections for typos that were, as he described it to our production manager in an email “being made fun of on a message board”. I reviewed the original file several times, had our content analyst review it several times and neither of us could find any typos. I also noticed an incredible amount of hits going to that particular product. It became evident that something else was happening here.

With Google being the great friend it is, I typed in the sentence that had gone missing from my copy to find this: http://digg.com/gaming_news/Canadian_retail_chain_site_warns_that_the_360_Elite_may_kill_Sarah_Connor?cshow=6050273

For those of you who don’t know what Digg.com is, well, it’s one of the bigger multiple news feed sites in the world. I broke the 1000 Digg barrier. That, my friends, impressed the living waste of me.

At that point, I realized the temp, who had come to the end of his contract before I unknotted this mess, had seen this gotten scared and deleted it. Why? Well, corporate types tend to be very stuffy and afraid to do anything when it comes to upholding the brand they work for. I immediately contacted my boss and got it back up online. The nerve of him.

Anyway, because of the traffic that was driven through Digg.com, Futureshop.ca sold out of 360 Elite pre-orders in around a day. The Bestbuy.ca site, which I wrote different copy for, not so much. Further more, the copy was used in series of commercials for the 360 Elite. I was also nominated for a “Web Idol” award, which is my departments employee of the month type thing. And to top it off, our monthly-company wide meeting commenced with the theme music from Terminator. The terminator music could have been coincidence, but because I’m physically incapable of sucking my own dick, I’ll say that it was, indirectly, my doing.

Doing a different specified search on Google yields some interesting results, too: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&client=opera&rls=en&hs=4YN&q=%22xbox+360+elite%22+%22Sarah+Connor%22&btnG=Search

It’s not exactly changing the world, but it’s a start. Actually, it’s not even a start, but I believe that I’ve earned bragging rights for this.

Disclaimer: The reference to hunting Sarah Connor is a Fark.com cliche. I do not, in anyway, claim it to be my own insight. If you frequent Fark.com, I’m sure that you’ll agree that there was never a more perfect time to use that in an online product description.


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