As many of you probably know, there’s a little bit, in WordPress, that tells you what people typed into their search engines to get to your blog. I’ve just been looking at fellow Gumbee Writers’ Guild author, Jim Webster’s latest post about the absurd things people type to get to his – apparently it’s a big favourite with people looking for Marks & Spencers knickers.
Boringly, most of the people who come here have either typed a variant of “why do so few UK agents handle sci-fi and fantasy” into their search engine and come up with this post or they’re actually looking for me. Or at least, they were. After reading Jim’s post I had a quick look at my stats and this is what I found.
the beebatron cbbeis, the beebatron tardis
Excellent. Yes, random person, I can confirm that I, too, have noticed that the Beebatron which was on CBeebies a while back, was the old 1970s Tardis control console. Did you also notice that it then went on to be come Riff the dog’s mixing desk in Carrie and David’s pop shop.
Second: snurd, phn erotcia ah ah ah oh
Yeeeeeees. That one’s a bit of a worry.
The word “snurd” didn’t mean anything when I came up with the concept but I have checked the Urban Dictionary since and discovered that “snurd” is also a contraction of “snotty little turd”. Which, in itself, is quite interesting.
Tangental Hint: the Urban Dictionary is kind of like Rogers’ Profanisaurus – only a bit more serious. However, if you write any kind of spec fic it’s always worth checking it out before you name anyone or anything. You don’t want to discover that your hero’s monika is also the slang term for one of those loud honk-like farts that sounds as if someone’s dragging a table across the floor of the room above. I didn’t know about the Urban Dictionary when I started out. That’s why I have a race of bad guys called the slang term for a fellow who has one ball that hangs considerably lower than the other.
So there you have it. The Urban Dictionary: gold. Now then, where was I? Ah yes…
What all this illustrates to me is two things: First, what we write on the web can be taken very differently to the way in which it is meant. Second, it’s going to be there for a very long time. Your views my change, your outlook may mellow but that rabid rant you posted in 2008 will be with you always. This thought crystallised further when I opened my second blog alert this morning and found this article about whether or not agents google the writers who query them: short answer, they do.
Today’s advice, then. Think twice before you speak on the net, especially if you’re an author. Think extremely hard before you make any flippant remarks at anyone else’s expense or anything that might paint you as mean or vacuous or prejudiced. Remember, if you’re prone to bitch about publishers and agents, that if you ever want to work with them one day, they’re going to check you out. They’re going to read everything you’re saying now. So think, my lovely peps. Otherwise, hitting that ‘post’ button, or publishing that book, could constitute several high-calibre rounds to the foot.