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Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Caspar

June 26, 2011

This might very well be a blog about a ghost-, or a phantom- sighting.  Or, the whole thing might be the workings of this insurance salesman’s boredom-induced imagination as I stared, slack-jawed at the computer screen’s cemetery image.  I’ll let you be the judge of that.  But, first I need to give a little background:

About three months ago, I stumbled upon an idea that I thought would bring hundreds of visitors to my Youtube site where, spellbound, they would watch a three-minute video and listen raptly to my reading the first one-and-a-half pages of my short story, Vacant Houses; they would be listening to my dulcet voice, while I was panning the grave markings of a local cemetery.  I was counting on these hundreds of mesmerized viewers telling their friends and families.  And all these would listen with equal rapture (I’ve been told I have a good reading voice, after all.) and within a week it would be viral.  Viral!  Hey, if I didn’t have a good imagination, I wouldn’t have gotten into writing, right?  Anyway, the last twenty seconds was my commercial, including a coupon allowing for a free download of Vacant Houses for the next — I believe — 24 hours.

 So, the grunt-work behind me, I just needed to find those very important first hundred-plus viewers.  Of course, I went to my twitter account.  It was a natural.  In exactly 140 characters I created an appeal for the reader to go watch the trailer.  Now, in my defense, I was brand new to Twitter and was ignorant of the community’s sensitivity to spam.  And, yes, make no doubt about it, it was spam; so allow me to step out of this paragraph for just a few seconds, and with head appropriately bowed, mumble my apologies.  And, thank you.  I feel better.

 For all the work I did, though, it brought one person to Youtube — and I’m not even sure she was from Twitter.  As an aside, I lost 10 followers.  As of today, over those three months a whopping 26 people have visited my video.  But, that’s okay.  I’m cool with it!  Really… So, let me get back on track.

 By the end of the second paragraph you’ve probably already left the post and were scouring the image yourselves.  If, without any prompting, you found something that looked, remarkably, like it could be a ghost, so much the better!  If you can’t find it, let me give you a little help.  Look a little to the left of the left arm of the cross and a little below.  Look for a yellow splotch.  Right next to it … what do you see?  Keep in mind the cross and the headless angel were erected in the late eighteenth century.  I’m sure the angel had a head then.  Now, I have to tell you, when I tried to look at the image full screen it went completely to black.  If you can enlarge it, please do, and let me know what you see.

 Anyway… what do you think?  I’d really be interested to know.  I guess, in a sense, I’d enjoy a validation of my sanity.

  1. Never mind the ghost, I’m more interested in analysing what makes an internet posting “go viral”.
    In the first year we had our website we posted an article about a brand of jeans that we had found. In the same week, this brand was mentioned on a prime-time TV show. We happened to have exactly the right words to match the most common Google search, and for a few days we had an amazing number of page views. Not quite viral, but very encouraging.
    After trying to replicate that, we decided it was just luck.
    We’ve tried all kinds of things to ‘go viral’ – but have never succeeded. Once in a while we write about something on the site that will attract a great deal of interest – but as often as not this will be a piece that we’ve written to fill a space. Many of the features that we have carefully crafted and placed so as to attract thousands (in our dreams) have little impact.
    So, good luck – your clip is an interesting idea.

  2. Thank you for your comment. This is what makes posting a blog so valuable for the writer — well, not just the writer, but also the reader who thinks he is going to encounter an agenda that he had already partly formulated. He (and I) thought this post was going to be about ghosts. Comes the first post and the direction takes a 180. And, this is great!

    I don’t think your experience with the jeans “15 minutes of fame” was a fluke. Have U heard of Kristen Lamb’s “We Are Not Alone,” ( which is a primer on how to navigate and harness the power of the Social Media? It should be a bullet, or a whole cartridge of bullets, in the writer’s (or any other businessperson’s) arsenel for success! If you don’t have it now, pick it up.

    What’s important to me, Dressingmyself, ( is that you took the time out of your busy day to visit my blog. I hope you will be a frequent visitor.


  3. Hey, I saw the ghost! Looked like a ghost to me. I love this idea, Jay!

    • Thanks, Suzanne, for dropping by. And, for your comments. Please be a regular here.


    • Thanks for stopping by, Suzsanne, and attempting to validate my sanity. I’ve shown the image to my son, looking down over my shoulder– actually pointed a penpoint at the image, but he can’t see it!

  4. I got a little behind on my blog visits. So sorry it took so long to comment!

    I haven’t been brave enough to do a YouTube video or podcast. There’s another blogger (and bestselling author, I think) who talks about how much a podcast can do for a writer. There’s so many amazing ways to reach out as a writer. I’m so glad to be part of these changes!

    That graveyard is definitely eerie. I bet it’s nice and creepy by the light of the full moon.

  5. Took me a while, my apologies. Thought it was an interesting way of advertizing. Have you tried to tweet it to those with paranormal interests? That’s what I would do.

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