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Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Thank you people of the internet

Two days ago somebody stole the most popular article I've ever written - Why Programmers Work At Night. The single most shared and reposted and stolen thing I've ever made.

It's not the best thing I've ever written. God no. When I look at it now I think it flows poorly, uses strange wording, sounds weak and is just a mess. My writing has improved in three years.

Wow, three years.

But I remember when I first posted it. I just wanted to fill my post-every-day quota, my then girlfriend giving me the death stare because I kept writing well into our date because I had slept in that morning.

She helped me pick the pictures. I hit publish and started apologizing for being so rude.

Then everything went insane with the shares and the upvotes and the comments and the retweets. 200,000 uniques in two days.

Some websites steal the article. Some ask for permission to repost. I've seen translations into various languages, some I couldn't even read the letters of.

It's weird. But I don't mind. Spam websites gonna spam, right?

But two days ago somebody stole it verbatim again. No attribution. Then they committed the greatest sin of the internets - posted their link to r/programming and to Hacker News.

My fans ...fans is a strong word, I should say friends ... my friends got Hacker News to fix the submission link. A single comment was enough.

On Reddit there was no correction, but several comments mentioned that this was a spam submission and linked to the original article.

I had no idea any of this was going on.

But I woke up that morning to tweets from a few different people saying _"Hey dude, that guy stole your article and we are *_not** okay with that!"*.

Someone even let me know via Skype.

But the best thing about this incident is that because I have amazing friends and good SEO, I sold 9 copies of the book that stemmed out of that article. It usually takes a month to sell that many. And 50 new mailing list subscribers to boot. Normally I get 5 a month.

All that without attribution from the thieving website! Amazing.

Thanks friends, fans, people of the internet, whatever I should call you. You're great. It warms my weasely black heart to see people care about my writing enough to make a fuss when it's misappropriated.

I should probably finish that book huh ...

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Published on November 27th, 2014 in Travel + Events

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