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March 29, 2006

Multiracial Article Trajectory

Hmmm ... I guess some things just strike a nerve.

Following a trackback to its source, I discovered that my article on multiraciality was picked up by The Chicago Sun-Times and printed on Feb. 5. I've put a link to it below, but don't bother going there unless you have a paid account. They'll charge you $2.95 for the article -- and the article they printed has all the bad words removed (they even removed the word "spokes-assed" from the phrase "spokes-assed by Ward Connerly", rendering the sentence slightly inaccurate.) If you want to read it, go to the pop and politics version below.

Here's the trajectory:
1. I posted it to Other magazine's blog under the title What Are the Strengths of Interracial Families?
2. It got picked up by pop and politics, where I posted a slightly revised version (the definitive version) titled The Multi-racial Dream, which isn't entirely right, either ("multiracial" isn't hyphenated.)
3. It got picked up by The Chicago Sun-Times, under the lame-ass title The beige people can't save America.
4. Addicted to Race had me comment on it in their podcast.

I'm assuming that's going to be it, but let me know if it shows up anywhere else.

It would be fascinating to follow its actual trajectory around the web. I found the Chicago Sun-Times thing by searching my top ten search strings on my blog. Most of the search strings were topics I've covered in blog entries so far, but one was "Claire Light multiracial", which surprised me. So I followed it back to a discussion board where someone posted the Sun-Times article. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Did information bounce this much before the web? Obviously not, but word-of-mouth did.

You never know who's talking about you, or what you've done, but on the internet, you can usually find out. It used to be your ears itched. Nowadays, your trackbacks ping. I wish I knew how to follow things and map them. It would be cool, for instance, to follow the multiple trajectories of John Scalzi's "Being Poor" post, written after Katrina, when people were scrambling for ways to express their sadness and outrage. Within a day he had dozens of trackbacks and hundreds of comments. Within a week the piece was being printed in newspapers all over the country, and people were criticizing him, and parodying him, and riffing off of him. For a few weeks, "Being Poor" was everywhere. I'd love to see where all it went.

Does anyone have any idea how to do this?


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