McKayla Maroney throws out the first pitch at a White Sox game on Aug. 1, 2014. Credit: Getty Images
Every writer has been there. You're happy with your finished product. You hit send on an e-mail. Or hit publish on your company's CMS. A second later? ... Poof. Gone. Three hours of work down the drain. There's no getting those thousands of carefully crafted words back.
The writer's nightmare happened to me around 8:30 p.m. on Labor Day (go figure). I cursed. I cursed again. Cursed again. Pounded my desk. And cursed again.
Back to the drawing board.
The re-write didn't admittedly flow as well, but I got it done. This time, I saved the diligent work in several different places to be sure that I could revive it in case the content monster took a bite yet again.
Lo and behold, minutes later, he bit. Same deal. The keywords, headline, tags, excerpt and most of the content in the main body of the story disappeared into thin air. What the F!!!??? Should I call the IT guy???!!!
Then I started to think. Is there someone watching me? A little ghost editing going on here? The topic I was writing about was plenty risque. It was a potential Pulitzer victor on how sexy gymnast McKayla Maroney was now 18-years-old and how creepy old men shouldn't really feel that creepy looking at the recently released (alleged) nude pictures of her online because she was 18-years-old now. You know. The kind of stuff that makes SEO-loving media bosses ecstatic and the kind of stuff that makes crusty newspaper vets, journalism ethics professors, and your mom disgusted. A real labor of love, this downloading pictures of girls half your age thing.
When I went back to hit publish again, with fun keywords like "NSFW" and "links" and, most importantly, "nude" I realized that my company's CMS would have none of it. Then I started Googling more about "McKayla Maroney" and "Jennifer Lawrence" and what actually transpired on Sunday night with all those celebrity photos. Expecting sites like Deadspin and USWeekly and TMZ to pop up at the top of the feed, I instead saw a bunch of blogs and message board notes. This was it! This was the tipping point! The moment when the Internet and the people who run it (Google, Illuminati, etc.) decided that enough was enough!
Sure, I thought it was wrong that so many photos of so many celebrities were leaked, even though I'm sure some many of those celebrities were popping champagne Sunday night instead of shedding tears. On one hand, no one should have their privacy invaded like that. On the other, memo to celebrities: the racy and nude pics you take of yourselves are going to make it to the Internet at some point. This is the first thing you learn in celebrity school. So if you don't want your parts to be seen by millions, either don't take racy and nude pictures of yourselves, or do it with a Polaroid (yes, they still exist) and lock those photos in your top drawer.
But back to my own issues with being dumb ... after over an hour and a half of trying different keywords and headlines and failing in my attempts to make Google gold, I finally landed on something that worked in the eyes of whatever sort of Big Brother was hovering over me: "Sports stars hit by Labor Day weekend hacker scandal" ... Needless to say, the Metro crossword puzzle got more hits than my piece on Tuesday.
So what keywords didn't work in relation to one another, you ask? Here's a list, assuming this list ever sees the light of day:
- McKayla Maroney - nude - Hope Solo - Kate Upton - links - Jennifer Lawrence - ass - NSFW - pic - photos - naked
This whole Internet thing is a work in progress for us all.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter:@BurkeMetroBOS