Communications and PR / Technology and Gadgets

Me and 60,000 of my closest friends.

My 3 year-old son loves to play hide and seek. He’s not the most challenging opponent that I’ve played against, but he absolutely loves the game. My ridiculously compeitive nature means that I sometimes struggle to enjoy the game (and supress my urge to coach him), but my mother more than makes up for my shortcomings in this area.

She is officially the hide-and-seek queen of our family, since she plays almost endlessly with our son – who absolutely loves the game. Last week he picked a terrible hiding spot (even by his standards) and she took a second to snap a quick photo.

Why my 3-year-old always looses at hide and seek.

Normally this is where the story ends, but I had a few minutes to kill the other morning and had a copy of the picture on my phone so, when I had finished laughing about it, I posted it to reddit.com. I didn’t think any more of it until my lunch break when I took a quick look at reddit – and noticed that my post had taken on a life of its own.

About 4 hours after posting the story over 4000 people had read it. By the end of the work day, almost 25,000 had read it. As of now (a couple days later) the picture has had almost 60,000 views.

There are some great comments too. “You’re screwed when he gets floor colored shoes.” “That’s why I stopped playing hide-and-seek with 3-year-olds. Well, this and the court order too.” “I know you’re thinking about it, and it may even sound like a good idea on paper but I must insist that you Do Not cut your son’s feet off.”

My initial reaction is amazement. To think that a group of people the size of Fort McMurray has seen a family photo of ours is an odd feeling. On the one hand I feel connected to a larger community, but on the other hand it somehow puts an exclamation point on just how many people there are in the world now.

And I have to confess that I can’t help but wonder about the potential this kind of opportunity presents to businesses. What would a retailer pay for that kind of exposure in one day? What opportunities are available for content providers – who often get far, far higher ratings than my photo – to sell content to online stores. How could an online store generate this kind of exposure?

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