NeverSeconds is a blog that until last night was ran by nine-year-old VEG, real name Martha Payne, and her dad Dave. The tagline ‘One primary school pupil’s daily dose of school dinners’, sums up almost every post: a picture of the day’s school meal is accompanied by a short amount of copy and a rating system for the food.
After Argyll and Bute Council pushed through an action to ban the photographs, Martha posted that the blog would have to cease. Already breaking two million hits since its 30 April inception, the news then hit the BBC website (where it has been the most read story all day) as well a string of other popular outlets.
The hit counter exploded, it has about two and a half visits per second and is currently on 3,015,000. The comment count on her 9pm goodbye post from last night currently shows 1423. Using Cision Social Media we can compare the before and after impact of NeverSeconds’s appearance on BBC et al in the online community.
This graph is online posts in the month up to yesterday, 14June, showing 878 posts. The peak at the end is after goodbye post went live.
This shows today’s, 15 June, 24,904 posts that peaks at 1pm when the Eastern Seaboard gets up and the UK has lunch.
The online buzz has been boosted by the likes of Jamie Oliver tweeting support, and the percentage rise of about eight thousand has really made a difference to Martha’s charity of choice, Mary’s Meals, having raised £28,000 pounds since last night and counting.
What people are talking about is also telling, the following comparative conversation clouds, again from Cision’s Social Media, show how conversation has moved from the general content of her blog (school, meals, cafeteria, lunch, lunches) to the exterior connections that are currently being made (Council, Bute, Twitter, ban, @argyllandbute, @jamieoliver). The fact the latter has #neverseconds with a hash tag also reveals that these conversations have switched to Twitter.
So what have we learnt? The internet hates censorship, which we knew already. Something can go viral very fast, which we knew already. People are generous, which we knew already. A nine-year-old girl has gone from being a breakout success story in the blogosphere to being the most talked about blog in the UK – in a single day. Cision lists over 10,000 active blogs on the Cision Media Database but one that’s just declared itself inactive is probably today’s most influential page.
UPDATE: At last count [18/06/12] the site had 5,802,600 visits and had raised £82,002.70 for Mary’s Meals. It will therefore be unsurprising to most that the blog is due to carry on from today.