Fame With Obscurity: A Peculiar Achievement

I am occasionally stunned by how many hits I got on a single day. It happens intermittently, usually when this season’s premier episode of Criminal Minds is being shown as a rerun here or in some other English-speaking country. This little post about a bunch of FBI profilers shows up at the top of a specifically worded Google search. Whenever that episode plays somewhere and people go looking for combination of words, bingo. There’s my site, at the top of the search and I get a little flood of hits.


I used to wonder what caused that sudden burst of interest in my site. Now I know  immediately that somewhere, that episode is playing and once again I’ve been discovered … but only for about an hour. These one-time visitors don’t become (usually) followers. They come, they read. Then they leave and forget me.

When I look at my statistics, those individual bars of hits loom far above the other bars representing numbers of hits for a day.

This could have been my 15 minutes of fame, except that no one knows who I am unless they already know me, in which case, they probably are not looking for me via a Google search. I thus succeeded in being secretly famous.

I pondered this conundrum for a while, mulling over how I ended up an anonymous writer. I never wanted anonymity. I post my picture and I sign my name to emails from readers when they write to me. It just sort of happened.

The search that did it.

Some years ago, I began using “Teepee12” as my Internet “handle” because it reminds me that I wrote and published a booked entitled “The 12-Foot Teepee.” Virtually no one is buying the book these days — not that it was ever a best-seller — so using this is a way of keeping in touch with an important piece of my personal history. My book is obscure. Really obscure. No one who isn’t a close friend or one of the few hundred other souls who read the book would associate Teepee12 with me. It never crossed my mind that this would ever make a difference in my life. No one gives you advice on this when you are choosing your online or website name.

So I figured I should add my name to my website. I don’t want to change the site name: I like it. Serendipity is so appropriate. I write with extreme serendipity. Not only can you not predict what I’ll write about, but I have no idea what I’m going to write about. I may not know what I’m going to say until it falls out of my fingers into the keyboard.

I’ve been “Teepee12” for years. I felt odd naming the blog after myself. It’s wasn’t humility, more like bashfulness. Or just ignorance. It was an accident. I tried to fix the problem by putting my real name on my blog. It’s on the masthead, or whatever we call the top of our first page in the blogosphere. It doesn’t matter. I remain Teepee12 and expect always will be.

I guess I blew it. I missed my fifteen minutes. If you know me, you are laughing. I’m laughing too. It’s just how my life goes. I should have guessed it would be this way.

– – –

Categories: Blogging, Humor, Life, Media, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I have never been famous. I have attained a reputation in a number of specialty fields such as table tennis, chess, lapidary and photography. I have portraits I took in my film days hanging on walls all over the world, literally. I’ve won awards and had my name in limited publications for any of the above mentioned interests. I used to have a large box of trophies for a number of achievements. All of this is ancient history, especially since my value system has matured through the decades. I care nothing about money, awards and trophies.

    I only do things that please me personally. That includes being of service to others. I have a thick skin so getting bitten with my charitable habits hasn’t hardened heart nor prevented me from reaching out to lend a hand. I love to teach and get satisfaction out of sharing my skills and love for nature’s beauty. I often recommend camera gear, software and websites that tutor beginners for free. It’s one of the reasons I blog. Fame, like personal beauty, is fleeting. Happiness is forever.


    • Well, I’m not famous either. I never wanted to be famous, but I wouldn’t have objected to being rich — or at least richer and I’d happily settle for just comfortable. 🙂


  2. This is why I changed my blog title and site 6 months into blogging. My original blog was called Good, Wholesome, Fun – which it was, and then I changed it to The L. Palmer Chronicles – which is more about being nerdtastic and having adventures. It fit better with what my blog had become beyond my first initial plans.
    Things grow and develop in unexpected ways. I was just glad I was Freshly Pressed after I had changed my blog so my name was more prominent.
    Sometimes, though, its nice to hold on to pieces of ourselves – and teepee 12 seems an important part of yours.


    • It isn’t as important as it was, but it’s linked to Serendipity, so if I change it, I’d have to change the name of the blog. I like Serendipity and I wouldn’t get it back. I was lucky to grab it in the first place. I wish I’d known my name would be forever teepee12!


  3. Ahh, without Criminal Minds I would have never found you and through you a wonderful assortment of very talented friends of yours.

    I honestly consider you and your fellow bloggers a priceless gift. It is as if I walked into my closet and found a beautifully wrapped gift sitting up high, over looked for
    Never under estimate the power of your thoughtful words and your ability to over look poorly written comments back at you, on the reader.
    You have shared your photos, your life’s humor and so much. You are appreciated.


    • Wow, thank you. I’m glad to know I really do mean something. Sometimes, I think I’m just taking up bandwidth on the Internet. You’ve been a great friend and booster for me. Thank you!

      On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 12:27 AM, SERENDIPITY


  4. Congrats! Im a huge fan of criminal minds btw (especially JJ – beautiful!). I also use a pseudonym rather than my own name. Mainly because it’s nice to have something separate I feel. Sadly I have no books out there, but if I did, I guarantee I would use Tyson Carter as the author 🙂


    • Thanks. I’m a fan too. And they are usually better than this. I wonder if they’ve gotten new writers. If so, I hope they get smarter. This reminds me of “Independence Day” where Jeff Goldblum uses his laptop without recharging or plugging it in for like, a week, and it just keeps working. I want that battery!


  5. Well, congratulations!!! I certainly know you and assure you that the attention and response is richly deserved!!! Just enjoy!!!!!



  1. Achieving Fame With Obscurity: A Rare If Peculiar Achievement | Traveling Through Time | Scoop.it

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