Everyone Loves Arbitrary Meaningless Positive Reinforcement!

When I write a post at 1 in the morning (which happens a lot these days), I don’t expect to see a lot of blog traffic the next day, as most of my friends, who are still in school, have gone to sleep before then. So I was surprised when I checked my stats the next day and discovered an unprecedented 150 page views.

Zounds! thought I. Perhaps there were more readers than I thought burning the well-after-midnight oil after all. Further examination showed me that the bulk of the views had come from the next day’s late morning/afternoon. A visit to Facebook revealed the answer to my mystery once and for all. One of my friends and long-time readers had SHARED the post.


But after I ran out of capital letters, I realized that there was an upside to this: I was being spread by Word Of Mouth, or in this case, Word Of Facebook. Like the West Nile, I had gone viral.

As this furthers my goals of world domination, I thought it would be nice to reward my friend–and anyone else who promotes the blog. But as I am a poor college graduate, this reward must be–at least for now–symbolic.

And thus do I introduce…WOMPUM, short for Word Of Mouth Points of Uncertain Merit.

For passing on the post Celibacy…It’s Not Just For Waffles Any More, and for indirectly giving me the idea for this update, I bestow upon the user Chandler…the amount of 23.15 WOMPUM. (I know other people have shared before, but I couldn’t help but notice this one. Don’t worry, you’ll get your due.)


But if you want them anyway…here’s how. If you like something on the blog, and you decide to pass it on, let me know, and I will award an arbitrary amount of WOMPUM. The amounts may be integers, fractions, decimals, irrational numbers, maybe even letters.

You can pass it on through Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Google+, hacking CIA’s computer database, or even literal word-of mouth. In fact, there are sharing buttons below each post that make it easier to pass them on.

Although the amount of WOMPUM, like your school grades, is arbitrary, it will tend to be bigger if I can see evidence of the sharing (via a link) and especially if I notice a swell of blog activity as a result.

If you want to keep track of your WOMPUM, you may, but I will also keep track of everyone’s WOMPUM on my home computer as well, to save you the trouble. After gaining a certain amount of WOMPUM (the exact amount shall not be revealed, and may in fact be made up on the spot), one lucky sharer shall become the WOMPUM King or Queen. This title will be as meaningless as the WOMPUM itself, but you are then allowed to declare yourself the WOMPUM King in your comments.

This person shall remain the WOMPUM King until another arbitrary benchmark has been passed, and someone else becomes the WOMPUM King. The former WOMPUM King may then refer to himself as Former WOMPUM King, Deposed.

If the WOMPUM King is a woman, then she will of course be the WOMPUM Queen, but I decided to be sexist for the last two paragraphs to make for less clumpy writing.

So there you have it. Let me reiterate: WOMPUM IS ALMOST DEFINITELY MEANINGLESS.

Unless I become rich and famous someday, in which case, it may earn you something silly that you can sell on the future’s version of eBay.

But before you go out there and start gung-hoishly spreading Mindless Productivity to all your friends and neighbors, I want to make one last stipulation:

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE ………….don’t be annoying. If you pass a post along by e-mail, just send it to people that will actually appreciate it…not your entire address book. And only share things that you think deserve to be passed on.

That being said…have fun!

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