124 people shared on Facebook. (Update 7/10/11: 354 Facebook shares.)
Hundreds of others read it.
And in three days, it hit the top ten most popular posts on this site.
Last week, I wrote a post titled 4 Heartstopping Myths on Drowning Every Responsible Parent Should Know.
It went viral.
Sure, it had a catchy title.
One that got people’s attention with the words ‘heartstopping,’ ‘drowning,’ and ‘responsible parents.’
Words that evoke emotion and identification.
The information was extremely important.
Information that was timely, potentially life-saving, and little known.
But the post’s popularity was due to more than that.
On Tuesday morning, I circulated the link to the post in the usual places.
Nothing much happened for a few hours.
Things started to pick up late in the day with some tweeting and a few Facebook shares.
But nothing huge.
I was a little disappointed.
Wednesday started slowish.
Then signs began to build.
I began to believe that this might blow as I’d hoped it would.
Comments started to appear.
But they weren’t comments like, ‘Great post!’ Good job!”
Comments that are pointless flotsam swaying atop the sea of bloggy commentary.
These comments said things like, ‘I have chills.’
‘I feel like I’ve been living under a rock.’
And “It goes beyond just parents knowing what to look for.”
When mothers started to share their own drowning children stories, I decided not to hold back.
I added a line asking readers to share the post.
This was too important. It was filling a need.
This information had to get out there.
It was no time for me to be shy, modest or unassuming.
I left my computer for two hours on Thursday and the number of Facebook shares doubled.
Two more hours later, the shares stood at over 80.
It was, indeed, going viral.
I gave it another push by tweeting and sharing on my own Facebook page.
I emailed my list.
The open rate of that email is over 100%, the click-through rate more than 40%.
Crazy numbers in the world of internet marketing.
And as the attention spread outwards, so did my heart, my ferocity, my determination.
And when two people unsubscribed and another reported my email as spam, it was simply collateral damage in the fight to get attention in this crowded digital age.
This thing was way more important than that.
As the numbers kept climbing, it was clear women were sharing, were pushing, were joining together.
Spreading information that might just save lives.
And prevent mothers just like us from experiencing our own worst nightmare.
Like Paul Revere charging from house to house, mothers roared with the press of a button.
‘Read this! Read this! It’s important, read this!’
The power of social networks and our natural instincts merged to electrify our primal urge to fight.
For our babies. All babies.
There was no equivocation.
We were sure, we were solid, we were right.
We were protecting our babies.
It’s what. women. do.
Michelle of Green Bean Chronicles uses her skills to write ads for shelter puppies.
When she left a shelter with her newly-adopted dog, she couldn’t leave the memories behind.
She started posting on Craigslist.
Using her writing skills to find homes for abandoned puppies and dogs left there.
Anonymously because she felt embarrassed.
Her writing increased adoptions dramatically and the director of the shelter tracked her down.
She begged her not to stop.
Michelle writes, ‘My heart swelled with pride, happiness and something more.’
She was saving babies.
Animal babies. It’s what women do.
We share, we fight, we protect.
And when we do the right thing, we know it.
Our hearts beat hard, our chests swell, our chins lift.
We are sure, we are determined, we know.
Saving babies is our power, our right, our being.
From cuddling a co-workers newborn to scooping up a lost child.
From writing shelter ads to sharing important information.
We are drawn to it, can’t help it.
Yes, there are times when we’re overwhelmed, exhausted and ready to cry.
But small things make a difference and baby steps add up.
You can take them, one after another after another.
Yes, you can.
So, today, don’t look away, pretend, ignore.
Your chin will drop, your step will falter, you will be unsure and shy.
Instead look ahead, look around you. What needs doing?
And do it.
One step, one step, one step at a time.
Because being part of this surge of womanhood isn’t just inspiring.
It’s life changing.
We have purpose, a direction, a common cause.
Our footprints can make a better place of this world.
And when we use our skills, our connections, and our love for goodness, what happens?
Families unite, people smile.
Babies are saved.
Saved by warrior women. By mothers.
Protecting and nurturing.
By doing what we do.
Inspire someone right now by sharing this on your social media of choice – Twitter and Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg. This message needs to be said. Women need to hear it. And celebrated. There are buttons at top and bottom of this post. Thank you.