On February 12, 2020, my then-16-year-old daughter Anna created a map that, somehow, went viral:
Within 24 hours no less than two separate concepts on the map — “Long Chile” and “Ohio2” — trended nationally. It was viewed several million times, was liked by over 340,000 people on Twitter and thousands on Facebook and Instagram and by the time I woke up the next morning it had been featured by newspapers, on CNN, Reddit, Mashable, gaming websites, several podcasts, and had been on multiple local news channels across the country. People were offering Anna hundreds of dollars for the original. Cartographers at universities and in the U.S. State Department contacted me to tell me that everyone was talking about the map.
Maybe the weirdest thing was when I went out to a club on the following Saturday night and gave my credit card to the bartender, she looked at my name, looked up at me and told me, “I’m a fan.” For a moment I wondered if she was a reader of my baseball writing, but she told me that, no, she was a fan of the map.
It was quite the damn thing.
Viral fame is ephemeral, and by end of the weekend most of the fuss had died down. But I had a lot of thoughts about the whole episode and I shared them — and the entire story of the map — here.
Those thoughts are less ephemeral, I hope.