#neverseconds – A lesson for us all in Internet marketing by Martha Payne (9 years old)

I suspect that many of you will have heard about the 9-year old girl from Argyll and Bute in Scotland, whose blog site http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/ was the victim of censorship by her local council because it drew attention to the catering standards in her local school.

School dinners.....

I was monitoring the story yesterday and wrote a semi-geeky article on my website (and Intechnica’s blog site) about the impact that this appeared to have on the complaints page of the council website. (It broke!)

As a measure of just how much publicity the #neverseconds story has generated for Martha Payne’s blog, when I checked Martha’s hit counter at 13:20 on 15th June 2012, the site had around 2.6m hits. Today that stands at 4.6m hits (and it’s still rising quickly).

Martha’s “Just Giving” page http://www.justgiving.com/neverseconds, supporting school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education, has raised well over £50,000 in the last 24 hours.

Well done, Martha !

Is Argyll and Bute’s web team going to suffer due to their colleague’s PR disaster?

As bad weather lashes Britain, a storm of another kind is causing difficulties in Argyll and Bute. A 9-year old girl who blogs at http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/ about her school dinners has been prevented from photographing her school meals and tweeting about their quality.

Her cause has been taken up by Jamie Oliver who this morning tweeted this to his 2.3 million followers.
Jamie's tweet

Since then #neverseconds and “Argyll and Bute” is trending on Twitter and articles referring to this are appearing on news sites both nationally and internationally.
Never seconds news articles


As bloggers and tweeters (me included) add to the storm, Argyll and Bute’s webserver seems to be having difficulties….
Argyll and Bute error message

It shows that you can’t plan for peaks in load such as this, but perhaps lessons will be learnt. It would be a shame for the IT guys to get it in the neck as well as their colleagues in PR.

This article is also reproduced on the Intechnica blog.