Internet Fame: on Being Pirated, Impersonated and Sighted

So today I discovered that the HTML videos that I made for a few years back are being pirated. You can find various torrents all over the internet!

I Ain't Even Mad

People are willing to break the law to hear me teach! I don’t know why I trust the words of a pirate, but the description of the first one I saw came across to me as high praise.

A nice training session for those who want to learn the dark arts of Proper website building without all the WYSIWYG crapware that’s flying about on the internet….Even the more experienced users will find this interesting….

I made these videos for Educator a long time ago. I figured they’d be mostly forgotten about by now, but I still get ‘thank you’ emails from people who have taken the course and somehow figured out my email address (with a little research it isn’t hard), so clearly people are still watching them. Now that I think of it, I also still get a paycheck from Educator every month, which indicates that at least some people are watching the non-pirated versions on

This isn’t the first flattering but slightly odd realization I’ve had regarding these videos. Have you seen my twitter account? Yep, that’s my name, and that’s a photo of me, but that’s not my account! It’s an impersonator! And it has more followers than my actual twitter account! What does that say about me? (Probably just that I don’t really use twitter.)

The experience that takes the cake, however, was my first celebrity sighting—where I myself was the celebrity! I was working the JPL Open House at the robotics tent when someone came up and said “I took your webmaking course!” I was so surprised I didn’t even know what to say or do. I think celebrities are supposed to want to avoid attention, right? I kind of felt like I was obligated to sneer at her and put on dark sunglasses, but I was so flattered that I wanted to hug her. I guess the right thing to do would have been to get a picture with her. Next time? Will there be a next time?