Don’t get me wrong. I love the meritocratic world of the web. Good stuff floats, average stuff gets suspended in the sea of mediocrity and bad stuff sinks without trace. And that’s the way it ought to be.
It used to be really easy. Back in 2002. There was a lot less good stuff out there, so getting seen was much easier. But we’re now entering a world where something has to be doubleplusgood in order to get noticed. (Or have a big media / seeding spend behind it).
In an idealised online world influence is something pure. Something that gets earned over time. A few years ago you couldn’t really buy online influence, that’s why ‘viral’ became such a hot topic. If you could find a few of the influencers and get them to mention your thing, the job was done (or at least kicked-off in a decent way).
But now the population is so much bigger it’s much harder to get out there (at speed) without using mass-media style techniques (buying your way in, or lunching people like a PR pro). Getting any kind of cut-through quickly is tough.
Don’t get me wrong, the long-tail is great, it drives the right kind of people in a sustainable and genuine fashion. But getting to a point where you’ve earned a sufficient degree of link-love quite often takes time.
And sometimes time isn’t on your side.
We’re stuck in one of those situations right now. The climate change bill is creeping ever closer in parliament and we’ve not got the time or cash to accelerate the Get On Board campaign for the WWF.
We need more people to get stuck in. The guys at the WWF are doing a great job of getting their supporters involved. They’re pushing as many media buttons as they can. But the story just hasn’t picked up like we all hoped it would.
It didn’t sound so hard, we just wanted people to sign-up to push for a stronger climate change bill. And we thought that using a story around aviation and shipping made sense and wasn’t too complex (or too dumb). Maybe we over-stretched? Maybe we over estimated how much capacity people have to care about the world? Or maybe we just came up with an idea that wasn’t good enough?
But you can’t say that the idea of creating a decent climate change bill isn’t a good one. That’s just a fact. However you look at it.
And here’s a nice little video showing some of the people who do give a shit messing up. Everyone likes out-takes don’t they? Featuring David Nussbaum (CEO of WWF), Sarah Beeny, Terry Waite, Lewis Gordon Pugh (the guy who can swim in really cold water) and my personal favourite Chris Packham (who used to be in the Really Wild Show with the one and only Terry Nutkins). It’s not massively funny, it’s just quite nice.
Having said all of the above we’re not doing all that badly considering that everything we’re doing hardly costs a penny and there’s been no paid for media whatsoever :-)
I’m not doing this out of any kind of loyalty to Poke, I’m doing it because I’d like more people to sign the petition.
If you’re looking at this whole thing and thinking – “you guys are being a bunch of idiots, there’s a really simple way you can make this work, all you have to do is xyz…”. Then please leave a comment or get in touch. I’ll make sure that you get fully recognised and lauded as a saviour of planet earth sometime in the future.