Saturday, April 22, 2006

Save the Internet, viral campaign

Jeff Pulver's Viral Marketing Contest to Save the Internet

Ok, I am officially putting my money where my mouth is. I am initiating a viral video/ad contest to save the Internet.

I am fed up with the current wave of soundbites, platitudes, ads and marketing flooding the airwaves that profess to speak for the advancement of the Internet and communications. These ads are influencing Congress and governments around the World as they write the rules that will shape the future of the Internet and communications.

But, where is the voice and message of the Internet community -- the Internet innovators, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts -- in this world-changing discussion? We are primarily sitting out the battle, or perhaps comfortably blogging and Monday-morning quarterbacking on the sidelines. Sure, we’ll be able to point to our blogs and do a big “I-told-you-so” if the rules ultimately prove to undermine the promise of the Internet. But, we will not be justified in our criticism if we don’t at least try to affect a positive result.

Rules have to be written to enable us. If we do not participate in the debate, if we do not transform the messaging, the rules will not be written with our best interests at heart. And, frankly, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. We have to take over the messaging, both within the corridors of power and within the public zeitgeist.

We need soundbites of our own, messaging of our own. We are allegedly the revolutionaries of the Internet and communications. Shouldn't we be the ones revolutionizing the way advocacy is done and communicated in the 21st Century? Shouldn't we be the creative forces verifying that the medium is the message? Who better than us to harness the enabling power of the Internet to bring our message to legislators, to policymakers, to the public? Let's throw away the old rulebook and try to think outside the box to send a message to Congress from the global community of Internet innovators and enthusiasts.

We might not have the lobbying muscle, money, resources, or connections of the entrenched players in the communications debate, but we surely have the individual and collective will and creativity to transform the debate. (...)

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