Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’s “we” campaign’

This morning’s New York Times article, ‘On the Internet, It’s All About ‘My’‘, took me straight to the current world food crisis. Particularly troubling, are the following statistics:

Matthew Zook of ZookNIC, a business that analyzes domain names, said domains that start with “my” more than tripled between 2005 and 2008, to 712,000 from 217,000. According to the government’s Patent and Trademark Office, the number of trademark applications to register marks that include the word “my” increased to 1,943 last year from 382 in 1998.

As a nation it seems to me that we are stuck in toddler, ‘It’s mine’ mode. Our mothers must not have done a very good job at explaining the true meaning of ‘You need to share’. We are a nation suffering from maladaptive narcissism, unable to see beyond our own wants.

Of course, there are some hopeful signs with the popularity of the Obama, ‘Yes We Can‘ campaign, and Al Gore‘s attempts to rally people with ‘We Can Solve It‘. But then, one needs to question the scope of the ‘we’. There is a real arrogance in thinking that ‘we’ the Americans have the solutions, and can decide what’s best for the whole planet.

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From Media Curves, interesting new research on level of agreement with “we” campaign ad, amongst different age groups:

I have voiced this before, I am not a great fan of this particular ad. The research seems to validate my feelings. It also confirms something else we knew from previous research, that the younger generation is most likely to respond to calls to climate action.

Mark, you are right, the AGW brigade is very active, as evidenced once more by the types and quantity of comments left on the YouTube site for this particular video. I did try to restore a bit of balance by leaving a comment, but that’s only one voice!

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London Mayor candidates bypass mainstream media to answer questions on crowdsourcing website. This headline in the British ‘Journalism‘ magazine, caught my eye. Still fresh from our recent discussions on Al Gore‘s “we” campaign, and going back to some earlier laments about the failure of the media to appropriately cover climate change solutions, I have become more and more interested in the concept of crowdsourcing.

We the people have more power than we think, and there is this wonderful thing called Web 2.0 that can help us be heard. Take a look at the yoosk website – the one used in the London mayoral election – and you will see what I mean:

Next comes the question of, how can we concretely make use of a site like yoosk to foster a productive discussion between citizens and the powers in charge, to explore and trigger concrete solutions to the climate change problem? Personally, I would like to suggest to the “we” team that they consider the yoosk crowdsourcing concept as a way to fortify their campaign. Of course, they would have to read this blog, . . .

Another suggestion would be for some of the readers of this blog, many of them also readers of DotEarth, and who have expressed their frustrations regarding the current state of the media, to take the lead and start a climate change crowdsourcing initiative.

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The “we” campaign could learn a few tricks from the Obama movement. Several times a week, I get personal emails from Barack Obama, or one of his team members, keeping me informed about the progress of their campaign. It does not matter that the ‘Dear Marguerite’ and Barack Obama’s signature are computer generated. I feel recognized, and involved. And I want to keep doing more.

With the “we” campaign, no such rewards! I volunteered an idea for a video, I signed all the petitions on their website, I submitted to a lengthy questionnaire about my activities as a blogger, I contacted them to volunteer my time for the campaign. And in return, I got . . . NOTHING. Not a single personalized email thanking me and welcoming into the “we” movement. Not an indication of what’s coming next. Not an invitation to have a conversation with me.

How does that make me feel? Unimportant, unacknowledged, and angry. And no longer interested in contributing. Al Gore and his team are forgetting the very people they claim they want to reach, and mobilize. Movements are not decided at the top. Movements happen because of the people that make them.

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