Crowdsourcing; or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Mob

Super original, never been done before blog title: check

Don’t tell anyone, but I skipped the first panel I was supposed to go to today. I think it kind of worked out for the better.

I ended up in Rebooting Iceland: Crowdsourcing Innovation in Uncertain Times. The panel basically discussed how the collapse of the economy in Iceland lead to a country whose people were more involved with the political process. Once the banks failed, people realized the corruption associated with the current leadership of the country and took a proactive role in government. Instead of waiting for the powers that be to dictate change, they took matters into their own hands by taking a sampling of Icelandic citizens and gathering them together to see what THEY thought the country’s vision should be. Using technology set up to analyze massive amounts of text, representatives at the assemblies were able to determine common threads and goals among them. From there, they were able to figure out which political figures were most in tune with the people. There wasn’t a particular organization putting all of this together, just some people who saw how things were and realized they could be better. Awesome, right?After that I ended up at TrueBlood: From Fan to Fanatic. Surprisingly enough, a political revolution and marketing for an R-rated television show have a fair bit in common.

I’ve always been a fan of how HBO has marketed their content. In marketing True Blood, they took the fan base that already existed, added people who were PROBABLY interested (people into vampires, thrillers, sci-fi, etc.) and spoke directly to them in really specific, interesting ways. Not only that, they handed over the mic. When fans on the internet and Twitter started creating their own content related to the show, HBO didn’t stop them. They let them keep doing what they were doing, and even thanked them for creating content by treating them as press and providing them with materials to stay up to date.

I guess what I’m saying is I think as advertisers we’re inclined to want to control all the content associated with our related brands, but I think the main takeaway here is that people can do really cool things when they’ve got the power. Let’s let ’em talk every now and then.

“Story is the currency of the social space.”

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