To add to the infinite supply #G20+Twitter armchair quarterbacking, wanted to highlight some creative media that illustrate the power of integrating funny messages into online advocacy.
The history using humor in civil & human rights advocacy is long…& arguably could include the gonzo journalism/satire of Hunter S. Thompson & Youth International Party hijinx of Abbie Hoffman…but what was exceptional about the use of humor in/after the G20 was the speed with which witty slogans, signs & chants traveled thanks to online video, social networks & twitter.
Not only are the surreal exchanges between protesters & police captured, streamed & shared in realtime, there is a posturing among the posse acknowledging that they are staging their own viral-version of a Heritage Moment.
My favourite was the ‘Riot Suit Remix’ by Drown Radio, featured on Laughing Squid:
An impetus to integrate slicker, catchier, more timely, and funnier videos will be felt my many advocacy organizations in the months ahead. Last week, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that, thanks to broadband penetration, sprawling content options and the capabilities of smartphones, video viewership has increased exponentially since 2007 (now 7/10 adults view or download videos online).
More interesting than this ‘no duh’ stat is that both political and humorous ‘genre’ vids have doubled viewership rates. Political videos held the attention of 15% of online users in 2007 and now reach 30%; and comedic/humorous videos were accessed by 31% of internet surfers in 2007 and now are screened by 50% of adults online.
When it comes to creating & uploading videos, gender and age parity is starting to emerge, though men are still more likely to be watching video content online than women. Overall the younger, wealthier and more educated users access vids, which correlates with broadband connectivity and hardware capabilities.
Let’s sign off with an ode to ‘the best movie about a start up ever’ & a nod to my family history of working to promote literacy (not that my writing style would reflect this…). In May, the fine folks at Improv Everywhere wanted to show the NYC library patrons that their public resource was in jeopardy, and to capture a stunt on digifilm to share with the world, create some buzz, corral supporters & pressure the decision-makers. Be sure hop over to the IE blog for a full write-up of the ‘mission’:
Would love for anyone to plunk in their fav humo(u)r+advocacy examples in the comment field. Was going to include the recent spate of vending machine/social good hacking, but worried it was a bit of a stretch….