Monday, November 17, 2008

The Buzz Works. Now What?

This weekend's Motrin Moms fiasco certainly showed that mom bloggers and others involved in social media can create a big stir when they want to. The website was pulled, an apology was issued, and the buzz is slowly simmering to a dull roar (save the last few sad people who are still slinging the same tired insults that have been around since internet communication began). Soon the critics will tire of screaming that real moms don't have time for the internet or that mothers don't have any real pull on purchases (that dude seriously needs to do some homework before tweeting again) or that everyone was wasting their time by even caring about something that was less than a global issue.

One point that came from the critics is valid, though, in my opinion. Why isn't this much 'net activity and passion wasn't happening for other issues? The Motrin ad was annoying and was fascinating to watch from a media/marketing perspective, but no one was truly hurt by it.

I know that many of the people who weighed in on MotrinGate do care deeply about bigger causes. Many are active in blogging about them or work to raise money for them or volunteer time in their communities to make a difference. The problem is that those things don't show up on the internet. One blogger's Saturday at a soup kitchen won't get her a top spot in Google results or more than a thousand tweets in a few hours.

The other thing that makes visibility of causes difficult is that we all have different pet causes that we're passionate about. I blog, write, preach, discuss, scream, whisper, tweet and teach car seat safety because vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children of kids under age 14 in the U.S. and therefore I feel it's worth some attention. Others don't feel the same passion for it, so it doesn't create a giant storm of internet craziness. The Motrin fiasco did so largely because it called on one thing that most of the commenters do share and feel passionately about: motherhood.

So, the question is: how do we keep the ball rolling? We know that it's possible to create big buzz and get people talking (mostly) thoughtfully about an issue. How do we get everyone talking about the same cause at the same time? There are hundreds of charities and issues and personal cases that involve children or motherhood. The passion is there. How can we use it effectively and collectively?

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Motringate? Bwah!