Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Armistice Day & cause motivated influence

Today is Armistice Day. The day that the first World War was finally declared over. With the conflict in Afghanistan ongoing, maybe this year the importance of supporting the Royal British Legion's poppy appeal has once again been raised to a new generation of people to whom the 1st and 2nd World Wars are just things to be read about in history books.

Anyone that's ever been to see the war graves in France can not but help to feel humbled by the massive loss of life. Bing UK & Bing France were both showing their support today:

I posted recently about the Twibbon poppy you could add to your Twitter icon, and then duly went on to encourage my Twitter buddies to join the cause, more than once...


A 2 minute silence was observed across the nation at 11am in honour of the fallen soldiers.  Look at the Twitter trends:

To me this is the digital equivalent of the Lance Armstrong Live Strong yellow bands many of us were sporting a year or so ago.

A simple gesture, but which via tools like Twitter can reach into many nooks and crannies of the interweb that mainstream media couldn't achieve and  proves that there's some serious critical mass / reach possible, if you capture imagination and motivation, which time upon time is the brick wall I come up against when challenged to prove social media and word of mouth can actually deliver.

No-one forced those 22k people to adopt the poppy. It was voluntary. It succeeded for all the usual reasons that people are happy to be associated with something, be it a brand, a campaign or a cause.... it makes them look good, it's useful, interesting or relevant.  As a result they were happy to become advocates and use their influence to spread the word (= awareness) to encourage participation (engagement).

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