Social media... a really popular topic at the moment, and one brought up rather often on Film annex, because of the fantastic ability to market the websites, and us film makers films, with just the click of the button...
But social networking... does it have a large proportion of good points over bad points? Or do the negatives outweigh the good we can do with this new found way of promoting our work, our campaigns, our beliefs and even our lives?
The recent Kony 2012 film is a fantastic example of the power of social media. Earlier this year, the non profit organisation, 'Invisible Children' started a campaign to stop 'Warlord' Joseph Kony- , and the way they planned to do it, was through word of mouth over the internet. Their powerful little documentary explained the situation, beginning with who exactly Kony is, what his crimes were, what they wanted to stop him doing, and how they planned on doing this, which was to raise as much awareness of Kony as they could! Millions of people who had never even heard of the man, now knew what he was doing, and wanted it to stop. The plan was, to have one particular night where anyone who has seen the film would plaster 'KONY 2012' posters all over their local towns and cities.They wanted to do this in the hope that the government would take notice, and keep the troops that Obama had out there, hunting for Kony... and make sure they find him!
When this film got its first explosion of exposure, it was HUGE, never have so many of my facebook friends shared the same video, and it has now had 110 million views on youtube! Many people bought the 'Packs' for £30, ready to spread the Kony word. But as quickly as it got popular... it got unpopular also. The next day, cynics were out there, digging photos of the team posing with Kony's troops, and suggesting that they were wasting all the money that was being donated.
They were criticised for spending money on things like posters and Kony 2012 bracelets, instead of getting the money to Ugandans, who need it the most. There was also concerns spread as to whether this one, huge campaign, will draw attention and money away from more deserving organisations that could be doing better. There was concerns as to whether the facts given were actually accurate. The list goes on....!
After all the negative attention, the main MD of Invisible Children had a bit of a breakdown, the campaign dwindled slightly, and as the 20th of April approached, the packs of posters were not in the post, and the marketing had seised.
On the morning of the 21st of April, there was very little Kony 2012 'Plastered' all over our cities and towns... in fact I think I only saw one little pamphlet, and that was it.
Like I said, this video was spread, purely by the power of people posting it on twitter, facebook and places like 'tumblr' in blogs. This was the exact aim of the video... however, as quickly as you can get attention... it can also go away!
There seems to be a special 'Knack' to marketing. Facebook itself is a perfect example... nearly everyone I know is a member of it, and now its our most powerful advertising tool. I wonder how much longer it will be cast aside like Myspace, and all its counterparts in the the internet graveyard..... only time will tell!!