Viruses cause disease in people and disasters in computers. With social media, however, "going viral" is usually considered a good thing. It means that the original message has spread like a virus far beyond the narrow circle of friends that viewed the initial posting. To this is what I aspire. The closest thing I've had so far was a map of the Pegasus Pipeline I posted the day after the Mayflower oil spill. To date, 5,939 people have viewed at that post. (I know this because I posted it on a page where I get statistics.) Beyond that I've not had more than a few hundred show an interest.
Pictures of cats, it seems, and pithy quotes, unbelievable videos, or a Status that says "If you don't share this you will surely die" seem to work best. From experience, I know that a Status or a Link or a Note that essentially says "this is difficult but important" doesn't go very far. I've been around here a while, but I am still learning.
What do I want?
What I am slowly getting around to here is that I really, REALLY want my next project to "go viral," especially among the citizens of Central Arkansas. However, as I said to a non-local friend, by definition documentary screenings are "local" events, but when the films to be shown are global in scope, the film series becomes a global happening of sorts. Sharing this project GLOBALLY, therefore, is perfectly acceptable. If nothing more, it is an example of what could be reproduced elsewhere. The "local/global event" I am talking about is the "One in Seven Billion" film series at the Market Street Cinema this summer. The theater will only hold 200 people, but I want EVERYONE in Central Arkansas to know about the event so EACH one can decide to attend or not.
One in Seven Billion
The title of the series, "One in Seven Billion," comes from the lonely realization that I am only one among a staggering number of people, a number I cannot even fathom. But every film in this series does an amazing job of showing how EACH ONE of us has a CENTRAL role in addressing the serious crises facing our planet. WE, each of us, really can make a difference. Love is the answer, Oneness is the way. So I have created a new graphic with this message because graphics tend to be shared more readily. And here is how I hope it will work. I will post the graphic on my Friend to Friend on Climate page. This is mostly because it will keep track of the metrics, but of course the series IS also related to climate, at least the first film. Then I will share this graphic on my personal timeline, upon which I hope it will become Shared widely. Time will tell. But I also hope you will Share this blog link and the One in Seven Billion page, and Invite their friends to the Facebook events: Do the Math, Occupy Love, A Place at the Table, and The Day After Peace.
What if I don't agree?
Well yes, I am keenly aware that MANY of my friends (Facebook and otherwise) do not see eye to eye with me on all the issues dealt with in this film series. In particular, there will be some who see the climate crisis differently. Some of you, for example, do not think humans play a significant role in the climate changes we have seen. Others may view the Occupy movement as less than constructive, even disruptive, and still others may look at the issues of hunger, poverty, and violence from other angles. To me, the most important thing that could happen is that we have a creative, productive, LOVING conversation about these crises. So, if you disagree, please come view the films and participate in the discussion. You will be heard, I promise. And please encourage your friends to come as well. You all know me, and you know I am fair.
What if I can't come?
ALREADY I have had a number of friends say they have other plans for some or all of these dates. That is okay. First, we are talking about trying to make available face to face conversations about the films at other times outside of the theater setting, although the details are yet to be worked out. Second, it is my hope that we can have some online conversations about the films. If you have to miss a particular screening, I MAY be able to provide you with a link to watch it online, and we would love to have you participate in the discussion later, in person or online.
Although I would love to have "standing-room-only" crowds at all four movies, the bottom line is not about the number of "customers". (Admission is free.) The bottom line is about engaging friends (and friends of friends) in conversation and in finding solutions though compassion and unity. So, yes I want to reach a lot of people, and what I am asking EACH ONE of you is to help make this 'project' go viral by (1) Sharing the new Film Series Graphic on your wall, (2) Sharing a link to this blog post on your wall or Sharing a link to the One in Seven Billion page on your wall, and (3) Inviting your friends to the Facebook events: Do the Math, Occupy Love, A Place at the Table, and The Day After Peace. For my part, I will do my best to keep you informed about the responses.
Virality is defined as: "the number of people who have created a story from your post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it." It is not clear what "creating a story" means, but it obviously includes Sharing the post. In any case, I also consider Commenting to be helpful, especially if it leads to a conversation and particularly if this is a civil conversation among individuals with differing perspectives. So please feel free to Comment on any of the postings, or to create a new post on which others may comment. Finally, Liking a post (or comment) contributes to the community conversation by letting your friends know your sentiment and your engagement in the topic. Unfortunately, if you "dislike" a posting your only option is to return a Comment, but this will provide the opportunity for further dialogue.