from the world's big
How to Survive and Thrive in a World of Digital Darwinism (Don't Be Lame)
How do you get a million and a half people to read a blog post on tax policy? Obama digital wunderkind Teddy Goff has a simple mantra: don't be lame.
Before Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, he first had to win the so-called "Carville primary" in 1991. The reward for winning this behind-the-scenes contest was the services of the hottest political consultant at the time, James Carville. "The equivalent this time might be the Teddy Goff primary," writes Al Hunt on Bloomberg, "to earn the assistance of the digital wunderkind who directed social media for the Obama campaign."
Goff's online exploits are legendary. In 2012, he raised over $500 million, registered more than a million voters, built a Facebook page with 45 million fans and a Twitter following of 33 million. Shall we go on? Over 100 million video views, signing up hundreds of thousands of volunteers online - it's fair to say Goff is in the right business. Or is he?
Of course, Goff's man was re-elected, partly on the strength of the most impressive online fundraising, organizing and communications campaign in the history of politics. And yet, the strategy that Goff devised, and the tools he used to implement it, is broadly transferable.
For instance, how do you get a million and a half people to read a blog post on tax policy? That seems like a tall order. How can tax policy compete with LOL cat videos? As Goff tells Big Think, you are dealing with consumers "who can click away as soon as they don’t like what they’re seeing." So Goff and his team relied on a simple mantra: don't be lame.
Watch the video here:
What's the Big Idea?
Not being lame is easier said than done, especially when you're dealing with a subject that is potentially very dull. However, a little bit of fun can go a long way. A talented digital strategist like Goff sees the Internet not as a marketing challenge, but an opportunity. A traditional campaign might have drafted a white paper or quoted a number of economists who were critical of Romney's plan. And that might have fit very well in a newspaper ad. But Goff had other ideas.
In the video, Goff tells Big Think how he developed a faux-Romney campaign website that promised potential voters details on the Romney tax plan. However, when you attempted to click a button labeled "GET THE DETAILS," the button moved out of the way of your cursor, as if to dodge the question. After eight seconds of frustration you were finally redirected to a DNC blog post that eviscerated Romney's tax plan.
As it turns out, people loved it. Goff's meme garnered over 1.5 million Facebook likes within a day. "It was content that just simply couldn’t have existed before the Internet," he says.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".