ReThink: Awareness

If you are reading this, you have probably been elsewhere on the Internet, which means you have most likely heard about the human rights campaign known as KONY2012. While the seriousness of the campaign and its potential ramifications (both positive and negative) are not to be taken lightly, UnConventional has decided to feature Invisible Children’s latest push to make a difference in Central Africa for one reason. What is unconventional is not the campaign; what is unconventional is the way the campaign is being promoted. It was designed to be spread by word-of-mouth, which in our digital age means via social networks. This it has done exceedingly well: the KONY2012 has been viewed 14.1 million times since it was posted two weeks ago on Vimeo and over 55 million times since it was posted four days ago on YouTube, literally creating an overnight sensation (if you just crawled out from under a rock and haven’t seen the video, you can find it here or here – we are refraining from jumping on the blogwagon and embedding it in the midst of our commentary). By using Twitter hashtags such as #KONY2012 and posting links on Facebook, the word spread faster than wildfire, bringing back memories of Arab Spring revolutions powered (and tracked) by social media. Whether the campaign ultimately succeeds remains to be seen, but if nothing else, it has proven that awareness is finding new and powerful vehicles that are reshaping the way we interact with our world.

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