A week or so ago the social networking world was talking about one video in particular, ‘KONY2012’. Throughout twitter, Facebook and news outlets everyone seemed to be talking about it, not necessarily fully aware of what it was or what it stood for, it just gained a lot of chatter among the online communities.
The video itself was a pledge to help the people of Uganda fight a man (Joesph Kony) who had been causing major distress in the country by killing, torturing and enslaving the people of Uganda, especially young children. In the video it explains how this has happened, how they are trying to capture him and what we as a global community can do to help bring the man to justice. Much like all charities the project involves money and donations to allow this to proceed.
For this post I wanted to concentrate on more of the medium of the video than of the content itself because what I found interesting most is the way that the video or more ‘the word’ or ‘the idea’ got across to so many people so quickly. As mentioned the fact that many people, me included, had heard of KONY 2012 but didn’t fully understand what it was. I think then as a campaign what makes it work is because of people power getting it seen, watched or heard. The video had huge numbers backing the campaign on such a global scale that it allowed it to drive it forward and as it blew up in the social networks more and more interest and buzz came about it. It is a project that is aimed at something on the social which really gives it impact. Much like the flash mob task and of the flash mob genre itself, it was aimed at the social, at us as people, than of its art and I think this has gave it so much more strength and appeal.
The video in of itself and the campaign is all geared to social network, the production values, the use of many people and ethnicity, the language used is all aimed at the people and it too admits that. The opening titles and I think the last couple of sentences suggest about this new way that we can make a change. In comparison to things like ‘Children In Need’ it makes other charities seem very outdated because of its strength and reliance on the social as opposed to telephone or television for example.
In the video itself there is also a use of the social, bringing people together in the real world too, the date that they put forward where global action is taking place is both scary and exiting at the same time. The day where people start putting up posters and large stickers to ‘make Kony famous’ makes me at times a little anxious that this power can be harnessed through online campaigns and the like. I’m guessing that this kind of thing is for good use but lets say it could be used for bad, what if government gets a real grasp on this, I don’t know, something tells me that this type of thing could have big effects.
For me then, the KONY 2012 campaign is a really interesting one and because of the action day which will take place in the not to distant future, it will be really intriguing to find out how the world truly reacts on this day ultimately and of course if they do catch Kony. Perhaps it will blow up or perhaps half the world won’t really do anything about it like many conspiracies or events where people expect things to happen but nothing does. I think also as it’s one of the first campaigns that has really harnessed the power of social networking and depending on how well it works out, will determine the future for campaigns just like it.