Monthly Archives: April 2012

The web and the Minimum Viable Message

I started writing a post on how the web is the perfect delivery mechanism for a Minimum Viable Message – a highly-digestible, simple, powerful idea that invites you to ‘like’ it, or sign a petition, or re-tweet it. I was just getting into how troubling this is. I was going to muse on whether a million-strong Facebook group is more or less meaningful than a dozen activists who storm a building – an actual one, IRL.

There was probably going to be a bit about how terribly easy passive support is compared to active support, and how the internet, worryingly, is much more suited to the former than the latter.  I was going to wheel out the rise and fall of #StopKony2012 as an example of just how powerful – and fickle – an online movement can be, and how this was the perfect illustration of the web exponentially disseminating highly-polished polemic, steamrolling any nuances or critique that might have stood in its way, and then doing the whole thing again in reverse. Black, then white.

I was going to maybe conclude that the web is disappointingly bad at doing debate and discussion compared to real life, where the squidgy bits in between two sides of an argument can be fully aired and indulged, at the same time, on top of each other.

Then I got a bit tired and realised I should probably go to bed, and that this has probably been written hundreds of times before, and that Matt Andrews has more or less said all this recently. Read that.