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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Save Jericho an Internet Phenomenon

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction.

The Save Jericho campaign will change the way Old Media interacts with the internet.

Google for "Save Jericho" and you get 48,000 hits as of this morning. Think of the amount of time and money it would take a public relations agency to put up 48,000 pages with your message, all with unique and clearly human content.

CBS is being flooded with nuts. Not just fans, but actual peanuts. Nuts Online has a NUTS for Jericho promotion going. Fans can send any amount of money to contribute to a bulk purchase of nuts that will then be sent to CBS. The picture is of the first THOUSAND pounds going out. And there's another TON on the way. The promotion has only been up for two days. Nuts Online even put the UPS tracking number up so that fans can watch their packages put CBS awash in a sea of nuts.

Consider what it would be like to receive 3,000 pounds of nuts at your corporate headquarters. Especially if you're a broadcaster and don't have a warehouse loading dock because you're used to receiving cards and letters. I can see the New York City delivery guy right now: "Hey buddy, somebody's gotta sign for this!"

If CBS refuses delivery it may signal the start of the apocalypse. I wonder how the peanut vendors in NYC will be doing this weekend?

This absolutely dwarfs the famous Star Trek letter writing campaign. Today marks the 1 week anniversary since the cancellation of the show. Things move at a different speed on the internet.

And all because executives at CBS were told by the Nielson ratings that the show didn't have much support. They're only 10 years behind the times, so I guess that's not too bad for corporate America. My experience has been that even "high tech" companies trail by about 10 years from what's available in their IT capabilities. That's why the power company has to ask me my account number instead of just looking at the caller id, and why I have to repeat it every time they transfer me. Hmm, make that 20 years. CBS is making its decisions based upon an old model, and sometimes that collides with the New Media and the result isn't pretty for the old guys.

In the last few years we've seen some amazing things from the internet. Dan Rather and CBS got spanked when they tried to foist a forged letter onto the American people right before the election. (CBS, can you see a trend here?) Bloggers were all over it within minutes of the information coming out. The Swift Boat Vets got their message out through the New Media. Jim Zumbo found out about the wrath of the bloggers -- he went from popular writer to unemployed in a week because of a blog post. The Duke Hoax was mainly exposed through the relentless pestering of bloggers. Frankly, Bush's low approval ratings can probably be traced to the constant pounding from liberal bloggers. To the intelligentsia, bloggers are probably a more important source of news and opinion than the MSM. Frankly, I can't think of the last time that I sat through an entire evening news program, but I do read Kim DuToit every day.

Back in the early days of the internet, the New Yorker ran the comic "On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog." Back then, we took that as "Be careful, you don't know who you're chatting with." Which is true, but there's a larger concept. On the internet, everyone has equal access. Yes, you can tilt things in your favor by spending money on advertising, bandwidth, and search engine optimization, but none of that can compare with the viral nature of the internet. A web site is a web site is a web site. CBS's web site occupies no more space in the ether than Find The Boots. They're both just a URL. We've come to the point where content is far more important than delivery. Come up with a truly remarkable idea, or even something completely stupid, email it to 100 of your friends, and within a week it's all over the world.

CBS is under the impression that the old technology of set top boxes and personal diaries from Nielson families controls their business model. In some ways, it still does, because advertisers go along with it. The viewers aren't CBS's customers, the advertisers are. But when the advertisers figure out that the old measurements are pretty much useless, they'll start to change their models. Spending $500K for 30 seconds of prime time advertising won't seem like such a smart idea when that same $500K could be spent elsewhere.

And when that happens, we'll look back at the Save Jericho campaign and say that's where it started.

UPDATE: The nutsonline.com website now has a real-time Jericho tracker. They're up to over 4,800 lbs as of Tuesday afternoon. Wow.

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5 Comments:

  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Penny said…

    Thank you so much for drawing attention to our campaign. And I don't think anyone could have said it more eloquently. That was fantastic!

    CBS? Are you listening?

     
  • At 11:39 AM, Blogger HausMaster said…

    i think some of us over in the jericho camp are starting to realize this. just this morning i had a "wow" moment when i realized just how much power this almost-accidental movement has - and it goes WAY beyond a couple tons of peanuts...

    this could actually get very ugly for cbs - perhaps even uglier than we all intended...

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger mthib1 said…

    Thanks soo much. Your article was great!!! SAVE JERICHO

     
  • At 11:58 AM, Blogger MR_Cub said…

    You make some excellent points. Many of which I'm not sure CBS has fully considered. If used correctly, the New Media capabilities of Jericho could be revolutionary and set a trend for the rest of the networks to follow. When was the last time CBS set a trend in the TV industry?

     
  • At 12:05 PM, Blogger Rich said…

    I'll go out on the limb with you. The Save Jericho campaign will change the way old media interacts with the internet.

    It's a limb that seems plently large enough for a few thousand people and about 21,000 pounds of nuts.

     

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