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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: Monsters, Trolls, and Molasses

Monday, May 28, 2007

The monster is definitely gaining steam. On Friday I posited that to make the next break out, the movement would need to get picked up by some of the larger blogs and get articles in the mainstream media. Within 24 hours they had been slashdotted, Michelle Malkin put up a post (and she even quoted me!),the New York Times had an article, and the list of smaller media outlets covering the story had exploded. And this is over a holiday weekend, when web traffic for most sites is historically very low.

How can one measure the size of a web movement? To me, it seems that Google is one of the best, non-partisan arbiters of how much activity is happening. Last Friday, we measured the total footprint CBS had on the net before the "Save Jericho" movement at 741K pages. This morning the page count in total is 1.55M, making the "Save Jericho" movement responsible for 809K pages in 2 weeks. My guess is the movement caught the google indexing system at a favorable time and got a lot of pages indexed last week, and in another few weeks we'll see a much larger explosion.

Several detractors have claimed that "this isn't the first movement on the internet" or that "other movements have sent items to the networks". Let's put these into perspective. I did google searches for other "Save Our Show" movements, counting the number of pages they had. Before Jericho, the largest movement on the internet had been the "Browncoats" of FireFly, with 233K pages in 5 years. Arrested Developmen had 127K pages in a year. "Trek United", the movement to save Star Trek: Enterprise came in a distant third with 25K pages in 2 years.

And "Save Jericho" dwarfs them all with 809K pages in two weeks. Applying a little dot-com business logic, we can clearly see than within 6 months the internet will cease to exist and will be replaced with websites asking CBS to renew Jericho.

Well, maybe not. But this is a huge amount of publicity by any measure. The monster is completely out of control.

Trolls will inevitably be attracted to any internet movement.Before this newfangled intarweb thing, people that wanted to discuss a certain subject met in person, such as club meetings, with friends, or the local pub. You had the occasional person that would stir things up just to get people going, but mostly people were polite because they were in person. Today, people will say things behind the mask of the internet they wouldn't dream of saying in person. Imagine a PETA activist wandering into a hunting camp....

The "Save Jericho" movement has had its share of trolls. For example, people with only a few posts say something such as "This is useless, I'm giving up." Or make inflammatory statements about Michelle Malkin and how the show is really liberal. Nothing special, it's just people trying to see if they can get a lot of posts on a topic. That exercise provides a certain level of pleasure to some people.

It's the reaction to the trolls from the "Save Jericho" movement that has been so interesting. The "Commanders" have told people that CBS has hired an outside PR firm to combat the movement. People are concerned that any negative posts or new posters are really trolls from the PR firm designed to fracture the movement. I even commented in an update in the last article that I thought CBS would be crazy to do this.

But now that I've thought about it, I don't think it's possible. If you haven't worked as an executive or mid-level manager in a fairly large sized business, you just don't realize the difficulty in movement that permeates a large organization. It's like swimming in molasses. People on the outside tend to think that big, evil corporations have masterminds pulling the strings with employees that implement their nefarious plans in an instant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Things that you think should take hours take days and weeks.

Few people realize that the real communication at large companies takes place via Internet messages. While I have absolutely no knowledge of what is going on at CBS, I think this is what might have happened:

Tuesday, May 22:
NinaTassler: yt?
ITPeon: y
NinaTassler: wtf? my email is broken
ITPeon: yes, your inbox is full.
NinaTassler: fix it please

Later that day:
ITPeon: yt?
ITPeonBoss: y
ITPeon: Tassler's inbox keeps filling up because of fan mail about Jericho
ITPeonBoss: ok, set up a filter and delete all that junk
ITPeon: k

Wednesday, May 23:

NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y
NinaAssistant: Have you heard about the nuts?
NinaTassler: rotflmao! very cute!
NinaAssistant: what do I do about it?
NinaTassler: what is there do to? the show is dead.
NinaAssistant: We can't say that
NinaTassler: write something up and I'll get it approved and out
NinaAssistant: Ok, but what do I do with nuts?
NinaTassler: I don't care, put them in the break room
NinaAssistant: There are 2 TONS of them
NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y I'll ask

Later that day:

NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y, go ahead with the press release
NinaAssistant: what about the nuts?
NinaTassler: give them to a charity, get some press out of that

Thursday, May 24:
NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y, sup?
NinaAssistant: the internet is going crazy with this Jericho stuff
NinaTassler: and?
NinaAssistant: we're getting bad PR out of it
NinaTassler: not our problem, tell the guys in corp comms to deal with it
NinaAssistant: Find-The-Boots says you're an idiot
NinaTassler: oh no!

Later that day:
NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y
NinaAssistant: comms says they'll have to hire an outside PR firm, they need a cost center from you to charge
NinaTassler: why?
NinaAssistant: they say its your problem
NinaTassler: k, I'll call Les. Tell them to start a PO, we'll figure out budget later

Friday, May 25:
NinaAssistant: yt?
NinaTassler: y
NinaAssistant: PO is ready, need resolution on the cost center
NinaTassler: too late to do anything, I'm headed to the west coast for the weekend and then Vegas on Tuesday. We'll deal with this next week, maybe it goes away.

And that's why I doubt CBS has already hired a PR firm. Just getting a PO through an organization that large takes time. Budgeting, approvals, arguing about who has to pay -- it all takes time in the corporate world. My guess is they haven't even had the meeting to discuss this at a high level -- that's for next week.

The monster moves much faster than a large corporate organization. Corporations can't possibly control the monster because the monster moves too fast. The monster works nights and weekends. Every time the monster grows, it grows in its ability to grow. The fact that the monster even exists creates PR.

The "Save Jericho" movement has moved into the mainstream in the internet world. They're moving into mainstream media. The next thing to watch is whether they can attract further members with this new publicity. If CBS was going to successfully diffuse the situation, they should have acted last week -- but that would have been impossible for any large corporation. If the movement can make the next jump, there won't be much of anything that can stop them.


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  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Paula said…

    You are totally awesome. I love being able to read a positive opinion from the corporate world. KUDOS to you!

    NUTS to CBS!!

  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger flowerlady112 said…

    Thank you for the great article -
    Save Jericho -www.jerichorallypoint.com

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger sapooloo89 said…

    nuts to CBS

  • At 10:07 AM, Blogger Donna said…

    Incredible perspective. Thanks for continuing to analyze the movement.

    NUTS to CBS!

  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THIS is just the best blog yet!!! Just when we thought your blogs could not get any better BAM! BAM BAM BAM!!!

    Thanks SO VERY MUCH for giving us such awesome perspective and inspiration!


  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger shuffy2 said…

    Yet another great article! Love it LMAO :)

  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger sarork said…

    WOW! I truely love how you write. Just hearing about how we are working and growing in corporate terms is great. My mother is really loving it, she's in the corporate world and hit helps her understand more and get big laughs. Good job and keep up the great work. 10,000 lbs in route as I write this. Nuts to CBS and we will never give in to anything but a second season. Hey Neilson's revap how your gettin your stats.
    Thanks again.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Pat H said…


  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger Jeremy said…

    Awesome article! Thank you for the great coverage! Save Jericho! Season two or bust!

  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Rich said…

    Very smart and funny post. One of your best, imo. The graph was brilliant.

    I still think CBS can move faster than your typical corporate engine, but then again, I have high hopes for most networks to transition well into the world of new media.

  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger Jayhawkgirl said…

    What a great article. The funniest one I have seen yet. Thanks for posting it.


  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger cbsplaysdirty said…

    You rock ! If you post it, we will come. THe walls of CBS are tumbling down and we will win. We will all win.

    Love the graph by the way. Pictures are good. That might be the only way for CBS to fully understand what is going on!

  • At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Excellent! The best commentary on the phenomenon thus far!

  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Christina said…

    Thank you sooo much for addressing the strength of our movement. We will keep fighting and they cannot resist us!!


  • At 2:13 PM, Blogger nh_310 said…

    on a related note, jeffrey braverman (the man behind the NUTS for JERICHO campaign) will be doing an interactive chat today on this site called PalTalk.com. 5 p.m. eastern time. thought i'd repost. keep fighting the good fight!


    LINK: http://www.paltalk.com/newstalk/jbraverman_episode.shtml



    This afternoon at 5 p.m. EST, join host Gary Baumgarten as he welcomes
    "NUTS for Jericho" visionary Jeffrey Braverman to his interactive video chat show, NewsTalk, found exclusively on PalTalk.com.

    PalTalk is pleased to assist Jericho enthusiasts’ awesome efforts to revive their favorite show. Help maintain the fight by logging onto http://www.paltalk.com/newstalk/jbraverman_episode.shtml TODAY at 5 p.m. EST, and telling friends and family to do the same!

  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger xabistuff said…

    I personally love Jericho! i will not allow CBS to cancel it. help me save Jericho .The Save jericho campaign was made to make our voices louder for CBS to hear us. Check it out and tell your family and friends. Thank Xavier


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