If you would have read Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody or read some of the stories from China in NYT or watched the TED talk then you must be familiar with all those stories where a lot of people come together and achieve a big task otherwise seems not so possible.
I love curating such stories and I want to share one such from India as it might get unnoticed by traditional media. On Tuesday 1st Nov 2011, I noticed some of my friends have shared a post on Facebook and it seemed to me like a weak signal. I thought of tracking the same.
The post was from a guy probably in his twenties Jitender Chawla (Facebook profile didn’t show much info because of privacy settings). He shared a picture from his album which was his father’s who went missing on the same day. He has given a small description below the image and appeal was to help him find his father. People who saw the post were sharing it. To me sharing this post is like an analogy of asking someone to distribute the pamphlets on your behalf. It is just that making that pamphlet of someone missing was very quick and free of cost.
I was tracking the number of shares after every day. Wednesday it already crossed 9000 shares. Thursday some 34000 , Friday 60000 and now by the end of it. It is 84000+ shares. If we go by Facebook analogy then on average a person has 130 friends. So , a single share can result in 130 people viewing it on average. So, this event might have resulted in more than 8.4 – 84 lakh people noticing it. (if we take one share was viewed by 10-100 unique people, depending on what assumption you might want to take)
Last night Jitender posted the good news. He got back his father and he was thanking everyone for sharing the news and helping him.
We at MixORG are also involved in doing educational workshops in various institutes. During this incident I mentioned this story in an engineering college and atleast half of the class (20 students) knew about the post. But, they didn’t realize the power of their participation and nor the extent of virality in the post. We are witnessing a phenomenon where everybody has got power to make a difference and if we start realizing that power. Probably we can do much more!
Sachin from MixORG Team