Leadership

Social Media Roundup: Rekindling a Viral Fire

A social media campaign taking on the NSA hopes to rekindle the spirit of another successful online protest. Also: A company's radical rebranding may not be for everyone, but you could certainly learn from Basecamp's boldness.

When fighting for a political cause, the tech world isn’t afraid to show its teeth. More about its February 11 push, “The Day We Fight Back,” in today’s Social Media Roundup:

“We can win this.”

Mass coordination against mass surveillance: On January 18, 2012, a coordinated online campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act, which drew the support of thousands of websites worldwide, was so successful that it effectively derailed a piece of legislation that had bipartisan support. Can lightning strike twice? That’s what supporters of “The Day We Fight Back,” a similar viral campaign challenging the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, are hoping. Among the groups taking part in the February 11 campaign are the Free Software Foundation, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “We can win this. We can stop mass spying,” EFF’s Adi Kamdar writes. “With public opinion polls on our side, unprecedented pressure from presidential panels and oversight boards, and millions of people speaking out around the world, we’ve got a chance now to change surveillance policy for good.” The campaign has thus far generated more than 50,000 calls to legislators and more than 113,000 emails. (ht @EFF)

Narrowing the Focus

When less is more: The tech company 37Signals, best known for its web-based productivity products and the creation of the widely used Ruby on Rails programming language, decided to rebrand last week, but it’s move stood in sharp contrast to the way many companies handle success. Instead of expanding into new markets and approaches, the firm announced it was selling its secondary products and renaming itself after its most popular one—Basecamp. Harvard Business Review writer Ron Ashkenas, a managing partner at Schaffer Consulting, says the strategy is audacious, but also one with merit. “It’s a natural human tendency to want to do more,” he writes. “Most of us have trouble walking away from tempting opportunities, whether it’s at the dinner table or at work. So we end up with indigestion at home and overload at work. That’s why it takes a great deal of discipline, and even courage, to slim down, both physically and strategically.” What do you think—could you prune your offerings like 37Sig—er, Basecamp just did? (ht @SmoothThePath)

Ever shut down an initiative at your association? What did you learn? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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