I recently posted about the difficulty in planning for a video to go viral. Sarah Silverman’s the Great Schlep is possibly one of the best viral efforts in recent public affairs memory NOT just because the video has been seen over 925,000 in three weeks, but because the video was part of a call to action that resulted in actually moving people to act.
Silverman’s Great Schlep was part of a campaign by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, who also sponsored the website JewsVote.org. On Columbus Day weekend, Jewish grandkids descended on their grandparents’ communities in Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama on Nov. 4.
Cute and comical…yes. But this effort is also a great example of how mixing Web 2.0 tools (web video, blogging and social network sites) and “boots on the ground” can play out in a major battleground state.
Let’s not forgot the slim 500+ vote margin of victory that propelled George W. Bush to victory over Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. That vote margin again could be the difference in 2008. And, the effort made possible by the Web 2.0 tools could actually be the difference for Obama in Florida.
The lesson here is the formula. Web 2.0 is best when coupled with a way to connect ideas to people and then people to people. Most importantly, if the people to people connection can be brought to real life, then the public affairs effort is a winner. It’s worked in local campaigns and now in this subset of the presidential campaign.