Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Never Underestimate Nerds in Large Groups

On Monday 17 December 2007 at 12:00 (EST) the "Power Project for Awesome" hit the net, or more specifically, YouTube. What was this project? It was a fabulous idea thought up and made possible by John & Hank Green, the brothers of Brotherhood 2.0, in which they asked all of their NerdFighters (their fans) to make a video on YouTube, all with the same thumbnail center image. In these videos the brothers asked us, the video-making NerdFighters, to promote a charity. Then, over the course of the next 24 hours the NerdFighters took the web, commenting, rating, favoriting, and subscribing to these hundreds of videos in order to get them onto the Most Discussed Page on YouTube. This way, all the videos on that page would have the same thumbnail and would also help the cause to decrease WorldSuck. And it worked.

This project was one of the best uses for the internet and social networking I've ever seen. It combined viral marketing with charity in a way to decrease WorldSuck by increasing the amount of awesome the NerdFighters daily put out. John and Hank have really come upon something great here and have banded together over 4000 people worldwide and have not let them hanging. The project started out with two brothers making videos and grew to a movement. These two did not forget to be awesome.

The impact of this project--not just the Power Project for Awesome--but Brotherhood 2.0 in general--is unbelievable and I doubt we've even seen the full extent of its affect yet. In the beginning, John and Hank were fun to watch and gave us entertainment, then they gathered a following which grouped every weekday in the comment threads on the videos (both on YouTube & And then it grew to a large, awesome community with the creation of the Brotherhood 2.0 forum, My Pants. In My Pants (that joke never gets old) the NerdFighters were able to connect with each other and talk about ways to decrease WorldSuck and generally spread around the awesome. But the Power Project was a whole other level of awesome. It took a great idea and great people and combined them with an even greater cause. All it took was a mailing list and a few thousand devoted NerdFighters. YouTube didn't know what hit them.

It all goes to show you, don't underestimate the power of nerds (or rather, NerdFighters) in large groups.

Brotherhood 2.0 is winding down to its last days now, ending on the 31st of December 2007 with the end of the year. It's been a good run, but all good things must come to an end. We will miss the daily videos, but I don't see the end of the NerdFighter movement anywhere in sight. These are the kinds of things that last. Trekkies will never give up their costumes and stop going to conventions and the NerdFighters will never stop their fight against WorldSuck.

Thank you, John and Hank Green, for giving us something special.

And now, I will link to my favorite videos involved in this project, as well as more articles & information on it.
Hank Green's explanation of the project
John Green's video on the project
Power Project for Awesome: italktosnakes, cause: First Book
Power Project for Awesome: skystreak22 in which they show us a computer from 1985, cause: Hearts & Horses
Power Project for Awesome: ransriggs, causes: one laptop for child; Reading is Fundamental
Power Project for Awesome: SongsfromaHat which features an awesome song, cause: Mr. Holland's Opus
Power Project for Awesome: Charlieissocoollike, cause: Teenage Cancer Trust
Power Project for Awesome: Johnnysmooth, cause: SOS Children's Villiage (we share this cause)
Power Project for Awesome: Namlhots in which Tom donates a kidney, causes: Red Cross & Locks of Love (we share this cause)
Power Project for Awesome: ObsessiveJez, hey that's me!, causes: Locks of Love & SOS Children's Villiage (part project/part Insomniac Theatre, my infrequent vlog)
All of the videos involved in the Power Project for Awesome
Brotherhood 2.0
The Brotherhood 2.0 channel on YouTube
The My Pants Forum

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