Monday, July 27, 2009

Grassroots, Baby!

So I read this article here about how the Sears Tower is being renamed:

Sears Tower Renamed

As can be expected, the name change has been met with some protest. After all, you hate to see a name as organic and innocent as "Sears Tower" be displaced by something commercial. In fact, according to the article, literally THOUSANDS of people have started a facebook group to protest the renaming. With an entire facebook group against them, how long do you think the new name will last?

Which brings me to my point: as a rule of thumb, when a story cites that a facebook group has started to protest something and then cites that X number of people have joined it, you can pretty much bet the farm that whatever those people are against will go on unaffected by their facebook group. Time and time again this is true. There is no red flag more associated with a lost cause than a facebook group. Gathering people together on the internet to complain together will never change much of anything. It reminds me of a folksy phrase my grandfather used to like to use when he saw something he considered useless: "That's about as useful as an online petition."

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