Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012: A viral video that could make a difference

As a 52-year-old former journalist, lawyer, and City Manager who grew up reading the newspaper using two hands (as opposed to a finger swipe on the iPad), I continue to work hard to transform my old-fashioned habits into new ones that can survive in the relatively recent (at least to me) world of social media.

I am still having a hard time transitioning from the 24-hour news cycle to the 24-second news cycle, so it is no surprise that once again, my 17-year-old son, Jack, turned me on this amazing viral video at dinner tonight. It has been on YouTube for a couple of days, but is spreading like Stuxnet through cyberspace and the blogosphere.

This extremely well-done video -- while a maybe a little long for some people -- is a powerful example of social media at its best. Only a few weeks after watching the Academy Awards on TV, I now think that maybe the best writers, directors, and actors (people who wished they were actors in a movie,not participants in real life) are the new luminaries producing and appearing in these videos.

This web video is a prime example of how social media can mobilize the masses to literally change the world. With the Internet, everyone (including a charismatic young man from Uganda) now has a voice -- a voice that speaks to politicians, world leaders, and everyday people. Videos like this one -- not wars, bombs, or terrorists -- could be the future of our world. Let's certainly hope so.
Here's the video:

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