I’m Going To Slip Gently Into Your Infobubble
Much of this site will be given over to my brilliant (read: not brilliant) ideas regarding how to raise awareness about the urgency of the climate change threat. Here’s the first one. First some background:
There are two things that any Climateer worth her carbon should do:
- Persuade skeptics and fence-sitters that climate change is a real, urgent problem, and that they should pay attention to it.
- Persuade believers to get off their duffs and join the effort to fix it.
Today’s idea is designed to accomplish the first task.
The difficulty of the task lies in finding a way to put climate change in front of people who aren’t looking for it. This is hard because, especially now, we have great power over the information coming to us. The information economy has gotten us all stuck inside of self-reinforcing infobubbles.
Jumping into someone’s infobubble without permission is intrusive, and requires delicacy. If you stand on a street-corner, screaming passages from “An Inconvenient Truth” at passersby, you’ll fail. Most of us would take even the Guy-Who-Screams-Leviticus over the Guy-Who-Screams-Gore.
You’ve got to slip gently into the infobubble.
Here’s my new idea about one way to do it:
Bars and coffee shops all over the US, in every city, hold weekly trivia-nights. Weekly trivia-nights I say. The attendees aren’t thinking about climate change; they come for a good time. Nobody gets offended at the trivia presented at these events, because it’s incidental. The idea is to persuade trivia-night organizers to include Climate Change trivia.
Here’s what you do: You go to the trivia-night organizer and tell her that as a public service, you wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to hold a trivia-night with a Climate Change theme.
If she says no, ask if she’s willing to incorporate just a few Climate Change questions. If she still says no, don’t sweat it. Move on to the next place. There are a lot of bars.
When you approach the organizer, you should do so with carefully constructed Climate Change trivia questions already in hand, in the right format, to show you mean business and that the organizer won’t have to do any extra work.
Also, request that there be no special announcement about the event beforehand. If people know beforehand that there will be a special theme, the audience might self-select.
Ok, what should the trivia questions be? I’m working up a set (and would love help if you, beautiful reader, want to suggest questions), and I have a guiding principle: the questions must be factual. The more factual they are, the less offensive they’ll be to skeptics, and the more credible you’ll be. Plus, duh, trivia is about facts.
Caveat: I don’t know how brilliant my idea is because I haven’t acted on it. But I will, and I’ll post on how it goes. It’ll either confirm my cleverness or it’ll be a big fat fail that I can milk for yuks. Works for me either way.
If successful, I’ll recruit others to try it. Since this blog is new and my readership puny, I need help. Please share this post to help me find people interested in trying the idea out. If you are, contact me here.
-From the Sea
Posted January 01, 2011 in Smashing Ideas | 10 Comments on I’m Going To Slip Gently Into Your Infobubble