Why Malcolm Gladwell is Wrong!

A few weeks ago, Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, wrote in The New Yorker about Twitter, Facebook and social media. In his article, near the end he argued:

[Social media] makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact.

I have enjoyed many of Gladwell’s books and highly respect him. But I think he got this one wrong. The best example of this is this year’s Big Blue Test video:

We asked the community (the diabetic blogosphere, nonprofit geeks, friends, family… you name it) to watch this video and share it, because (literally), each view equals a donation that will help a child with diabetes in need.

How is this possible? Roche Diabetes Care will make a donation of 75 cents for every view the video receives between Nov. 1 and Nov. 14 (World Diabetes Day) up to 100,000 views, for a maximum donation of $75,000. These funds will be donated to the Diabetes Hands Foundation and they will use the donation to help the Life for a Child program, run by the International Diabetes Federation, and Insulin For Life, two global, humanitarian organizations that provide diabetes medication and supplies to children in the world’s poorest countries.

What kind of impact can $75,000 make for these programs? Ron Raab, President of Insulin For Life told us:

“Every time someone watches this video, it will make a real contribution to someone actually staying alive. These donations go a long, long way. In places we assist, like Ecuador, less than 50 dollars keeps a person needing insulin alive for an entire year as it covers the transport cost for us to send the donated insulin.”

What has the response to the campaign been so far?
Amazing! We’re about to hit 70,000 views, 700 likes and 300 comments and have five more days ahead of us to reach the 100,000 views goal. On Twitter, there have been more than 2,200 tweets including #bigbluetest in the past 7 seven days.

By the time, the donation is made, the lives of thousands of children with diabetes in need will have been saved. If THAT is not making an impact, then I don’t know what to say to Gladwell… So, if you have not watched the video yet, please check out the Big Blue Test video. If you have watched it, take a couple of minutes and watch it again. Regardless, watch it and share it.

And if you are Malcolm Gladwell and you are reading this… please watch it and share it too! 😉

Update:
As of Nov. 19, 2010, the video had been watched nearly 120,000 times. We reached the goal of 100,000 the evening of Saturday, Nov. 13 and Roche will be making the donation of $75,000 they pledged to help children with diabetes in need.