Many people are wondering how it happened and thanks to the internet, these things can be tracked down to some extent.
Here is a chart of the progress that FMS has made in the last few days.
As you can plainly see the ball started rolling between midnight on the 6/4 and midnight on 6/5.
What happened in that time? Well a whole bunch of people started talking about it.
I have gone back and logged the 63 (direct) tweets that came in that period and I have created a chart demonstrating how, through the day, the project was given the opportunity to be exposed to more and more people.
Here is said chart.
Now there is one liberty I have taken with the chart and that is Retweets. Although the retweets did not occur in the exact minute that a message was sent, I have charted the number of twitter accounts, that in the end, received the message. So this shows the overall impact of any message over the course of the day.
As you can see, wow, the project got tweeted to 180,000 accounts, and this was only the twitter! With supporters showing up in droves, the social networks churning and nearly three months before the deadline, there was no way this project was not going to get to 10,000 by September. It was simply a question of how fast.
So, how did this happen? I talked with a few of the tweeters and it appears that A Mighty Girl is the point that the fuse was lit (yeah yeah, mixed metaphors) with this posting. The site has 46000 likes and their post on FMS got nearly 800 likes and like, over 600 shares! After that point it is difficult to tell who is getting the message from who, unless they directly state it, but there are certainly some stand out individuals who clearly kept the ball rolling until it took off.
- Sarah Manley @nerdyapple is the first tweet by someone with a significant number of followers (3632)
- Simon Ragoonanan @SimonRagoonanan did a multitude of direct tweets. The results of users retweeting his messages account for over a third of all accounts tweeted and was the user who apparently got the attention of Toward the Stars.
- Katrina Wheeler @katrinawheeler came in second only to Simon in total accounts tweeted
- Richard Kadrey @Richard_Kadrey was the most efficient at getting the message out. With a single tweet he contacted 6494 accounts directly and their retweets brought the total to 27300.
- Toward the Stars was the organization (excepting of course, A Mighty Girl ) with the biggest impact with 51,554 followers.
Now if anybody wants to do an encore, here is a great little project that I have been pushing for a while but just have not been able to jumpstart:
Handicapped Accessibility Pack
People have rallied behind the imbalance of women/girl Minifigs. Well consider for a moment how the disabled feel. Then stop considering and vote for the Handicapped Accessibility Pack.
Lessons Learned for Cuusoo Creators OR Anyone Trying to Make Anything Cool Happen
- The key to success is passion. Make sure your project has a passionate audience and that the content can inspire people to action, not just support. They have to see your project and be so inspired that they turn to a compatriot and say, "HEY! there is a toy over here I really think you should see."
- Use social media. I say this time and again. You need to get your project out there where people can see it.
- I really hope by the time you have gotten to this part of the article
that you have already taken the few moments out of your time it takes to
vote to get a wheelchair made. It would be very sad if you supported FMS because you believe in the power and impact of relatable role-play in toys on the psyche of young children but you did not stop to support a toy that helps disabled children feel they have a place in the world too. So here is your second chance, go ahead and do it now, I am not in a hurry, Step "4" will be waiting for you when you get back. Oh, and don't forget to post it to social media too!
- Be Persistent with the Social Media! I had tried and tried to get FMS out in front of people again and again and nothing happened. This is proof that it is about timing and repetition as much as anything else. What follows is not meant to reduce the significance of A Mighty Girl's contribution in any way, shape, or form, but most of are not awesome websites with multitudes of followers. That being said, check out what what Simon Ragoonanan accomplished after he heard about the project.
He is one person and he reached a lot of people. He did this by tapping on the shoulders of social giants and saying "take a look at this." So did Katrina Wheeler. Katrina had the attitude it takes to tell a lot of people to take a look. A lot of people never "returned their calls" but enough certainly did to get the word out.
Problem is, the big fish you want to get the attention of probably have 50 other people tapping on their shoulder so keep at it. If your project is good, one of them will take notice eventually.
- Ask people to post it again, after they already have. In talking with A Mighty Girl I learned they had posted this project before, some time last year in fact. This time around they just took it upon themselves to do it again. They had a small community back then so the impact now as significant. The fact of the matter though is that online communities are changing all the time. As long as it serves the community of the poster it should not bother long time patrons who saw it the first time around. To them, it is a status update, but the all the new members of the community, it is a fresh opportunity. I have seen great success with this in other projects as well, though of course not as successful as this time around.