Friday Perspective - #IceBucketChallenge Goes Mainstream

Boston Globe sports columnist Christopher Gasper has a recurring column he calls iThink, which is made up of random sports thoughts he puts together all in one column. Each thought is a paragraph or two in length and separated by his beginning of a new thought - “I think….” Basically it compiles his recent perspectives, opinions and thoughts that don’t warrant a full column. I love the idea, so decided to take a page from him and begin doing it myself on a weekly basis. I won’t go in the iThink mold though; that’s too much of a blatant rip off. Instead, my thoughts will simply be separated by a line.

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I first heard about the #IceBucketChallenge early this summer. I was at a pool party and someone at the party received the challenge and needed to accept it that day to meet the deadline. That was the first instance that I or any of the others at the party had heard of it. Since that day I feel like I’ve seen it everywhere. Just today I read articles on BostInno and the Boston Globe about it. Yesterday Mashable covered it. Earlier this week there were numerous articles about New England Patriots star, Julian Edelman, taking the challenge and then issuing it to teammates Tom Brady, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski. On top of that, I’ve seen countless other instances of people taking the challenge on my Facebook newsfeed this week.

It’s safe to say the #IceBucketChallenge has become mainstream and, though I always avoid using the word, viral. And that’s a good thing. While the movement has been criticized by some for ‘only’ raising awareness and not money, as that BostInno article I linked to mentioned, this is still the early days. This campaign was only started this summer. Compare it to the buying cycle of a purchase. You go through a number of steps before making most purchases and the first is awareness. So while it’s too early to tell if the #IceBucketChallenge will have a significant affect on ALS donations, raising awareness around the disease is a good path to getting there.

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Why does ESPN owned sports and entertainment site Grantland not publish new content on weekends? Things still happen in the sports and entertainment worlds during weekends. Between full time staff and part time contributors they have a ton of content sources. Are there other sites that focus on editorial rather than news that also follow this approach?

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I’m doing an experiment with long-form content publishing site, Medium. When the company announced it would be changing its model around collections - authors can no longer submit an article to be added to a collection, nor can collections owners add any article they want to their collection; collections now must have dedicated writers and only articles from those writers can appear within a collection - I hated the idea. The benefit of Medium was discovery. I subscribed to various collections and learned of new writers through that process. I would now be very limited in who I was reading. Most importantly for me as a writer, it would be very difficult for readers to discover my articles since I was not part of the “staff” for any collection.

At first I vowed to stop using Medium. LinkedIn’s long-form publishing is much more beneficial to me as both a writer and reader. But then I got curious if my assumptions about the new Medium were accurate. Since the new collections policies were implemented I’ve published five articles to Medium. Those five articles have received a grand total of 13 views - much, much lower than any article I posted previously, which were all submitted (and accepted) to collections.

So far it looks like my analysis is proving to be accurate.

This post is syndicated from its original publishing on LinkedIn.