Watch a smart mob in action right now. The growing mob is google bombing. You, too, can use this powerful tool when you are outraged or inspired by some action and you want to draw the world’s attention to it.
Within 24 hours the bloggers of Brazil managed to stick two google search words, “National Shame” on the action they protested.
The president of Brazil’s Senate, Renan Calheiros, traded political favors with a construction company that covered some of his personal expenses. He almost got away with it. The Ethics Committee of the Senate recommended that he be impeached. In spite of that indictment, in a closed-door session, his Senate colleagues voted to let him off the hook. In the past, there was not much the people of Brazil could do at that point. But this Internet-connected world has changed the rules of engagement.
Outraged, Rodrigo Stulzer jumped into action. On his blog he advocated that others join him in google bombing.
He asked other bloggers to write about the incident, and include the words “national shame” in their blogs and in their comments in each other’s blogs. Thus the growing crowd of online voices cements the connection between the Senate of Brazil, the vote it took and the words “national shame.” Collectively they raise that connection to the top of searches done via google for “national shame.”
In effect Stulzer and others proved that the Senators can run away from their vote but they can’t hide from it.
“Instead of going around posting that the Senate is the national shame, I'd suggest you to do something different: NATIONAL SHAME. The more people link to these words like I've done, the quicker Google will show the world that the Brazilian Senate is the national shame. So, is anybody up for helping?”
I was intrigued by how various bloggers kept the pressure up. Read the rest of Goes’ story to see more ways to keep a campaign alive and spreading. Yet notice how many stories vy for that ignoble top search spot of "national shame."
Cyber-activism is happening all over the world. We can use variations of these same tools to protest a dangerous product or to celebrate companies that are going green or involving customers in product design. See what comes up now, for example, when one searches for an honest political candidate or a valuable service or a safe product.
By the way, what comes up first when you google search your organization, favorite interest, cause or colleagues? (We’ve all googled our own name at some point.) As the world flattens it become a more accessible world stage for any of us to play a bigger role. We just have to discover smarter ways to partner with each other and harness the power of us.