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QotD: Persuasion

Question: Given that online petitions have what seems to be a 100% failure rate, has the Internet performed in a lackluster fashion in informing or persuading masses of people, and effecting change on the intended targets?

My Answer: In cases, it has been a failure. Petitions have a huge failure rate (I'm guessing it's near 100%, and I've never seen one work). However, as with the last election and Rathergate, etc. we have started to see some of the Internet's power realized. We're not there yet. If the city of Erie hatches some lame-brain plan, it'd take weeks for Google to find a site I might create to bring up my points without a few thousand dollars in marketing money, and who knows how many would find it. I'd still have to get news (TV, radio, print) coverage to be successful. Thus, I do feel the Internet has been a lackluster vehicle of persuasion. Getting better, again, but has not achieved what it's capable of achieving.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

4 Responses to "QotD: Persuasion"

  1. Does any one remember the petition for the original imac to have a 56k modem?

    Was that an online one, or simply pressure from the analysts and media to not include the 33.6k one they original where planning on?

  2. I don't think the petition had much at all to do with that: phone calls and emails to Apple did it. And you didn't answer the question much. Even if one petition out of the thousands we've seen worked, that's hardly overwhelming.

  3. Most online petitions are just lame... or the backers live in dreamland. OS X on Intel.. change OS X from a 'BSD' core to a linux core... Apple should this Apple should that... yes I know its a Mac-ish look at online petitions but to me thats the first thing I think of when I see the concept of petitions online. Not to mention seems more American than a good door-to-door petition drive; human interaction is the key.

    Now head over to or look at the top 10 or most active most are down right silly. They have to take the good with the bad, and more often than not you remember the bad. I think those sites could work if they only host legitimate petitions. However you then have the ask what is legitimate or deserving.

    I think I should start a petition to remove those caution stickers on electrical devices warning you not use them near water or your risk the chance of getting fried... I would tend to wonder if you really want someone walking down the street who doesn't know its a bad idea to toast an ego while taking a bath.

  4. Kids who can't read think those stickers are weird too, and they ask "why" a lot. Then they find out about what those stickers say.