02 October 2007

The YouTube Challenge and Recent Dormancy

Hello Peace Bloggers!

I must apologize for the recent dormancy of the OMBFP project. I admit that I have been a little disheartened by the turnout for the YouTube Challenge. In the first 34 days of the challenge, I received 3 submissions, none of which met the criteria laid out for the competition. Two were music videos from early summer and one was a Panasonic commercial.

With less than 2 weeks to go, I did receive this video:
Which I guess wins by default, though I'm still not entirely sure of the message that it sends. I can gather from the context of the people submitting it that it's supposed to be anti-war, but the line "there's a war and we're in it and I know we can win it" backdropping images of troops fighting in Iraq sends a somewhat dubious message.

While I initially took the low turnout as a sign of disinterest in the project and OMBFP generally, I think it's more my fault. This challenge just doesn't seem to resonate with the OMBFP community... some people wrote to object to having challenges set up as competitions at all. So I find myself at a bit of a crossroads in having to re-evaluate the types of events, virtual rallies, or "competitions" that we are going to have here at all.

Finally, I think I've experienced some of the fatigue that can easily plague the peace movement at a time where nearly everyone in the United States who could be considered a "leader" is either defending the war or giving lip-service to being anti-war while planning to maintain the war for years to come. Where is our Eugene McCarthy? During Vietnam in 1968, Eugene McCarthy (running almost exclusively on an anti-war platform) took 42% of the New Hampshire primary vote against incumbent LBJ, leading directly to both RFK entering the race and LBJ withdrawing. Today, we have candidates who claim to be looking for a way out of Iraq, but say troops will likely stay there till 2013. It's hard to get excited when Dennis Kucinich, a third-party candidate, or a non-violent coup look like the only legitimate hopes we have.

For now, I will continue to try to come up with projects that match up to what you, the OMBFP community, are looking for. And of course continue to register new blogs and fill up our numbers. As always, I am open to suggestions!


14 August 2007

YouTube Challenge Begins - Post Videos Now!

The time has come to begin the YouTube Challenge!

Here are your four easy steps to participation:

1. If you haven't already, record or construct a video.
2. Go to YouTube and upload your video.
3. Send a link to your YouTube video URL to peace@bluepyramid.org.
4. Go to the YouTube Challenge page to track your video's progress and see others' videos!

I look forward to seeing everyone's creations!


01 August 2007

Announcing the YouTube Challenge!

We are proud to announce the YouTube Challenge, set to begin Wednesday, August 15th!

All the details can be found here:
YouTube Challenge.


31 July 2007

YouTube Video "August" Challenge Delayed 2 Weeks

The "August" Challenge will be starting on Wednesday, August 15th instead of tomorrow. An e-mail and website updates to this effect will be going out shortly.

Thank you.


07 June 2007

August Challenge Announcement

While there were obvious reasons for delaying the announcement of the May Challenge until it was about to be underway, there is every reason to give you plenty of time to prepare for the August Challenge...

The August Challenge will center around YouTube videos. YouTube is perhaps the fastest growing and among the most influential websites in the entire internet. Countless videos are watched by millions daily, and the best among them become sensations that travel the globe and change minds.

Your challenge for August is to make a YouTube video. There are but two requirements: that you (1) advocate peace in Iraq and (2) make some reference or mention of One Million Blogs for Peace. (You may mention other websites as well, or aspects of the peace movement, and of course give yourself the credit for creating the video!)

For the competition part of the challenge, videos cannot be posted on YouTube until August 1st. The winners will be determined by those who have the most views at the end of the day on August 30th. You may make multiple videos - as many as you want!

This should give you ample time - nearly two months - to come up with a subject, plot, and to create your YouTube video. And you need not think just in terms of traditional videos. Some of the most persuasive videos on YouTube have been made with still images and a song in the background. Or even just one stagnant image and a person's voice. Or a humble $15 webcam.

Be creative, be passionate, and express your views about the situation in Iraq. Inspire the masses!

Feel free to post questions or comments, especially if you need help with designing videos or other technical issues.

In the meantime, while you're working on that, I am trying to come up with more ideas for Virtual Rallies, taking into account the perspectives some of you have expressed in response to this week's Tuesday Topic. Stay tuned for announcements about those.

As always, please keep ideas for such rallies or other actions coming so we can make the best use of our ever-growing movement!

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01 June 2007

May Challenge Winner!

Congratulations to Transformations for dominating our May Challenge!

Transformations more than doubled the nearest competitor in the May Challenge, signing up 11 new blogs during the month of May.

As a reward, Transformations' blogger will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.

The overall consolation prize was just barely won by Sabbah's Blog, who held off a late run by Journeys with Jood for the $30 Amazon gift certificate with 14 overall referrals.

Thank you everyone who participated and helped get 99 new blogs signed up in May!


17 May 2007

Two Weeks Left in May Challenge!

There are just 14 days left in the May Challenge... you have until 11:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time) on May 31st, 2007 to have your fellow bloggers sign up with you as their referrer!

The race is heating up, and we now have an actual front-runner for the grand prize $50 Amazon gift certificate...
BlogMay Referrals

Get those folks signed up... 2 weeks is a long time!

In other news, we're closing in on 500 total blogs. A long way to go, but a good healthy start...


09 May 2007

May Challenge Field Wide Open

The May Challenge is still completely wide open, with no particular blog taking a significant advantage or lead at this point. No blog has more than one referral this month, so anyone who gets two other blogs to sign up will become the immediate frontrunner!

Here are the standings so far:

BlogMay Referrals

Get your fellow bloggers to sign up today! Don't forget that the grand prize is a $50 gift certificate from Amazon.com!


30 April 2007

May Challenge!

May Challenge

The Contest:  Refer as many blogs as possible to sign up for One Million Blogs for Peace during the month of May 2007.

The Contestants:  Anyone signed up as part of One Million Blogs for Peace, from an Inblogural through May 31st.

The Prize(s):  $50 Amazon.com gift certificate to the winner.  Other prizes as donated by OMBFPers or their supporters.

The Details:  The first challenge at One Million Blogs for Peace is designed to drive up our membership by getting you to actively recruit during the month of May.  We will periodically update a list of the top referring blogs on this page so you can keep posted.  To count towards your total, that blog must cite you as the referring source with their registration for One Million Blogs for Peace.  I will also post a list of additional prizes donated by supporters of this challenge as they become available.  Prize selection will be up to the winners, so the grand prize winner can choose which prize (s)he would like of all available prizes, then second place gets their choice of remaining prizes, & so on.  This maximizes the use of prizes by giving everyone what they most want!

Why Just May?  While the focus is on May, you will be rewarded for doing your hard recruiting work before May as well!  The top overall referrer (since OMBFP was created) who does not win the May Challenge will receive a $30 Amazon.com gift certificate!

Get Involved!  Start encouraging everyone you know to sign up today!

You can keep track of this challenge here!


18 April 2007

First Month - 86.18% Increase!

We have reached the end of the first month of One Million Blogs for Peace. We grew from 217 blogs to 404 blogs in that time, an increase of 86.18%.

This monthly rate of growth sets us on a pace to reach 376,395 blogs by the end of one year. While that number is short of our goal of 1,000,000, it would still be a very impressive number and represent a tremendous outpouring of support for peace in Iraq.

Maintaining that pace, however, may get harder as the movement gets larger, so it is imperative that everyone do all they can to spread the word and get people signed up and on board. This will be the focus of May's challenge, which will be announced soon.

Some have commented that they would like to see OMBFP be more active in doing things rather than building numbers in the movement. I see the role of OMBFP to be to do both: to grow the movement towards one million while being active in trying to accomplish things. However, it makes the most sense to focus on growth at the early stages because of the exponential nature of growth, and then work on accomplishing things once a wider audience is participating. As such, most of the rallies and challenges will continue to focus on building the base for the near future, and then give way to more action-oriented opportunities once the base is built.

Please continue to send your comments, feedback, and especially suggestions for how we can build this movement. I will be out of town for the next few days after tonight, so the list will not be updated until early next week, but please keep signing up and getting involved! (This will also be my last trip away for quite a while, so I appreciate your patience during this time.)

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15 April 2007

OMBFP Merchandise!

Two designs featuring the OMBFP logo are now available for purchase on nearly 100 products each at CafePress!

Basic OMBFP Logo

I'm One in a Million Logo

All proceeds from these products will go directly toward prizes for the OMBFP Challenges, the first of which will begin May 1st.

Please let me know if there are additional logos you would like to see on merchandise!

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18 February 2007

The Challenges

I received an e-mail question regarding the four slated "challenges" for One Million Blogs for Peace. These are tentatively set for the months of May, August, October, and January '08.

While I don't want to release the exact nature of the challenges right now (part of keeping them fair is announcing what they'll be at a set time to give everyone an equal chance to compete), I can discuss the general idea.

They will be friendly competitions between the various Blogs for Peace to generate interest in the project or to actively promote increased activism, blogging, and outreach for the anti-War movement. There will be more emphasis on getting everyone to participate in the challenges than who wins or loses, but both will probably be key in generating interest.

While the first stages of this project are predominantly an effort to get as many people as possible signed up, the "core" of the project's activity will center around the challenges.