SoFoBoMo and soft promotion
It might just be me, but I’m of the view that photographers fall into two categories with respect to SoFoBoMo:
- those who read about it, and think “Hmm. That sounds like it might be interesting. I’ll give that a whirl.”
- those who read about it, and think “Hmm. That’s the stupidest damnfool idea I’ve ever heard. No way I’ll do that.”
I’m further of the view it’s unlikely you’re going to persuade people in one camp to switch to the other. About all we can do in terms of promotion is seek to get the information about SoFoBoMo out in front of the eyes of as many photographers as we can. It’s not about selling it as an idea, it’s about spreading the word so that everyone who might want to participate actually hears about it.
At the same time, I’d like to see SoFoBoMo expand. Last year, we had 170 people sign up. As I write this, the SoFoBoMo website reports that we have 244 people signed up so far for this year. I think that’s a good sign.
I sent off a nice email to Mike Johnston, of TOP fame. Mike graciously posted the info I sent him on TOP, and as a result, there was a big surge in signups. So getting the info out there works. The problem is that I don’t like hard sells, and I suspect lots of other folks don’t either. I don’t like people coming here on my blog and using it as a venue to promote things, and so I suspect the people who run other sites (especially the larger photo communities with forums and stuff) don’t either.
I know that there are folks out there doing their part to spread the word. If you’re a big participant in some online (or offline, for that matter) photo community, I’d like to encourage you to spread the word, but to spread it in as sensitive a was\y as possible. I’d hate to see someone send out massive junk email to everyone on the planet spamming for SoFoBoMo.
But if you have a few friends you think might be interested, individual emails to each of those friends might let them know about SoFoBoMo when they otherwise wouldn’t. If you’re a teacher, you might let your students know about it (in a very very non-coercive way, please). If you’re a regular participant on a mailing list, then a brief note about SoFoBoMo from you to the list might be appropriate (but signing up for a list just so you can post about SoFoBoMo would be sort of impolite).
I know (because I’ve gotten cc’ed on email, etc.) that there are folks out there promoting SoFoBoMo. That’s great, and I want to thank each and every one of them, and I’d like to encourage everyone to help spread the world, too. If everyone who has signed up could spend just a few minutes spreading the word, we’d get a lot more coverage.
But I also encourage everyone to be polite, and be nice. No spamming. No signing up for forums or mailing lists just to post about SoFoBoMo. Being nice and polite means that it’s harder to spread the word, I know. But in the end being rude will not get the result we want, and being nice will.
[just to reassure everyone, I’m not aware of anyone doing anything inappropriate to promote SoFoBoMo. I just wanted to get this out there, before it happened. To head off any potential problems, as it were. I know how easy it is to find something that excites you, and get carried away]