Friday, December 28, 2007

Collective Kvetching on The Point

Over the fall semester, I got too busy to blog, but I bookmarked a couple of items that seemed to be worth thinking about. One was an article on Webware about a site called The Point.

The Point is a new site to help instigators collect the wishes of the masses and to get participants to pledge to take action when a "tipping point" of participation is reached.

For example, if you are upset that Southwest Airlines no longer lets families with small children board first, you can join the pledge to boycott Southwest once 2,000 other people also sign up. As soon as the desired number of people sign on to the campaign, the pledge is activated. But if they don't, you're not left twisting in the wind executing a meaningless protest.

The Point can also work with financial action: You can join a pledge to participate in an event if enough other people sign on, as well. If the pledge goals are met, your credit card (that you're previously submitted) is debited. If not, you're not charged.

I wish I'd thought of this---and I hope that The Point reaches it's own tipping point in use. It's great to see people coming up with new collective action using the web, and it will be interesting to see how/if this catches on once it is integrated with social networks (which is planned).