Why things catch on

Some key questions about the ALS ice bucket challenge (with thanks for the links to Beth Kanter’s post discussing whether the challenge is reproducible for other nonprofits):

  • Why did you or you acquaintances participate?
  • Why was this so successful so fast in comparison on challenges like the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, Movember mustaches for men’s health, and St. Baldrick’s head-shaving for childhood cancer?
  • How does this fit into the American picture of philanthropy by type of donation and region?

The intro of Contagious began with the example of Barclay’s Prime hundred-dollar cheesesteak. We have some local examples of creative restaurants with food challenges that are designed to make people talk. The Big Texan in Amarillo offers the 72oz Steak Challenge, and Wholly Cow in Abilene offers the Wholly Grail challenge.

Important take-aways from class today :

  • Keys to the ice bucket challenge’s success, beginning to consider how it fits in the STEPPS paradigm.
  • Social media as word of mouth.
  • Social currency and ways to generate it.

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