This post is a rant with a direction. I hear so many people talk about supporting a cause but in the end everything they’re doing is ineffective. If you are working for a cause, or boycotting something, you need to read this. The companies you boycott don’t know it and therefore do not care. If you don’t let them know, if you don’t have a petition somewhere then your efforts are in vain.
For example, many people are upset at the RIAA and MPAA for many different reasons. Every time I see an article about how the RIAA sued a 12 year old’s parents for $15,000 for their child’s file sharing activities there are 100 comments immediately following saying, “If this is the way the RIAA is going to treat us then I’m going to boycott them and start downloading music.” This is not an effective measure. If you are boycotting them but don’t tell them how are they supposed to know? Same as if you boycotted KFC because of the inhuman way they treat chickens. KFC doesn’t know you are boycotting them. In any cause you need a way to make your decision known to the offending party. You need to get statistics too the offending party. That is what they understand.
Steps to make a change (online):
1. Start a petition
2. Deliberately outline your cause and desired outcome
3. Pass it around
4. Send reports to the company
This is just an example an outline to follow. Think if it was the other way around. If you were in charge of a massive company it’s not unusual to get people that complain about the way you do things. Most department managers in these companies would not assume a few squeaky wheels represent their whole consumer spectrum. But if they receive emails, letters or phone calls frequently then maybe after the first 1000, 5000, or 50,000 they’ll take note. If the media hears that 1,000,000 do not like the practices of say, the RIAA, then it is out in the open and that almost always causes them to make a move.
Other avenues for change are writing things on your blog or posting a video. Recently an AOL customer tried to cancel his subscription only to get hassled by their customer service department. He recorded the conversation, put it on the internet and blogged about it. The conversation was shown on national television shows such as CNN and youtube.com and AOL changed it’s policy.
You can make a change.