Feb 19, 2010
There’s quite a buzz at the moment about Derek Siver’s talk at TED, Leadership lessons from a dancing guy. If you haven’t already seen it, check out the video above – it’s fantastic !
Despite the great response he got to his idea of the “First Follower”, he immediately decided that he wanted to “give it away” – as he wrote in his post First follower idea is all yours. He wants people to take the idea, and run with it.
And people are – in clever, interesting ways.
For example, Andrew Dubber has come up with what he calls The other way of following first by choosing to give away ideas of his own – one a day, every day throughout March. I advise you to keep an eye on these ideas, I’m pretty sure many of them will be very, very good.
And already, Andrew has his First Follower – well, sort of, anyway. Andrew Wicklander has commited to choosing and implementing one of Andrew’s ideas, within 30 days, as he explains in his post Dance Party.
So, by now you’re probably thinking that I’m going to jump on this bandwagon, too ?
At least, only in the sense that I’m jumping on in yet another, slightly different way.
Because yesterday I had what I think is a really, really good idea.
It was inspired by reading a great post by the inestimable Seth Godin, called Invent a holiday. His suggestion is that if you have a cause you want to promote, or an “emotion that needs social approval in order to be easily expressed”, you should make a holiday for it.
Yesterday, I realised what holiday it is that I should invent.
And, inspired by all these leaders and First Followers, I will have to become my own version of Shirtless Dancing Guy !
What’s the idea ? Simple…
Dynamic Range Day
This is a day that I hope social media and the blogosphere will use to promote the issue of the Loudness War. I’m guessing that if you read this blog, you probably know what that is, by now :-p
(If not, click that link and watch the video – it’s only a few minutes and will bring you up to speed.)
How can we achieve this ? Easy.
On Dynamic Range Day, I want you to SHOUT ALL DAY. I want you to SHOUT IN YOUR BLOG POSTS. I want you to SHOUT IN YOUR TWEETS. I want you to SHOUT ON FRIENDFEED, I want you to SHOUT ON GOOGLE BUZZ, I want you to SHOUT IN YOUR EMAILS, I want you to… well OK, you get the idea. I have a headache already. Hmm, maybe this isn’t such a great idea after all…
(In case you’re not as much of a geek as I am, I should just explain that typing ALL IN CAPS is known online as “shouting”)
[Edit to add - two years later, with hindsight, the "SHOUTING" wasn't the best bit of my idea ! It was fun but didn't really draw other people in. But Dynamic Range Day was a big success, and is still going strong - to find out what's happening this year, click here.]
All the SHOUTING is of course a witty analogy of excessively compressed, distorted, dull, lifeless Loudness War collaterally-damaged audio. EVERYTHING FLAT OUT AND RELENTLESS.
In fact, you don’t just have to SHOUT – you can distort your words in any way you see fit. Maybe your blog will suddenly turn a violent shade of lime green and orange. Maybe you suddenly use a ridiculous gothic font (all in caps, of course). Maybe your avatar will suddenly be massively over-contrast-y and hyped. Anything you see fit.
And also, you explain why you’re doing it. Tell people about the Loudness War, and why you’re opposed to it. Point people at media coverage of Death Magnetic, at TurnMeUp.org, at the TT Dynamic Range Meter, at DynamicRange.de, at this blog post, at your own blog posts, at whatever you like to get people talking about it.
Let’s get #DynamicRangeDay trending on Twitter. Let’s get the media talking about the Loudness War. Lets get this issue everywhere.
(And yes, I know I just posted about How to make your music loud, but in case you didn’t get it, the hidden message was: Don’t. And if you have to – do it it well. And don’t overdo it.)
I was so excited about this idea that I immediately blurted it out to Dean Whitbread, who laughed hugely and straight away announced that he was going to post “the shoutiest blog post ever”. Which is quite a gauntlet to throw down and means, if he wants it, that he must be my First Follower!
(See ? There was a point to that long introduction, after all…)
Dean also helped me decide:
When is the first Dynamic Range Day ?
At first I thought the obvious choice would be the anniversary of Death Magnetic’s release, but that isn’t ’till the 12th of September, and I just can’t wait that long. So, the choice is:
March 20th, 2010
Suggested by Dean, this is the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. It’s also about a month away, which seems like enough time for this idea to succeed – or, fall flat on it’s face. And, to swing the deal, it’s polar opposite, the Autumnal Equinox is on… drum-roll please… September 22nd.
Well… it’s close enough
So why do I need your help ?
Because at the moment, it’s just me, dancing in a field, SHOUTING to myself.
(And maybe Dean)
I need your help ! I don’t have a plan for this, I only thought of it yesterday.
I need your ideas, I need your blog posts. I need someone to design a logo, and a Twibbon, and one of those banner things that you can put up in the corner of your site, and the code to make it work.
I need you to talk about this idea, to tell your friends, to blog about it, and to spread the word.
I know people who read this blog want an end to the Loudness War – let’s SHOUT ABOUT IT !
…so, clearly I can’t be Shirtless Dancing Guy – that’s already been done. I suppose that makes me… Quietly Spoken But Asking People To SHOUT Guy ?