As I continue my graduate course research in social change, an opportunity to participate in an online social movement opened and shortly thereafter became highly active in the organization’s efforts. As a social media producer, the entertainment industry is at the forefront of my focus. My vocation entails the authorship of blog posts, the production of video and audio products as well as maintaining social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for clients. In short, I receive and process an enormous amount of online information.
I recently discovered a Facebook post asking for assistance in saving a popular BBC television series called Merlin. The final episode aired Christmas Eve of 2012 in the UK and began airing in the US territory a few weeks ago on the SyFy Channel. The abrupt cancellation has stirred great passion in the viewer’s leaving many deeply saddened by the decision of its cancellation. Not thinking twice, I subscribed to their Facebook page and began a dialog. Within a few days we began to implement ideas and strategies.
Enthusiastic and inspired I offered my social media services to assist with marketing efforts. The focus and drive of the coordinator was impressive. His charismatic charm as a leader was immediately revealed and his organizational skills were impressive. He had already implemented the distribution and scheduling of specific instructions and daily tasks. This was an integral component for my motivation in joining. The timing was right. I presented a short video for promotion as a sample. The idea of the video was to serve as a tool to attract recruits and assist in spreading the word.
Headquarters is based in the UK. The international time difference did not allow for instant feedback. The video was uploaded on YouTube at the end of the evening and included images and a score from the show for enhanced effectiveness. The end credit included recruitment contact information and was temporarily assigned a movement name. The following day the positive response received from the movement’s leader was overwhelming. It was selected as the organization’s official video (link posted below) and a temporary name (The Merlinian Movement) took shape. It is still in the early storming and norming stages as the collective continues with its organizing and strategic planning.
Gilbert and Gilbert (1992) have identified what they describe as “the togetherness force.” They postulate that this force is responsible for urging individuals to band together comparing it to the activities commonly observed in a herd. Herds function as an emotional entity causing unified movement at the sign of danger. This togetherness force can be observed in humans that coalesce, organize and move together as a unit from the perceived dangers that rally their efforts to become champions and agents of change (Gilbert & Gilbert, 1992). Although this particular social movement centers on wholesome family entertainment, rather than a topic that involves human rights, it is equally important to the collective. The passions from this class of social herd are invoked from what Storm (2005) suggests is a missing hybrid from society based on the nature of viewers’ appetite for mythology and good story telling. Myths are important because they give us an intuitive explanation as to why things appear and happen. They have the ability to broaden a rational understanding of our world and provide a common ground that allows us to experience both heroes and villains (sometimes as the same character). In an environment of evolving moral issues, many aspects of our reality are called into question. Mythology is a kind of source code that helps us gage our own moral compass (Storm, 2005).
This peaceful movement consists of diverse individuals located worldwide. The love of mythology and the retelling of the ancient Arthurian tale uplift and touch the soul. There are no sit-ins, protests, or picketing involved in this movement. The participants in just a few short weeks have created a solid global network in a virtual environment to pursue their passion. Through the use of the internet and social media outlets the organization continues to expand and coalesce. The intent is to urge producers at the BBC (or rally interest from other networks like the SyFy Channel) to resurrect the program. The SyFy Channel was responsible for the resurgence of the popular series Stargate SG-1. This strategic move was a key component that elevated the status of the SyFy Channel. They went on to enjoy success as a major player in the television network arena and the Stargate franchise achieved unprecedented success that included several spin-off series. This is the model that gives the organization credence and incentive to rally together and focus their efforts to achieve success
For More information join us on Facebook or Twitter:
Merlin2return or Twitter: @merlin2return.
The Official Movement video: http://youtu.be/xiheKr9zOew
Gilbert, R., & Gilbert, R. M. (1992). Extraordinary relationships: A new way of thinking about human interactions. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Storm, J. (2005). Approaching the possible: The world of Stargate SG-1. Toronto, Canada: BCW Press.