Christian Long

Alexis Ohanian: How to Make a Splash in Social Media

In TED Talks on May 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Extra credit reflection by KEITH C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Alexis Ohanian:  How to Make a Splash in Social Media

Alex starts off the talk by explaining how he starting a website with a few friends of his. On his site, Reddit, you can submit anything and if the people in your network community liked it they could vote it up or down. He then explained how there was an environmental organization where they are trying to stop the Japanese government on their whaling campaign. So too put an end to the killings of these whales they decided to place tracking devices on them. For some reason that doesn’t make sense to me, they wanted to place tracking devices on these Whales. So to do this they decided to hold a poll with all the different names see which names where most popular. So they had all these serious thoughtful names for the tracking devices, but then there was the name, “Mister Splashy Pants.” When I first saw this part of the video, was a bit confused as to why that would even be a legitimately optional name. However as the video goes on, the story had an important message. This name became the most popular and everyone began to talk about it. Many websites like Reddit began to have post about how it was a good name. Alex and his friends even changed their logo to help the cause. After all of these websites started to promote the name, the percent that this name was voted went up from 5% to 70%! To me this is truly amazing and just goes to show how fast people can agree on something over the internet.

Even after the environmental organization said that it wasn’t a real option and they wanted one of their more serious names to win, people became more driven to make sure that the name of that tracking device was named, “Mister Splashy Pants.” I find it funny how Alex points out that one of the main reasons that everyone probably voted for this name is because everyone wants to hear their news anchor say, “Mister Splashy Pants.” After it was decided that that was going to be its name, the organization began to make everything fro shirts to pins with “Mister Splashy Pants” on it.

What is amazing to me is that they actually accomplished their goal and the Japanese called off their whaling expedition. At the end of the video, I like how Alex points out how great the internet really is. He emphasizes how no one’s link is any better than anyone else’s. Another great thing about the internet is that it cost absolutely nothing to put something up like this.

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