Cultivated Wit
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Cultivated Wit

  • The campaign lived on a made up crowdfunding site for massive infrastructure projects we called Megagogo. Just to be abundantly clear: We made this up. It’s not real.
  • That Megagogo page saw 200,000+ visitors within the first 48 hours.
  • The video had more than 120,000 plays within that same window of time.
  • Those numbers occurred with virtually zero distribution. We shared it within our Cultivated Wit community, but didn’t partner with any larger sites or pay for ads.
  • This means everything that happened was 100% “organic” / “earned” / “earnganic”
  • And one more time because a significant percentage of the media and public at large did not grasp this, the campaign was a joke. It was not real. We took no money.

Everyone Wants To Know Where An Idea Comes From

The answer to this is never quite as exciting as I think people imagine it in their heads. But because it’s the most frequently asked question, here is the answer. In this case, the recipe was one part easy observation (“Man, non-burners sure do love Burning Man week”), one part absurd riffing on that notion (“What if we tried to crowdfund a wall to make that week last forever?”), and roughly two years of letting all that stew (“Remember that Burning Man wall idea? I still think that’s funny.”).

Okay, we’ll admit that No. 10 is not a part of the Burning Man principles.

Analytics, Facebook’s Power, & Media Spread

Guess what everybody? Facebook is powerful. Like, 80% of our traffic powerful. Consider us members of the ever-growing hoard of people wishing Facebook’s analytics were better, not to mention more honest *ahem video plays ahem*. I wish we knew more about that giant slice of our traffic pie, beyond how much was mobile (most of it). Burning Man’s official Facebook page was one of the first to share the link and we suspect that single share to be the most influential traffic driver. But alas, we can’t really know for sure.

The map might be my favorite joke within the entire campaign.

Whole Lotta Reblogging, Whole Not-Lotta Reporting

Continuing on the journalism thread, of those 50+ media outlets that ran some piece of content about this campaign a total of four reached out to us for some sort of comment. Four.

The “Techie Gentrifier” Assumption

Within the small amount of negativity projected at this campaign the phrase “techie gentrifier” got bandied about on more than one occasion, and always in reference to me, the host of the video. I feel like there’s a whole bunch of fascinating Bay Area analysis within the prevalence of those two words.

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Brian Janosch

Brian Janosch

Writer at IDEO. Former writer/editor at The Onion, Adult Swim, Cultivated Wit, & Google. Sometimes I do nothing at all.

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