Filed under: antarctica
Maybe it’s the fact the morphine is now out of my system and I’ve a rotten, skull-crushing headache after my trip to A&E on Monday night, or maybe I’ve been plain unrealistic about all of this since last Thursday.
To take this competition by the horns and give the other competitors a run for their money means three months of effort from everyone. Voting doesn’t end until the last day of September, but it’s week one and already the abuse on Twitter has begun and worse – hate mail. Really. That never happened once in two months of the Twitchhiker project, yet this time I received two on the first day.
What’s dawning on me is that unlike the first Twitchhiker outing, this time our success or failure won’t be measured on our terms. I haven’t set the rules, we don’t collectively determine the outcome. I entered this competition on a whim, thinking that it was a chance to prove Twitchhiker wasn’t just a fluke.
But in the heat of the moment I made an assumption – that it was the majority, not the minority of followers who would support it. The fact is out of 11,400 followers on Twitter, only a small number have shown any interest in making this happen. Ask those 11,400 individuals to pass on a message at various times and collectively less than 100 individuals have done so. The majority are seemingly waiting until things get interesting, until there’s a charity to support or a journey to follow. Most are content to sit silently in the shadows, which ordinarily would be no bad thing – Twitter lets you follow strangers without the need to give anything in return. It isn’t what Twitchhiker is about though.
Of course I don’t want to harass people into supporting a cause, but that’s how plenty are perceiving my tweets for support. I know that because of the replies, DMs and email I’ve received, and because nearly 300 people have stopped following @twitchhiker in the past six days. It’s not so noticeable because nearly 200 have started following, but taking into account double votes cast, it’s probably as many followers as the number that have voted. That’s absolutely gutting.
Of course if the 10,500 followers I’ve accused of sitting on their hands have all voted for another entrant or have ideological views concerning tourism in Antarctica, that’s fine. I suspect that’s not the case however.
The bottom line is I can’t do this for the next three months of my life if the majority of people don’t want to get involved. The economics are different this time around; essentially a few hundred people made the first Twitchhiker project happen – this time I’ve tied an arm behind our back by ploughing us into a competition that requires thousands and thousands of supporters.
I know it’s only been a week, that we’re sitting pretty in fifth place and that this is a marathon, not a sprint, but I can’t help but feel this was the wrong cause to take up.
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