Efforts to save Business 2.0 magazine via a Facebook group are going very well. We currently have 500 members (including a large number of tech influencers) after only two days and we’re getting traction in multiple media (ValleyWag, Advertising Age, Fast Company and a variety of blogs).
As the “Official ‘Save Business 2.0’ blogger”, here’s my theory of what I think happened to get to this result as quickly.
1) I was the original sneezer after seeing the New York Times article talking about the potential shutdown of the magazine. I wrote a Facebook status update that said “Sebastien is sad to think Business 2.0 magazine might fold in September”. As I’m using Facebook for networking and I’ve been adding many friends since Robert Scoble talked about me last Saturday, I reach out to 250+ “friends” with my update.
2) One of my friends, Colin Carmichael, picks up the news via my status update, decides to create the group and invites me.
3) I blog about the group in the Praized blog.
4) My blog post gets picked up by Techmeme and is attached to the original New York Times article. It’s the first broadcast about the creation of the Facebook group.
5) Someone from Business 2.0 (or someone close to the team) finds my blog post via Techmeme and sees that Colin has created a group.
6) A good portion of the Business 2.0 staff, freelancers and former employees joins the group. All these people are important influencers. As quoted by Advertising Age, “Editor in Chief Josh Quittner said he signed up for the group as a purely reflexive emotional gesture. “It choked me up — an old cynic like me,” he said.”
7) Close friends and business acquaintances (other tech journalists & bloggers) are invited to joined the group via the Facebook “Join this group” function.
8) As the Silicon Valley tech crowd is a tightly-knit group, they quickly reach out to their peers who then join the group.
9) In the meantime, I try to fan the flames using Digg and Linkedin. Digg does not work but Linkedin contributes to the conversation.
12) In the meantime, Colin talks with many media about the group and its purpose.
10) Valleywag picks up the news, sends it to another level.
11) Group members continue to invite other influencers, Advertising Age picks up the news, reaching a more mainstream marketing population.
12) Snowball effect is in action as we get more and more media/blog coverage, more people joining and more people inviting other people. 48 people added themselves to the group while I was writing this post.
13) What’s next? Business 2.0 is saved? Let’s continue the movement and save the magazine!
Now, this is just my theory. I think Colin and I played an important role by starting all of this but I think Techmeme played a critical relay role. And I think the use of the viral functionalities of Facebook by the influencers who joined the group in the early hours played a critical role as well. In addition, what I find fascinating is that we’ve had many people tell us that a) they created their Facebook account to be able to join the group and b) they ended up subscribing to the magazine after seeing the news and the efforts to save it. If that’s not the power of social media…