Saturday, March 20, 2010

Be Vewy, Vewy Expensive

As you're acutely aware, businesses run on money. You're familiar with the concept of boycotting a company, not spending money there, to get them to stop doing something you don't like.

However, with the right amount of effort, you can get things going in the other direction too. Say hi to the Carrotmob.

The short version of the process works like so:

1. Local businesses in a certain city (and so far it is just local businesses) are asked what kind of socially-responsible action they're willing to take.
2. The businesses respond.
3. The business that puts in the best pledge gets completely, totally swarmed by customers on a predetermined date.

It works pretty much on the honor system, though a business that fails to go through on its first pledge probably should not expect to get carrotmobbed again. Or very much business at all again from any of the members of the mob.

Not that the organizers really want to think about things that way. They're all about the positives. Negatives are for boycotts.

The epicenter is San Francisco, though there have been carrotmobs done on five continents, with Germany and Finland most on board with it outside the United States.

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