A year ago today, I started work on ChangeThis. The idea was to have a mechanism that would help thoughtful ideas spread. Far too lazy to do something this difficult on my own, I assembled a team of summer interns who did the entire thing.
It succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. We featured authors as diverse as Tom Peters, Amnesty International, Chris Anderson, Hugh Macleod, George Lakoff and Guy Kawaski. We distributed manifestos on the evil of juice and the joys of blogging. Millions and millions of copies of our pdf files were distributed far and wide.
ChangeThis, paradoxically, was too successful. As the bar was raised and the standards increased, the amount of work necessary to keep up the quality kept rising. Starting at the end of last year, I entered into a very long negotiation with a major web company about passing the reins on to them. Alas, as often happens with long negotiations with major corporations, it crashed and burned at the very end. One side effect is that ChangeThis has been relatively bereft of new content since February or so.
The good news?
a. next week I hope to be able to tell you about a new team taking over–no money is changing hands, just a team of folks who want to do the hard work to make it fly…
b. we learned a lot. We learned a lot building it and launching it, and we learned a lot in watching what spread (and what didn’t spread). And, I think, our millions of readers learned a lot.
So, think hard about the next generation of manifestos. Challenge yourself to write something that’s important, and that will spread. More next week. Thanks for reading.