We’ve waited too long to take a look at the impact of Bil Browning’s amazing six weeks of attention after posting on Bilerico Project about his opposition to donating to the Salvation Army. The post, which has been an annual event, resulted in a huge response with stories coverage by New York Times, MSNBC, FOX, USA Today, and countless other outlets. The publicity surrounding the story has now led to a meeting with the Salvation Army, something Browning–an NLGJA board member–has been wanting for years. Browning is encouraging people to submit questions for his meeting with group.
While I’ve personally had mixed feelings about a boycott of Salvation Army, I’ve been incredibly impressed by the reaction to the story and the amount of attention Bil has gotten for his advocacy. It is an amazing achievement to gain the attention of outlets as diverse as the New York Times and Fox for your cause, which is a concern shared by many in the LGBT community.
Beyond the strong, clear argument made by Bil, the other part of this story is the impact social media played in getting the story to go beyond just a post on a popular blog. I sware I read the post 30-40 times on Facebook and from tweets. In the age of self-curated news, a story that spreads via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media means both more hits on the original piece and a wider dissemination of the story.
When I last accessed the story, it had been linked to 149 times on Google Plus and had received an amazing 74,650 likes on Facebook, based on access from Bilerico. There is no telling how many times the story has been linked-to on Facebook or tweeted or how many other bloggers linked to the story in their efforts. What is clear is that all that attention translated into even more coverage once the story went mainstream.
So congrats to Bil, social media, and other bloggers for getting this story and issue into the mainstream. And if you have questions for the Salvation Army, let Bil know.