Swarm Management: Launching a swarm is an intense event, where you can get hundreds or thousands of new colleagues in less than a day. You have a very short window for appreciating their interest, or they will take it elsewhere.[Chapter one of the book is here. Chapter two picks up after having done due diligence whether the numbers work out to create a swarm.]
My point here is, if you’re thinking hard about how to gather a swarm for your idea:
Don’t worry about advertising.
Word of mouth is much more efficient than any campaign can ever be, but that requires that your idea – or rather, your presentation of it – meets four criteria: Tangible, Credible, Inclusive, and Epic.
- Tangible: You need to post an outline of the goals you intend to meet, when, and how.
- Credible: After having presented your daring goal, you need to present it as totally doable. Bonus points if nobody has done it before.
- Inclusive: There must be room for participation by every spectator who finds it interesting, and they need to realize this on hearing about the project.
- Epic: Finally, you must set out to change the entire world for the better – or at least make a major improvement for a lot of people.
If these four steps are good, then the swarm will form by itself. Quite rapidly, in the twenty-odd cases I have observed firsthand. Very rapidly. On the other hand, if these four components are not good enough, no amount of advertising or whitewashing is going to create the volunteer activist power that you want.