Social Media Influencers – What would you do? @spotus

How would you improve this social media campaign on to raise awareness about cycling accidents?

I occasionally see a campaign that I think is important but I can see they aren’t going around it the right way. Like this Spot.US cyclist story. Spot.Us is a site where journalists can post up that they want to write a story, what the story is about, and then the community funds it. It’s like Kickstarter but for journalists. The problem is, you can’t just put your social object up on a social media site and hope people will find it.  In the case of the story “crash puts cyclist in a coma” below, there’s a few things missing. But first:

Bottom Left, Cyclist Story

A woman gets run over by a car:

Around 10:30 on the morning of May 22, Jan Morgan was biking a stretch of State Highway 50 just a couple hours north of Jackson, Mississippi, when Robbie Norton, driving at 55 miles per hour, struck her from behind and carried her 200 feet before coming to a stop.

The journalist wants to raise money for:

I’ve been working on the research and reporting for this story since October, and am currently planning a reporting trip to Mississippi.The Oxford American, a national magazine award winner in 2004, plans to publish the piece. The story will focus on the accident itself and Jan’s recovery, the movement now afoot in Mississippi to amend the state’s three-foot law to include harsher penalties for drivers who violate the rule and cause serious injury or death to cyclists, and why the Morgans feel like the state court system has failed to bring true justice. In addition, the article will examine trends in cycling laws throughout the South, as well as efforts in several cities to improve conditions and safety for cyclists. Feel free to e-mail me with questions at

So far this amount has been raised: 

528.18 credits. Now Spot.Us doesn’t explain anywhere what that is worth and their video system halts when I try to review the FAQ videos. But let’s say it’s a credit for a dollar. Raising a $1400 bucks of which $528 has been raised. They are also looking for Talent donors – people to sift through documents and take photos etc. Nine donors so far…

What would YOU do to improve this social media campaign?

I can see a number of issues. is not a very well developed site… Facebook share or Tweet this buttons are really basic and almost hidden, even their own videos are on their own site, not YouTube so I can’t embed them here. The @spotus on twitter account gets about 3 clicks for each promotional link. Maybe the journalist should move onto Kickstarter? Also, there doesn’t seem to be any Influencer seeding happening – shouldn’t the cyclists be getting behind this? And a tonne of other points. But. What about YOU? What would YOU do to improve this campaign, get more volunteers, more funds and more awareness? Lemme know.

If you like this “solve the social media mystery” type of post, I can do post up some more. We should also have a prize. What would you like to win? Make it cheap and cheerful! 😛

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  9. The rise of crowdsourcing is amazing – it’s everywhere and i dont mind at all. What I see with @spotus is as you have observed, it needs to spruce itself up. If I was running this campaign I would get a better headline for a start – it doesnt grab except as a headline for a small local rag really. “How many cyclists must die..” or something like that. I would be sharing and pinning and getting support from cycling organisations and talking to road transport authorities. Video interviews would be good too. Do I get the prize? Glass of bubbles and catch you in Melbourne one day? 🙂

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  11. First of all, the site doesn’t say what is in it for people who help fund or give talent towards a story. If they want to rally people, they need to reach out to community groups that have an interest in the stories. Second, as you pointed out, the site isn’t optimised very well. There are 7 stories with pictures on the front page and 9 slots, so two spaces are being wasted. They appear to be using a generic CMS (not sure which one) and I’ll bet their web design is being done by one of the owners who is now overwhelmed and doesn’t have enough time to improve it.

    One big missing piece is success stories. Where are the links to the results? Where can people get an idea how things might turn out? We all know about the iPod Nano watchbands that were funded through Kickstarter. I think every other week we get a news story about a project from that site that is cool. There needs to be some serious stories to get the ball rolling in a big way where people got involved and tell everyone about it for things to take off properly.

    What they might consider doing is finding people in online communities that want to write about their own experiences and publish them. One or two big stories that end up in big newspapers would be all it takes. People love community stories where a pissed-off person takes investigating into their own hands and makes a difference.

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