Ben Rattray

  • Aired:  04/23/12
  •  | Views: 20,036

Change.org founder Ben Rattray explains how social media gives people the ability to make a real difference in the world today. (6:03)

WELCOME TO MY GUEST TONIGHT,

THE FOUNDER OF CHANGE.ORG.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE SHOW BEN RATTRAY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NICE TO SEE YOU.

HOW ARE YOU.

NICE TO SEE YOU, DID I PRONOUNCE THAT CORRECTLY?

>> YOU DID.

>> Jon: THAT'S THE END OF THE INTERVIEW.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> Jon: I'VE DONE IT TELL ME ABOUT, SO CHANGE.ORG, YOU ARE A GUY, YOU WERE GOING TO SANFORD.

>> YEAH.

>> THANK YOU, ONE PERSON.

>> Jon: I KNOW.

SO [BLEEP] [BLEEP] HARD TO GET IN THERE YOU THINK THE WHOLE AUDIENCE IS GOING TO

BE LIKE THAT'S WHERE WE ALL WENT.

YOU WERE IN FINANCE.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

>> AS MUCH AS YOU,

HOPEFULLY.

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

>> YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> Jon: HE'S RIGHT.

YOU DECIDE INSTEAD TO TRY AND HELP PEOPLE.

>> CRAZY YZ IS THAT WHEN THEY THREW YOU OUT OF SANFORD.

>> THE STORY WAS I WAS GOK AN INVESTMENT BANKER, THAT WAS THE PLAN.

MY SENIOR YEAR I GO BACK HOME, TALK TO ONE OF MY YOUNGER BROTHERS, AND HE COMES OUT AS GAY.

WHAT HE SAYS IS THE MOST NOTABLE THING IS THE PAIN HE EXPERIENCED WASN'T SOME OF

THAT PEOPLE WERE EXPLICITLY ANTI-GAY, THAT PEOPLE STOOD BY AND DIDN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

THE FIRST THING, YOU KNOW,

HI BEEN ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE,

I AM ASHAMED, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO AND DECIDE I WILL DEDICATE MYSELF TO NEVER STAYING

SILENT AGAIN SO I START THE SITE CHANGE.ORG TO EMPOWER PEOPLE TO STAY WHAT THEY

WANT AROUND THE ISSUES THEY CARE ABOUT.

>> Jon: INCREDIBLE STORY.

PUTTING YOUR EFFORTS AND LIFE'S WORK BEHIND A CHANGE THAT YOU WANTED TO MAKE, IN

YOUR OWN BEING.

HOW DOES IT FIRST COME TO SUCCESS OR LIGHT, YOU KNOW,

PEOPLE PUT THINGS UP ON THE INTERNET ALL THE TIME.

>> FIRST CAMED FAILURES.

SO WE STARTED FIVE YEARS AGO,

THIS IS A LONG JOURNEY AND IT HAS BEEN OVER THE PAST LIVING EVERY MONTH RIGHT NOW

WE ARE GROWING FASTER THAN WE DID IN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS COMBINNED, YEAH.

AND SO WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IS PEOPLE CAN START A COMPETITION VERY EASILY GO

ON THE SITE, SAY WHAT THEY CARE B IDENTIFY THE TARGET OF THE PETITION AND WHY

PEOPLE SHOULD JOIN THEM,

SPREAD THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND A LOT GO VIRAL.

>> Jon: NOW PEOPLE DO THEY COME TO THE SITE LOOK OG FOR AN ISSUE, THEY SIGN IT AND

THAT IS HOW IT GOES VIRAL OR JUST BY THE SHEER NUMBER OF PEOPLE SIGNING IT, PEOPLE

BEGIN TO TAKE NOTICE.

HOW WOULD SOMETHING GO VIRAL.

>> WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS IS SOMEONE GOES TO THE SITE,

STARTS A PETITION ON AN ISSUE THEY TRULY CARE ABOUT,

PUSH IT TO THEIR FRIENDS BECAUSE IF I WERE ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, PEOPLE

FIND OUT ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN MOSTLY THROUGH SOCIAL MED YAMENT THEY DON'T JUST COME

TO THE SITE, THEY SEE IT THROUGH OTHER CHANNELS.

>> Jon: SO PEOPLE ARE SENDING IT TO OTHER PEOPLE.

AND THAT PUTS PRESSURE THEN ON IT SEEMS THE NEWS MEDIA.

AT WHAT POINT DOW GUYS GET INVOLVED AGAIN OR DON'T YOU.

>> SO WE-- .

>> Jon: .

>> ABOUT 15,000 CAMPAIGNS GET STARTED EVERY MONTH ON THE SITE.

HUGE NUMBER OF CAMPAIGNS,

HUGE DIVERSITY OF CAMPAIGNS.

WHAT HAPPENS IS SOMETIMES PEOPLE SIGN BUT THEY TAKE OTHER ACTION AS WELL IT

THERE IS A LOT OF SKEPTICISM ABOUT THE POWER OF ON-LINE PETITIONS.

THE REASON YOU ARE POWERFUL IS YOU HAVE A MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE THAT CAN BE MOBILIZED

TO TAKE FURTHER ACTION.

CALL DECISION MAKERS,

MOBILIZE THE MEDIA OR GO TO OFFLINE EVENTS.

>> Jon: HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT IT'S NOT SPAM, THAT IT'S NOT PEOPLE JUST

CLICKING AND OR A SPAMBOT OR A ROBOT, A REAL ROBOT?

>> WE HAVEN'T YET DISCOVERED ANY REAL ROBOTS.

>> Jon: HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW IT IS A REAL ROBOT WITH LIKE LASERS.

BUT HOW DO YOU PATROL THE SITE IN ANY WAY.

>> SO WE HAVE A TEAM IN SILICON VALLEY, ENGINEERS THAT IDENTIFY IF THERE IS

ANY FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOR.

BUT OTHERWISE IT IS SORT OF LIKE YOUTUBE, PEOPLE CAN IDENTIFY POTENTIALLY FRAUDULENT CAMPAIGN

APPROXIMATES BUT OTHERWISE THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY ARE AUTHENTIC LOCAL ISSUES.

>> Jon: DOW FIND THERE IS A REDUNDANCY?

IS THERE ANY WAY, DO YOU GET PEOPLE TO COALESCE AROUND AN ISSUE THAT HAS SET THINGS UP

AT DIFFERENT SPACES.

>> WE ALLOWED SORT OF THE DARWINNIAN PROCESS TO UNFOLD SO SOMETIMES THERE WILL BE

30, 40 PETITIONS AROUND A SINGLE ISSUE, THAT JUST GOES AND ONE OFF ENTIMES GOES

VIRAL AND THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WILL TAKE ACTION ON THAT CAMPAIGN.

>> DO YOU HAVE, IS THERE A SENSE OF JUDGEMENT, CAN ANYBODY, WILL YOU HAVE A

CONSERVATIVE ISSUE, A LIBERAL ISSUE OR OTHER THINGS THAT YOU KNOW GO TO DIFFERENT POLARITIES ON THE

SAME ISSUE.

>> YEAH, SO WHAT HAS BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT FOR SUS MAINTAINING AN OPEN PLATFORM

SO NOT A PARTISAN PERSPECTIVE.

ANYONE CAN SORT OF CAMPAIGN AND SAY WHAT ANYONE CAN POSE TO VIDEO ON YOUTUBE AND WE

DO HAVE CHEATING CAMPAIGNS SOMETIMES BUT USUALLY WHAT HAPPENS IS ONE ENDS UP

EXPLODING, THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS AND GETS ALL THE MEDIA ATTENTION.

>> HOW MANY PEOPLE WANT POT LEGALIZED.

>> A NOINT SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE.

>> IS THAT BECAUSE I REMEMBER, THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN STARTED THIS THING THAT IF

YOU SEND US A PETITION, I THINK IT WAS 5,000 NAMES, WE WILL GIVE IT ACTION AND THE

FIRST LIKE 100 PETITION THESE GOT WERE LIKE LEGALIZE POT, HEY, POT, HOW ABOUT LEGALIZING IT.

YOU KNOW, VARIOUS, AND THOSE TYPES OF NATIONAL PETITIONS ARE WHY I THINK PEOPLE ARE

SKEPTICAL OF THE POSSIBLE IMPACT.

HISTORICALLY PETITIONS HAVE BEEN LIKE STOP GLOBAL WARMING OR END POVERTY.

THINGS THAT DON'T HAVE A REAL SERIOUS CHANGE, THE ABILITY TO MAKE IT A

DIFFERENCE WHAT IS DIFFERENT ON CHANGE.ORG PEOPLE START LOCAL PIRX THOUSANDS OF THEM

AND ARE WINNING EVERY DAY.

>> I SEE.

ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD SAY TO PEOPLE IF THEY WANTED TO GET INVOLVED IN THESE TYPES

OF THINGS OR SOMETHING THEY FELT IMPORTANT ABOUT IS THE WAY YOU CHANGED YOUR LIFE

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY.

>> I SAY OVERALL THE POWER PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE RIGHT NOW WITH

SOCIAL MEDIA IS FAR GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE, AS YOU IDENTIFY AN ISSUE, YOU CARE

PASSIONATELY B YOU IDENTIFY THE RIGHT PERSON WITHOUT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, YOU HAVE

A GREATER CHANCE OF SUCCESS THAN YOU POSSIBLY COULD IMAGINE.

>> Jon: AND THIS IS THE WAY TO GO ABOUT.

>> ONE OF THE PRIMARY WAYS TO DO IT.

>> Jon: NICELY DONE, SIR,

BEN RATTRAY,

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