You always hear that change cannot happen over night. One man by the name of Jason Russell proved that statement wrong.
The filmmaker has been working for several years in Central Africa to help stop the rebel army and their leader Joseph Kony. Russell already convinced the president and many other American leaders to allow for a small group of United States forces to be deployed to the area. He has helped to rebuild schools and create an early warning detection system for the area to protect them from Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army.
I am not going to go into detail about the Kony 2012 campaign because I am sure every other HuffPost blogger is going to mention it today, but I think it is truly an excellent cause. Instead, I am going to focus on the popularity of it.
Russell's newest idea was to make Kony popular by using social media. The results were excellent. The 27-minute video was posted on Vimeo and YouTube by Invisible Children and became a worldwide trending topic on the Internet.
Let's start with YouTube, the biggest video sharing site on the Internet. The video was posted on Monday. By Wednesday morning, the video had over 1.8 million views.
The video was also put up two weeks ago on Vimeo.com. It started off with 20 views a day at the most. On Monday the number of people viewed it was at 58,000 views, then it jumped to over 3.5 million people viewing the video on Wednesday.
Together, the two video sites had over 7 million views, the majority from the last three days. Most people are sharing by embedding into Facebook profiles and on Twitter accounts.
Personally, I have never seen an outpour of support from people on my Facebook news feed like this. Close friends, co-workers, and friends from across the globe all started posting it last night.
I saw the video on someone's wall on Monday, but to be honest, I didn't read it until a fellow co-worker posted it in our staff Facebook group with her plead to watch. I thought it would be worth my time. It was an excellent video and provided a great insight into crimes against humanity.
The Invisible Children Facebook page has jumped to over a million fans and a Stop Kony Facebook page now has over 20,000 fans.
Twitter has been taken over by storm too. The documentary has a call to action to get celebrities involved in providing a powerful voice. Many people have taken to Twitter to grab their attention. The hashtags #StopKony2012 and #MakeKonyFamous and the keyword Kony is lighting up Twitter and is now worldwide trending.
The big question is, how long will this last? I think that this is a big wave, but in a few weeks the popularity will die down. I certainly will continue to support it. Do you remember Haiti? The outpour of American support was amazing, but a few weeks after the natural disaster hit, we forgot.
Maybe America will prove me wrong, but the viralness of the video is amazing. I don't think I have ever seen something spread so fast, with so many people bought into the cause.
Change may not be able to happen overnight, but awareness can. Russell proved that right.
Follow Michael Geheren on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mgeheren