martes, 30 de octubre de 2007

Blue Energy gana en la primera etapa !!!

From: Mathias J. Craig
To: Mathias J. Craig
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 12:52 PM
Subject: Thanks to our incredible Warriors of blue (please forward on)

Dear Warriors of blue -

We appear to have won our category in round 1 (although we are awaiting official word from CNN)!!!

What can I say? The past week has been a humbling, eye-opening experience. A week ago I had no idea that we could mobilize such a powerful, distributed, global network and that so many people cared about blueEnergy and the work we are doing. I am in awe of our supporters' dedication and follow through. You all fought hard, with the mouse click as your weapon. Truly, thank you to each and every one of you.

There are a few people I would like to thank specifically:

My lovely wife Lorelei for her tireless devotion and efforts; Phil Stupak and Leah Nelson for co-leading our "get out the vote" campaign; my brother Guillaume for turning all the ideas into reality; All of blueEnergy's volunteers and staff and specifically the entire Bluefields office; Maricela and Galio in Managua; Matt Flannery from; Jesse K., the MonkeyJumpers and the Seattle crew; The blueEnergy France office organized by Lâl, Michèle, Colette and all; Bruce Noda, Ashley K., Nathaniel, Auburn, Jessica, Rachael, Edwin, Harley, David and Maria Matson, Sam and Jane and the entire Bay Area crew; Ashley R., Sara and the rest of the New York crew; Richard, Linda, Pam, Candy, Crystal, Debbie, Taylor from the extended Klein family and their LA teams; William, Locey, Randy and everyone in Chicago; Hilary Pfeifer and her blogger community; Brian W., Big Guy, OE, Darin and Liz and the entire Eugene crew; The Bluefields Sound System.

I am no doubt forgetting some important people in my state of fatigue - please don't take it personally... I'll probably remember after a long sleep!

Nicaraguan Pride and Voters

I was particularly surprised and impressed by our ability to mobilize practically all of Nicaragua. Maricela, Galio, Guillaume, Julie and our friends at the Bluefields Sound System lead an impressive push to get the word out in all the major media channels including the three largest Nicaraguan newspapers, multiple radio stations and several of the biggest cable news television programs. By framing the vote as a vote for Nicaragua, many were drawn to participate, both from within Nicaraguan and by Nicaraguans living abroad. Through all the media blitz I was occasionally mistaken as a Nicaraguan and called a "Nicaraguan Hero", which while incorrect, was an honor.

Voting Process and Experience

The system CNN setup for the vote was deeply flawed. I don't want to get into all the details here, but the key point is that allowing multiple votes per person is not a very democratic, or fair, or representative, way of running a "Viewers' Choice" type of award. I complained about this to CNN at the very beginning of the voting and they assured me this was intentional and we just had to deal with it. I also had reservations about them throwing $25k out there for us to compete over. That is a lot of money for any severely underfunded nonprofit (like blueEnergy) and doing that is a bit like throwing a juicy stake in the middle of a pack of starving dogs and telling them to behave. In my opinion, it would have been better to have the winner selected by committee so as to not have nominees directly competing with each other. None-the-less, the situation was handed to us as it was, and I am very proud of how we responded and rose to the occasion.

About Josh Sundquist and

As most of you know our primary competitor was Josh Sundquist and his organization, a support network website for amputees. Being a social networking site, they had a distinct advantage at the beginning of the voting. They mobilized quickly and took a dominating lead early. Through Lorelei and Phil's efforts and that of many, many others, we were able to mobilize a response relatively quickly and we started to creep onto the radar. Throughout the week the lead kept switching and it was quite tense. It was clear from reading blogs on their website that they very much expected to win, as they assumed none of the other nominees could challenge their established network.

As we neared the weekend we began to build a small but certain lead. Going into Saturday we had a 1000+ lead, by Sunday evening we had a 3000+ lead, and by late Sunday we had a 4000+ lead. You could feel the tension and desperation mount on their end as they saw their chances slip away. Sunday night, when the vote seemed out of reach to them, some really terrible things were said about me and blueEnergy on the website by members who were incensed that we had taken the lead and assumed that we were a fraudulent enterprise. I was shocked to say the least. There were posts on their website as well as emails directed at me personally that were vulgar, threatening and just totally outrageous. Most of the anger originated from a woman who's 4 year old daughter had lost a leg. She couldn't understand why we would chose to help poor people in Nicaragua instead of her daughter. Her pain and anger over her daughter's loss is understandable; though clearly it was a mistake to direct that frustration and anger at me. As I read the emails coming in last night, I thought about an appropriate response. Before I had a chance to reply, I received an apology from Josh Sundquist. He was as shocked as I was that one of his organization's members would go off like that. His apology was sincere and heartfelt and at the end, he congratulated me on our certain impending win. I mention all this because I think it's important to separate Josh from all of his followers, who he doesn't have complete control over. He fought a clean fight and it's unfortunate that some of his people made comments in the heat of the moment that they will probably soon regret.

I am proud that we resisted responding in kind. As far as I know we are not responsible for any negative posts, phone calls or emails directed at Josh (although we have been accused of that by others).

Lessons Learned

1) I married wisely
2) blueEnergy has an amazing global network of friends, volunteers and supporters
3) We can win round 2 if we organize better, rest our mouse-clicking fingers and avoid mobilization fatigue

Capturing the Momentum and Bottling Up The Energy For Round 2

We are the presumed winners in our category in round 1, although we still await an official announcement from CNN before we make an official announcement.

In preparation for round 2, we need to solidify our support base. So many people forwarded our plea on to their networks, which proved quite effective this time around, but leaves us without an ability to reach out to these people directly. When you are done readying this message, please forward it on to the same people you asked to vote for us, so they'll know their help was appreciated. And PLEASE encourage them to subscribe to our email update list so that we can contact them directly when needed in round 2 and beyond. The link to subscribe is: . You can continue to send them personalized messages relating to us, but it would be great for us to have a way to connect with them directly as well.

Rest now so we can gather strength just in time for round 2!!!


Mathias J. Craig [in Eugene, OR until Oct. 30]
Executive Director and Co-Founder
local people, local materials, local energy
22 Margrave Place, #5 / San Francisco, CA 94133 / USA
alt. email:
office: +1 202 744 5840
mobile: +1 415 509 0155
fax: +1 801 730 9576