The Occupy Wall Street movement has finally found a space infinitely large and “unevictable.”
Occupy.com launched this week under the direction of New York filmmaker David Sauvage. The multimedia-heavy news aggregation site is a self-described “open platform” for “creators of every stripe.” From writers and photographers, to game developers and cartoonists, everyone is invited to contribute their OWS-related work.
While the website is barely a week old, already I can see the challenges it will face.
Lack of Marketing: Haven’t heard of the site yet? Not surprising, given the almost nonexistent marketing practices. Currently the small site has barely over 800 likes on Facebook. A media channel needs a combination of viewers and contributors in order to survive, but given its rate, the site looks like it is quickly losing momentum.
Lack of Accountability: If the backlash against Invisible Children almost toppled the Kony 2012 movement, the lack of transparency in the “about” section of Occupy.com could prove crippling. Without any oversight by a GA or Spokes Council, the editors are de facto in charge as active curators of the site who also receive living stipends. But little to no information is provided about these mystery members and their decisions.
Lack of Excitement: With a director like David Sauvage who has worked on commercials for WSJ Magazine and top brands like Maybelline and Bon Appetit, you’d think the home page would burst with beautiful content. But first-time visitors are met with a very minimalist scrolling slideshow of jaded pictures. Pictures of protesters and speakers and dejected members of the 99%. Yes everything about the site, even the name, seems artsy, pristine and simple. But that’s not enough to compete with the myriad of other online OWS content like www.thepeoplesrecord.tumblr.com, www.occupythenation.com or occupywallst.org. It doesn’t promise the instantaneous and spontaneous reporting of journalists like live streamer Tim Pool. These sites promise engaging content, provide participation plans, and bring together live feeds. Occupy.com promises a limited amount of eye-candy. It might interest those involved in the movement, but it won’t hook the newcomers.
Ok, now to step back. Not all of history's grandiose ideas have failed, and many have actually succeeded beautifully. Though it's still too early to tell if I might eat my words later on, the site is hitting a few roadblocks that it must address to continue.