When we launched Society Matters almost two years ago, we asked a simple question:
What might five million people be able to accomplish together
as a networked community that they could never accomplish alone?
Our belief was, and still is…
… that the National Geographic Society will survive and thrive only as a Society.
… that John Fahey, CEO of National Geographic, needs to articulate, often and in public, a good reason for people to belong to the Society. (Sadly, he remains silent.)
… that people yearn not only to consume, but to create.
… that watching the “adventure” (and all the ads) is not as much fun as living the adventure.
… that serving up more information (the “killer app,” says NGM Editor Chris Johns) is a lousy business model when information is everywhere — and mostly free.
We’re not saying inspiring millions of people is easy. But we are saying we can do much better than asking folks to pay $5 for the privilege of “uploading a photo of your little kitty.”
Which brings us to The Johnny Cash Project. It is a brilliant, passionate, crowdsourced tribute to The Man in Black. It’s also a stunning example of what National Geographic could accomplish if its executives would publicly acknowledge the obvious: