I met Clark Harris, aka @SilentClark, for the first time in person this evening. Clark has challenged himself to be silent for the entire month of May using only Social Media to communicate. His goal is leverage social media to raise $100,000 to fight Leukemia in the memory of his mother who passed last year after a battle with the Cancer.
Thanks to Matthew Simpson, Social Fresh Cruise attendee, I’ve been involved with the #SilentClark Social Media Experiment since May 3rd. It’s been exciting to watch the experiment grow from @SilentClark from groundzero to Clark being interviewed on Atlanta 11 Alive news and Mashable.com with 2 week remaining in the experiment. Clark and Matthew were driving from Atlanta to Raleigh and we took the opportunity to tweetup and grab a beer in Charlotte, NC. I’m so glad I got to meet Clark in person, although he remained silent. Taking offline relationships offline is the key to making the most out of the Social Media…I’m sure I will see Clark again when he can speak. Online friends are great, but when you share a once in life-time experience in person you take relationships to completely different level.
Getting to experience the experiment offline this evening gave me a much better understanding of how extreme the challenge to be silent for whole month is. It is more of a Social Experiment than a Social Media Experiment. It tests many of the social norms that we take for granted and its impact is felt more offline than online. Following along online is entertaining. Clark gives business cards to everyone he interacts with explaining why he must use Twitter or some other Social Media tool to communicate with them. Our waitress was enthralled by the whole concept and asked atleast 20 questions. Clark has 11 more days of silence. Follow the Twitter hashtag #SilentClark to keep up with the whole conversation. Share the Social Media Experiment Blog with your friends on FaceBook, Twitter, and Email (people still use email?).
As the momentum continues to build through Social Media and traditional media for #SilentClark, reaching the goal of $100,000 is not out of the realm of possibilities. He will need your support. Become a friend on of SilentClark Harris on FaceBook, become a fan of Silence Cancer on Facebook, and Share the Social Media Experiment Blog with your friends!
Good Luck Clark!!