Written by Stefanie Chan, Starcom China Intern
We have already witnessed the sheer power of the internet several times and seen the effects that hundreds of millions of internet users can cause. Many times when a single piece of internet content peaks the interest of several people, the piece in question can instantly go viral. What is great about viral sensations is that they can trigger organized acts of kindness.
Fu Youlian, a watermelon farmer from Yanbian county in Sichuan, posted on the social network, Weibo, about the reports of watermelons bursting because of the use of growth chemicals. He lamented that the chemical scare had severely hindered the sales of Chinese melon farmers. Despite the fact that the watermelons his family grows were all natural and contained no growth chemicals, they were still unable to sell their melons even at a fraction of last year’s price.
After just eight hours of being posted, Fu’s micro blog post had been forwarded over 26,000 times and received 5,000 comments.
The online community had seen Fu’s story and were motivated to help him and his family out of their unfortunate predicament. Netizens organized group purchases and melon dealers asked Fu to buy his crops.
A mere seven hours after Fu’s blog post, Fu posted again with news that his melons were almost sold out, and hinted that his fellow melon farmers were also in need of help. Once again, the community of netizens sprang into action.
Thanks to a single man’s blog post and the help of the online community, the 100,000 tons of watermelons from Fu’s county were close to sold out.
It just goes to show how a single post made by an ordinary man could reach out to thousands of Chinese netizens and lead to an amazing feat. It also shows that the online community isn’t only extremely well connected, but that Chinese netizens are compassionate towards their fellow human beings; they just need a trigger to motivate them to make a change.