I’ve been thinking a lot about the Awesome Bear recently and have learned a lot! Who knew you could learn so much from a bear that tweets!
THE AWESOME BEAR PART ONE
I recently got to sit down with James McNutt (Employee of The 4th Floor and all around great human being) and work on a new version of THE AWESOME BEAR, Chattanooga Public Library’s tweeting bear. It was a lot of fun to share ideas with James and then watch him make those a reality when he wrote the code that runs The Awesome Bear.
You can also follow THE AWESOME BEAR here.
THE AWESOME BEAR PART TWO
I think that THE AWESOME BEAR is a pretty cool idea and I want to develop it further. I think it’s a great tool because 1) It’s so very simple AND 2) It’s a great first lesson on creating, sharing, and publishing content online AND 3) It’s fun, so I decided to submit a Knight Foundation News Challenge Proposal to help take the Awesome Bear to the next level.
I’ve had mixed feelings about this proposal and let me be honest with you on why I am having those mixed feelings:
I looked at a lot of other amazing proposals and saw that they were…..I don’t really know how to say it….really great and really heavy! Lots of big time ideas that I didn’t fully understand where proposed (and I love them!) but I got a bit scared. How would THE AWESOME BEAR be received? Would it be laughed at and tossed aside with a simple “A tweeting bear that shares good vibes and ideas from the community? Now that’s gotta be a joke.” After seeing so many great ideas that came out of the News Challenge, I was toying with the idea of deleting my submission and moving on. THE AWESOME BEAR came from a pretty pure place in my heart: share good ideas, share good vibrations, and have fun. I didn’t want it to be laughed at.
I thought about it a lot. It weighed on my mind for about a week. My wife Haley was extremely helpful with thinking this through. She said something along the lines of the Awesome Bear is unique. It’s fun. It stands out. Sure it may be simple but…that’s what makes it unique. It’s easy to use and that’s something people respond to. So I kept up the proposal and now we see what happens.
THE AWESOME BEAR PART THREE
I would love the Awesome Bear to live in every city and be a unique part of what the public library can offer their community. Have you read the news today? Oh boy! There’s just so many negative stories and headlines written to make you want to click them so more advertising money comes through that it can just really put a damper on your day. The Awesome Bear can counteract that. Imagine The Awesome Bear everywhere, sharing the little things that really make a community thrive…the tiny moments of kindness, the simple ideas to make your day better, the goodness in all of us. That’s the kind of world I want to live in.