The homeless wireless debacle happening at South by Southwest has completed the Internet circle of life, reaching acceptance—the final stage of grief—a mere two days into the outrage it created.
All Internet huffing and puffing goes through the same cycle humans go through when dealing with life's weightiest issues: Elisabeth Kulber-Ross's five stages of grief. It happened with the racism surrounding New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, and now we see it with the controversial BBH Labs initiative to create "Homeless Hotspots."
For those who don't read blogs all day, the company paid homeless people to carry around mobile hotspot WiFi devices at this week's SXSW festival. The Homeless Hotspot then walked around the densest areas of the conference providing free Internet, in exchange for donations. Cue: Outrage. But not before our first stage.
Grief Stage: Denial "Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief."
"SXSW In A Nutshell: Homeless People as Hotspots" -- ReadWriteWeb's Jon Mitchell
One of the very first posts we found on this subject, Mitchell's Sunday night musing doesn't find anything too wrong with the set-up. MItchell addresses that some might find it a problem, but upon assessing the program, and talking with BBH Labs about the initiative comes out pretty cheery on the whole thing. "I appreciate the sentiment," he writes. "This campaign is well-meant, and I don't think anyone doubted that. The fact is, it was a minimum-viable-product approach." Nothing wrong here!