What do Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, George Galloway and Friction.tv have in common? They have all joined in the fight to save the renowned and much loved George Tavern in Stepney.
The George Tavern, whose future is threatened by developers Swan Housing, has become one of the leading creative outlets in East London. Friction.tv (www.friction.tv), the ‘virtual Speakers’ Corner’, has announced that it is creating a specific online channel - www.friction.tv/savethegeorgetavern - to provide much needed publicity for the campaign. The channel will allow the general public to add their voice to those of the stars in support of the venue.
Friction.tv offers an online platform for user generated opinions and debates through the upload of content in both video and text. The first video on the ‘Save the George’ channel will feature local MP George Galloway discussing the threats faced by the pub, and the landlady Pauline Forster announcing the creation of a new charitable trust. The ‘George Tavern Charitable Trust’ will look to raise enough money to buy the disused ‘Stepneys’ nightclub behind the pub, and turn it into a community centre, further increasing the George’s contribution to the area.
The George, which has played host to guests including as Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake, will be holding many fundraising events, footage of which will be aired exclusively on Friction.tv. The Tavern is even installing inside the venue a designated webcam for the channel, allowing revelers to leave their messages of objection whilst enjoying the unique atmosphere. The channel will also continue to provide up to date news on the campaign.
This is the first time Friction TV has teamed up with a single issue campaign and supplied a dedicated channel. Omer Shaikh, CEO of Friction TV, explains "The ‘Save The George’ campaign epitomises the way that Friction.tv has become a hub for local campaign groups to organise and promote themselves".
In June 2007, a local campaign in Barnes objecting to a new Sainsbury's supermarket gained huge popularity on the site. Shaikh attributes this to a grass roots audience who is keen to exploit the potential of Web 2.0 media. The campaign eventually led to Zac Goldsmith, a regular contributor to the site, leading a referendum on the issue, which the campaign won with an 85% majority.
All the videos from the ‘Save The George’ campaign can be viewed at www.friction.tv/savethegeorgetavern
Follow and contribute to thousands of online debates at www.friction.tv
Friction.tv was founded in February 2007 as the home of online debate. This free service provides a destination for individuals to share thoughts, promote causes and spark debate around issues of importance to them. The site’s intuitive interface allows visitors to easily find and view relevant topics, and upload their own video or text. Online content can be embedded to individual websites and blogs, and can be shared across social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.
Friction TV has established many partnerships with key media organisations including Yahoo, Channel 5 (Sky News), LBC Radio and Friends of the Earth. The site’s monthly traffic is growing rapidly and is already approaching 200,000 unique visitors a month.