One Million

I love how every time I turn around, there’s a new “1,000,000 for/against [some random cause].” The latest I’ve seen is “1,000,000 against the new Facebook layout[1].” Why is one million always the magic number for these groups? In just about every case I’ve seen, one million isn’t even a majority number. For instance, in the case of the aforementioned group, one million users is, at best, only seven percent of the Facebook population[2]. If only 7% of a population dislike the layout, then that group is just going to have to suck it up and deal.

The same is true for just about every other group out there trying to rally for one million members. It’s rare that gathering that many people under one banner is going to be a majority. That being the case, why stop at one million? If you really want to sway the PTB[3], go big. Go for 50 million or 1 billion.

I think people go for one million because it’s a familiar number and it’s much easier for us to conceptualize than one billion or even 10 million. Few of us have ever seen one million of anything but we know what a millionaire is. Anything larger than that is usually outside our ability to imagine.

Maybe I just harbor a grudge against most bandwagons, since so many of them seem pointless and unnecessary, but for crying out loud, if you’re going to rally a group out of a population that’s over 75 million souls, one million just isn’t going to cut it. It’s in the numbers, people.

fn1. Really? I mean, _really?!_ I love the new layout, by and large. I just wish they’d finish the tweaking. Weeks on end of roaming bugs gets old after awhile – but then again, I _did_ opt in to beta-testing the new layout. And for that matter, folks who don’t like the new layout can always choose to switch back.

fn2. Based on a listing of 14 million people who used applications on Facebook last year. “This source”: suggests that the number may be well over 75 million by now, and so that percentage will be much smaller.

fn3. Powers That Be.

Have anything to add to the conversation?