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So Many Saying So Much With So Little

November 25, 2007 10:24 PM

Picture your week in three words. That deceptively simple concept has really caught on with “Good Morning America Weekend” audiences, resulting in some moving video postcards-from-the-heart that viewers have submitted to ABCNews.com. It’s hard not to be touched by what people share and how they share it: Pregnant tummies are favorite bulletin boards (“We’re having triplets” is written across the substantial midsection of one mother-to-be, who is posing with a big-brother-to-be and father-to-be); so are plain cardboard and posterboard (“It still hurts,” writes a woman whose mother died eight months before) and hands (a woman’s right palm reads “My Rapist” and her left palm reads “Jailed!”—then she gives two thumbs up). “We wanted to leave you a slobbering mess in your bathrobe,” said weekend “GMA” co-anchor Bill Weir, who anchored the ABC News summer magazine show “i-CAUGHT,” where the feature debuted. Mr. Weir championed the original “Your 3 Words,” posting his own Webcam solicitation of entries (“Don’t Grow Up,” he wrote on the palm of his hand), and its revival on “GMA,” where it airs on alternate Saturdays. The response rate has grown from 250 submissions for its “i-CAUGHT” debut at the end of August to some 200,000 videos posted on ABCNews.com’s “i-CAUGHT” page since the feature first appeared on “GMA” Oct. 27. The fast-growing archive has generated almost as many page views as entries. “This is … more useful than YouTube in many ways, because we can offer something online that gets right out onto big-time TV. And anyone in the world can participate,” said Michael Clemente, senior executive producer of ABC News Digital Media. “It’s nice to text vote on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ or ‘American Idol,’ yet this is your face, your kids or your pet and your three words with no filter.” Mr. Weir said there has been much internal discussion about why “3 Words” has connected with so many people; he believes it has something to do with allowing people to be part of a bigger conversation even if they are not personally affected by the big story of the moment. “We forget that there really are 8 million stories in the naked city,” Mr. Weir said.
—Michele Greppi

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