Monday, November 24, 2008

Ukraine: n8o is kewl!

The government in Ukraine will quiz the country on their knowledge of NATO this week via text message.

The goal of the 15-question quiz is to build support for NATO membership among Ukrainians, a majority of who aren't in favor of their country joining the military organization. The government hopes the quiz will change that, but I see two problems.

First is that many of those opposed to NATO membership are from Ukraine's very large ethnic Russian minority (who make up somewhere between 30 and 40% of the population depending on the source you use). They oppose NATO membership because they feel that NATO is hostile to Russia, so a text message quiz isn't likely to change those deeply held feelings. Second, the grand prize in the quiz is a tour of NATO headquarters in exotic Brussels, Belgium. Since they're heading into winter in Kyiv, maybe a trip to the sunny south of Spain would be a little more appealing.

But whether the quiz makes Ukrainians more pro-NATO or not, it is an innovative use of technology by the government.
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