There is no doubt the web is a powerful tool. And when this emerging social element is added it only creates more connectivity, virality and overall engagement with those who use it. This modern web is all about people, this is why we call it a "social web." Without people connecting, collaborating and engaging with one another the modern web wouldn't exist.
Now, more than ever internet users have the ability to reach and engage with a near limitless and worldwide audience. What better than to use this tool to make a positive difference in the loves of those less fortunate? How are some using this connected social tool? - To market stuff.
I'm not interested in corporate brands such as Dell, Coca-Cola and Starbucks taking advantage of new media outlets to benefit their gobs of monthly revenue (though I think they should). What I am interested in is how YOU and I can use these tools to change the world.
I am inspired to the point of goose bumps whenever I see organizations like Invisible Children making airtime on Oprah, or the Toms Shoes AT&T television commercial, or see that Charity:Water used Twitter to raise over $250,000 in the US to build water wells in Africa. That's AMAZING!
Facebook employees have this joke; "If it happened online and your friends didn't see it... then it didn't happen." I absolutely love this mindset because here's one of the most powerful social platforms in the world promoting more openness and more connectedness for us to leverage how we please. So what?
Here's a simple concept that's been evolving over the past couple months: Create A Facebook Connect Powered Micro-Payment strategy to promote OLPC, generate awareness and ultimately raise funds to deliver more educational tools to children around the world. It works like this:
- Build a social cause platform that's directly connected with Facebook.
- Users Authenticate their accounts with Facebook (no traditional registrations)
- Users carry their online identity with them
- Interactions on this platform are automatically published back to Facebook (or Twitter etc.) *"interactions" can range from a simple shout-out to an actual donation to OLPC.
- To scale we target the college demographic and create a competitive environment (e.g the campus to raise the most money will win a free concert or XYZ etc.)
- 100% proceeds go to the cause
- Start small. Keep it Simple. Learn what's working. Repeat.
There are over 18m college students in the United States. If every college student gave $1 we could give 90K laptops, if every student gave $5 we could give 450K laptops. That's powerful. One example of how to leverage the Facebook Social Graph: The published story about my donation could look like this...
Next time my any of my 300 Facebook connections logs in they will see this story in their news feed which will hopefully inspire them to follow my lead and donate, or at least click through and check it out. Imagine the possibilities...
Thanks for taking the time to read this humble concept and feel free to contact me or reply to this post with any thoughts and feedback. The great thing about this project is it is not in any way vanity project. The more people involved and contributing the bigger and better it will become.
This is Michael Sprague's Micro-Payment Strategy Presentation