January 20, 2011
Embrace Life: A wonderful PSA
A simple idea with lots of impact.
September 30, 2010
Clever Greenpeace spot: Unfriend Coal
A little harsh in calling Mark Zuckerberg a nerd. Also fails to tell the viewer what Facebook's alternative is – yes, green energy, but how e.g. buying offsets? Nonetheless, a clever video that I hope gets people talking.
July 25, 2010
Social Media and the rise of the Citizen Philanthropist
In case you missed this article, "Why We’re In the Age of the Citizen Philanthropist" is a nice piece that discusses social media and the rise of the "citizen philanthropist". Of particular interest (at least to me) is the question of how to cultivate "slacktivists" into long-term, engaged philanthropists.
July 20, 2010
How Non-Profits Should Approach Mobile Apps
Thinking of developing a mobile strategy for your cause or organization? Take a look at this Mashable article.
April 25, 2010
TakingITGlobal needs volunteer interns
I really like this organization. If you're in the Toronto-area, and are looking for a rewarding experience, give TakingITGlobal a call.
TakingITGlobal is looking for volunteer interns to work in our Toronto office for the summer! Have a look at the opportunities below - and please forward on to any friends or colleagues you think might be interested.
TakingITGlobal's mission is to provide opportunities for learning, capacity building, cross-cultural awareness, and self-development through the use of Information and Communication Technologies. As a registered charity in Canada and the US, our key strategic initiatives include:
- providing a virtual space (www.tigweb.org) for cross-cultural expression, dialogue, networking and collaboration among youth
- supporting youth action and understanding around global issues
- developing meaningful, interactive, global education experiences
- facilitating the development of local initiatives, multilingualism and skills training
March 17, 2010
Follow AKA Activist on Twitter
Sadly, I haven't made many posts as of late. Not that I don't have a lot to report or say, just ridiculously busy on other projects. I guess that's what you get for running your own company. ;)
That said, I have started making posts on Twitter. If the desire should strike you, please do follow.
Posted by Jason at 4:42 PM
February 23, 2010
Cause Marketing and Our Diminishing Attention Span
The other day I was riding the subway when I spotted an ad for the anti-poverty non-profit, Windfall. Their tagline, "Wear white for Windfall". The ad showcased a number of celebrities wearing white (white t-shirts, white belts, etc.). Flash forward to some research I was doing when I happened upon CARE Canada. CARE has a campaign, "Show Your String" in support of International Women's Day. They utilize Flickr and ask supporters to upload images of themselves with a string around their finger. Hmmm.
Has it come to this? Has the public's attention span become so short that we can only engage with issues as powerful as poverty, human rights abuse, and disease if they are distilled to simple colours and friendship bracelets? Organization such as Windfall and CARE deserve better. These causes deserve better. Cause marketing efforts should challenge the public. Yes, these are complex issues – and yes, it is difficult to be heard above the marketing fray – but the public can handle it. Now, I understand that budgets don't always afford grand campaigns but co-opting colours and pseudo-jewellery is just plain lazy. I don't have the statistics to back this up, but I'm willing to bet that the effectiveness of this approach is questionable at best.
I truly believe we need to rethink this cause marketing trend. We need to focus on the quality of engagement versus the quantity. Issues like poverty or breast cancer won't be solved overnight; it's going to take a long and concerted effort. Approaches like using colours or bracelets to represent causes might stick in consumers' minds in the short-term, but they are hardly solutions for any long-term, meaningful conversations about an organization's cause.
There are many talented (and not so talented) people in marketing and communications. Surely, we can create effective campaigns without breaking the bank. Non-profits and NGO's must challenge us to do so. More importantly, we creatives must demand this of ourselves. The world's disadvantaged and suffering are counting on us.
February 10, 2010
Update: Apple vs Adobe's Flash
Earlier, I posted a story about a small movement forming in response to Apple's iPad not supporting the Adobe Flash player (see iwantflash.com below). It looks like consumers and developers have continued to voice their disapproval through a new site: http://www.ilocked.me/
I wonder if this movement has any legs?
February 9, 2010
Portraits of Consumption
As a designer, I love visual representations of data and information. Chris Jordan's Portraits of Consumption: Visualizing the Statistics of Waste in America uses art to remind us of the ugly side of our consumption behaviour. Can you guess how many pieces of plastic are in this image?
Watch the slideshow and find out here.
February 6, 2010
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, the title above has been treated with something called a 'hashtag'. Hashtags are used to help those in the Twitter community tag tweets – 140 character messages. It also helps applications track conversations in the Twittersphere. That said, the social media site Mashable reports that #freevenezuela was one of the largest trending topics on Twitter this week. Apparently, all of this twittering is in reaction to reports that Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, is cracking down on freedom of speech and threatening journalists.
I admit, I haven't fully looked into these claims, but one thing is clear – Twitter is slowly becoming a tool for activism globally.
You can read the article here.
Update: Apparently, Boing Boing dropped the story first. Read it here.