Blog Action Day and Social Media – The Perfect Combination

When I sat down to write this post for Blog Action Day 2008, I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to say. Don’t get me wrong – I knew the reasons why I was participating and writing, and I knew roughly what I wanted to say. It was just… how could I convey a message against poverty from a social media viewpoint? And then it hit me – Blog Action Day 2008 and social media are intertwined because we’re all in this together.

I don’t want that comment to come across as glib – that is the last thing I would ever do, or want to be thought as. When I say we’re all in this together, I mean that the social media medium is probably the ideal partner to the changes and issues that Blog Action Day 2008 is having us all discuss.

(For anyone who hasn’t heard about Blog Action Day 2008, it’s a special one-day event for bloggers around the world to stand up and speak out against world poverty).

Apart from the obvious connection of writing a blog post, there is so much more that social media can offer to begin the changes we need to put in place to make a difference. The figures alone from Blog Action Day 2008’s website bear testament to this – 10,723 blog owners (at time of writing this) writing posts on a single subject, with an expected readership of just over 11.5 million people.

But we shouldn’t stop there. There is so much more we can all do, and as a social media advocate there’s a lot that I feel our particular medium can do as well. One of the great things about social media is it gives everyone with an Internet connection a voice – and that’s a pretty powerful thing. If you want an example of how powerful, just look at how serious the US election candidates are taking social media and networking.

So what can we do with this voice, this collection of opinions and influence? The first thing to do is make sure that Blog Action Day (and the similarly themed Bloggers Unite initiative next month) isn’t just an annual event. We need to keep people informed as much as we can throughout the year; we need to make the people that have the power to make a change hear enough of us to do so.

For my part, this is what I will do from today:

  • For every unique comment received on this post and every post between now and the end of the year, I will donate $0.10 to the Make Poverty History fund. Then, each year end from today, I will continue to donate $0.10 for every unique comment left.
  • With every new project I take on at my PR agency, I will donate 5% of my fee to the fund.
  • I will continue to make posts to keep awareness of poverty, its cause and effects via my blog and beyond
  • I have a project that I have in mind regarding this subject, and will share with you all shortly and ask for support.

This is my personal donation to Blog Action Day 2008 and beyond. At the end of each year, I will let you know how much was donated. Yet as I said, we’re all in this together. Social media brings everyone together, so let’s open up our arms and bring in the poverty-stricken of the world into our network.

For your part, it’s entirely up to you what you wish to contribute. It may be a donation to a worthy cause like Make Poverty History. It may be that you offer pledges yourself for the comments on your blog. It may be something as simple as getting two cookies at the coffee shop and giving one to the next homeless person you see. After all, poverty affects each and every country.

Whatever you do, make sure you do something. It’s taken Blog Action Day 2008 to open up a lot of people’s eyes to what’s going on in the world. Let’s make sure that we never have to discuss poverty again, unless it’s with our politicians. In the meantime, let’s be grateful for programs like Blog Action Day 2008 and make our voices heard.

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  1. says

    Hi Danny,

    I struggled with thinking about what to do for today and compromised with Digging other bloggers who had tackled the issues in ways that engaged me. I am really moved by your post and your pledge – it’s bringing the message home in a very real way.

    I hope you garner lots of comments and congratulations on bringing a new perspective on things.

    Worldofhiglet´s last blog post..Links for 2008-10-12 [Digg]

  2. says

    Thanks – I know your “problem” with thinking about what to write, I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to go with my post for a while.

    I’m hoping that there are quite a few comments as well, whether on this post or others until the end of the year. And I know of at least two good projects I’ll be working on next month where a 5% fee will be decent, so hopefully there will be a good donation amount to report.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  3. says

    Thanks Suzanne – I agree, although we should always be thinking of subjects like this, sometimes we do need that little helping hand just to remind us what’s going on around us.

    Thanks for reading and commenting – more in the pot for Make Poverty History :)

  4. says

    Thank you Tara, for your very kind words – the really powerful thing is the amount of like-minded bloggers that are sending their own message to everyone. It’s something the politicians would do well to heed…

  5. says

    Hey Danny.

    Good stuff man. You may be interested to know that I work for an organization known as Community Action Partnership. It is a non-profit gov. funded organization with the goal of ending poverty. We mostly run food banks and help people pay thier bills, but we do work closely with our legislators and community to determine what action can be taken to bring down barriers in our society that are keeping people in poverty. Thank you for your generous donations and attention to this issue. Later!

    Mindless23´s last blog post..

  6. says

    My contribution is to continue to volunteer my time and talents to helping the organizations that serve the people in my area. I have created a blog that is specifically designed to be a newsletter for any nonprofit who chooses to participate. This way each of them gets to have a voice in the blog world without having to use their valuable resources to create their own blog. There is absolutely no charge to the organizations that participate, We all can find a way to help.
    Thank you for taking action and inspiring others to do the same

    Susan/Unique Business Opportunity´s last blog post..Action Relieves Stress When Financial Times are Tough

  7. says

    @ Mindless 23 – Thanks Mindless, appreciate it. That seems to be an excellent initiative that you’re running – something I will definitely have to look into further for sure.

    @ Susan – You also have an excellent idea that you’ve put into practice. Just offering that kind of support and promotional tool (at no cost) is worth just as much as any donation.

    It’s people like your good selves that continue to do all this stuff without the limelight of a Blog Action Day or similar that keeps me having faith in the overall good of humanity, despite what we may do to each other in the name of falsehoods.

    Thanks for reading and commenting – the figure is going up all the time. :)

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