This is an interesting social media networked fundraiser that asks donors to stop using Twitter or Facebook for a day (November 1st) to call awareness and financial support for autism. You are asked to donate a modest amount to autism organizations ($5 or more) and you get to install an app and widget that lets your friends know that you’re not using Twitter or Facebook to support autism. In an age where social media fundraisers create cause fatigue, this is a refreshing tactic that also aligns with their communications goal.
The application does post one or two auto messages about the campaign to your Twitter and FB streams. Hopefully, they won’t abuse it.
The idea behind the communications shutdown is to simulate what it is like for people with autism. Here’s how they explain it:
Our aim is to simply encourage a greater understanding from people outside the autism community. Social network users have become reliant and even addicted to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And if they shutdown for 1 day, they will feel a sense of disconnection and a sense of frustration. By creating a little empathy, we hope to encourage a wider understanding and acceptance of people with autism – an understanding we recognise those in the autism community already have.
This is also a wonderful example of “networked fundraiser” – it isn’t being launched by one organization, but it is a global fundraiser for Autism organizations around the world.
The campaign caught my eye and I tweeted about it. I wasn’t going write a blog post about it, but the organizers certainly understand the building blocks of social media – listening and relationship building. I got a follow up, personal email, from the organizers thanking me for the Tweet. Usually, I get people hounding me to write about their program or to retweet their message and if I do, barely get a thank you. So I was impressed that they really get the relationship building piece required to do social media!
Several other colleagues are also doing a communications shutdown as well.
See you on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday! (Hopefully I can do it!)