Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11, Service and Social Media

On September 11 a lot of people want to do something. Using social media to support that very human emotion makes sense.
This morning I got an email from Service Nation, a non-profit that encourages citizen service opportunities. Among the service initiatives they are promoting on 9/11 is a Cities of Service Program. The idea is for individual citizens to submit service ideas/opportunity to the major of their city. The email linked to a simple form for that purpose.

New York City Mayor Bloomberg appears to have led the way with a program to encourage New Yorkers, especially young people, to volunteer for service. It has an active website, many non-profit organizations as partners, and initial commitments from citizens from all walks of life to serve.

There’s a catchy and engaging part of the program called “Share Your Blank.” The point is that everyone has something worthwhile to share. The program not only allows them to serve, it allows them to talk about their service in order to inspire others—social media in action.

One important point is that initiatives like this don’t happen in isolation. I heard about it from Service Nation. NYC had a lot of partners when they launched the program. It seems vibrant and active, so they probably have more now.

It’s not only a lesson in encouraging service; it’s a lesson in making social media social. Both are appropriate on 9/11.

1 comment:

edshull said...

What a great post, especially for the day. Working in the online marketing space, I get to see daily innovation in social media, and none excite me more personally than the integration of social media and social awareness.

One of my favorite websites is Kiva. I love the idea of micro loans to people around the world. The ability to see the people who will benefit, and the idea that once repaid, I can easily re-loan those funds to others, make Kiva one of my most addictive web experiences.

I also love that the Obama site tries to not only inspire, but enable group activities to help the country. My son and I were able to find a drop off location to bring food and clothes to help homeless HIV sufferers.

These types of sites don't just give me the initial high one gets by helping others, but also fills me with a sense of optimism. It makes me proud to work in this industry.

Thanks for sharing this site.