By Damian Burke on 2008/10/14
We've all heard the myth that if the entire population of China were to jump up into the air at the same time, the force of these estimated 1.3 billion people returning to the ground would send the earth out of orbit and we'd veer off into a sea of interplanetary space.
Although I doubt both the physics of the theory and the likelihood of China holding the world hostage, it's the awesome power of mass-action that I'm trying to illustrate. It's this potential that the volunteer organisers of Blog Action Day want to harness - "One Issue, Thousands of Voices".
Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty
The idea of this non-profit campaign is to get as many bloggers as possible on the same page for a single day (October 15, 2008), uniting global conversations into a single voice. Backed by the United Nations, the topic of the second annual Blog Action Day for 2008 is poverty.
The poor will always be with us, but given the recent credit crisis that has hit the United States of America, the level of support given to them is set to decrease dramatically. The economic crisis has had a trickle down effect through the world's markets and even those in the position to help the less fortunate have had to tighten their belts. That's why this year's message of hope and appeal for action needs to be spread wider than ever before.
Participating in the Blog Action Day
The three main ways to participate in the campaign are to publish a post, donate to the campaign (for the benefit of The Global Fund and Kiva.org) and/or to spread the word of the drive as far as possible.
Blog Action Day 2007 Success
Last year marked the launch of this annual campaign which aims to begin the conversation and harness the influence of the blogosphere to incite social change. It's not all about donating huge amounts of money but more about raising awareness of a single cause and being mindful of it on Blog Action Day and indeed, everyday. The first Blog Action Day's focus was the environment and according to their site, the campaign accrued 20 603 participating blogs, 23 327 individual posts and 14 631 038 RSS readers - as well as 19 of Technorati's Top 100 blogs - not bad considering the power lies within the people and not in the campaign's budget.
This year, the goal is to reach between 15 000 and 20 000 blogs. As of October 13, there are 8 514 blogs and 9 038 034 readers registered with the Blog Action Day campaign.
The blogging community and other consumer generated media such as social networks like Facebook and Twitter have a huge influence on the world. Crowdsourcing is easy as bloggers spread their messages to their individual communities. Those individuals then, provided they believe in the issue up for discussion, take it to their communities and so on and so forth. One blogger therefore has unlimited potential when it comes to garnering awareness for a cause.
And the successes can not only be measured online. Last year's environmental topic was considered a resounding success and received incredible online and offline media attention - even news giants such as Reuters, Fox and the BBC got involved.
Blog Action Ideas:
Apart from donating, how can you make a difference? With the Internet as our tool for unifying the globe, the public has the power to make a change. It's up to us to use our available resources to help the less privileged.
- Create content: Target either a specific charity or just talk about poverty in general - either way you're contributing in the same direction as thousands of others around the world.
- Challenge other bloggers and individuals to donate: Contributions both big and small are always appreciated. By urging others to join you in contributing, you can multiply your influence on the world with the click of a button.
- Spread the good news: Online, offline or in line at the post office - broadcast the news by any means possible. Place the Blog Action Day 2008 banner on your blog or website by copying the code listed below and embedding it into your site.
Now that you know all about Blog Action Day - go and register yourself or your blog. Don't have a blog or much access to the Internet? No problem - simply spread the word about blogactionday.org - easy.
Keep an eye out for news on the focus of the 2009 Blog Action Day. As the organisers of Blog Action Day say, "the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue." So, get involved and be the change you wish to see.