Making a movement viral
Sometimes charities utilize social media to spread awareness or start a viral movement, rather than solely to raise money. Sometimes these efforts lead to raising money. But before any fundraising takes place, a group has to spread awareness about their cause, and the more people reached, the better. Take for instance, breast cancer awareness, and the millions of status updates on Facebook (“I like it on the …”), a movement that didn’t raise any money, but absolutely got people thinking.
Here’s a project that a fellow blogger has taken on, called Sandy and the 1000 Paper Cranes, and I think it’s a really cool idea. Sandy isn’t trying to raise any money, and isn’t sponsoring any big charity or organization, so this is a bit of a side step from my usual beat. But Sandy is spreading something positive, and sometimes a kind gesture or happy thought can pick up someone’s day (or at least an hour or so). On her About Page, Sandy says, “My hope is that people will see the
crane and be influenced in a positive way, even if it’s just a pleasant thought. Without being too whimsical or naive, I just wanted to spread a bit of happiness around in a relatively simple way.”
Sandy aims to fold 1000 Paper Cranes and place them in random different locations, with hopes that people will find them. Each crane has a different positive word on it, and as of October 30, 2010, 111 cranes have been released. The website is also listed on the crane, so if people find a crane they can visit the site and make a comment. One person found a crane while on a trip in Washington, D.C.:
“I recently returned from a deployment to Iraq, and am visiting my parents in Virginia for the first time in a year. I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History with my father yesterday, and as I was admiring the expo on ancient humans, I noticed one of your cranes right on the table next to me. Number 103, savor reminds me to savor the time that I have with my family right now. I will hold onto this crane and place it somewhere in Tacoma, WA, when I return to Fort Lewis next week! Thanks for such an interesting and thought provoking idea.” -A Lieutenant stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington
Another cool part about this is that this person said upon returning, they planned to place it somewhere new, sort of like a pay-it-forward concept.
The blogosphere: connecting a project with its followers
By connecting her project with a blog, Sandy is able to connect with her followers in a way she couldn’t otherwise so. Sandy’s blog tracks all the cranes she makes, with pictures, where they’re placed and when. The bog entries also have a definition for each word and a little anecdote from Sandy regarding where it was placed. She then offers the ability for finders to voice their feelings about the positive words and share the action they take from there. If you want to help out and make a crane, visit Sandy’s site and join the movement!