Over the last several days, my Twitter has flooded with people asking me to help them vote up their worthwhile charity on the Chase Community Giving campaign project on Facebook. In every case, the charity is something that deserves support (at least the ones I’ve seen). In every case, they’re great people doing worthwhile things.
The problems with using social channels heavily for things like vote-raising events like this is that it floods one’s channel with that kind of promotion. That’s problem 1.
The secondary problem is that if you’re someone with a larger following, you have to manage how many of these competitions you’re going to promote, because one begets another begets misgivings about which charities one supports and which charities one doesn’t.
By pushing a heavy campaign through something like Twitter to get votes for one’s Facebook, there’s a problem with muddying that particular stream. Everyone thinks “it’s just one tweet,” but they don’t see the other side of all the requests, and/or the companies pushing these types of vote-grabbing campaigns don’t realize the digital littering this kind of method gets.
I wish every vote cost $5, and that the $5 went into a pool for the winners. Hell, I wish every tweet requesting votes came with some kind of donation aspect to it. Then we’d raise money on the way to raising money.
I love using social media for nonprofit work. I do it all the time. But I try to be very responsible in how I use my channels and I try not to create digital litter campaigns. I’ve learned from past experiences that no one appreciates the fallout.
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