Two common and popular themes in our big old Internet conversation lately have revolved around the meaning of money.
A lot of people are increasingly convinced that capital is no longer solely tied up in dollars and cents; the concept of value is beginning to carry as much weight as traditional concepts of cost/price, largely due to public relations and marketing in social media.
In other words, try explaining to a client, a typical B2C brand, that they’ve just spent $10,000 to create a Facebook app that will generate no revenue. You have to get that client to agree that mindshare and conversation, a.k.a. social capital, are as necessary in the new marketplace as more traditional media measurements such as impressions and conversions.
So, as my checking account teeters along the fine line between “I can afford a good sandwich” and “I can’t afford to take calls from debt collectors,” my social accounts are beginning to grow and thrive in a separate but related economy.
This becomes exciting when I realize that I can trade my mindshare for goods and services (maybe a website design from a rad youth branding firm, maybe a better laptop from a sponsor who wants to associate itself with my video blogging).
It becomes even more exciting when I think about leveraging that mindshare into enough microdonations to accomplish a noble goal, say, helping my little sister raise money for cancer research.
Yep, the little ladybug is all grown up; in addition to being passionate about the environment and working hard in her undergraduate studies, she’s also a conscientious philanthropist who is trying to raise a paltry $200 for Relay for Life (a program run by the American Cancer Society).
What do you think: With my social capital, would it be possible to leverage enough microdonations to blow Rachel’s $200 goal out of the water? She has $15 at this very moment. If ten percent of my Twitter followers donate $5 each, she’d come close to trippling her goal. If influencers retweeted this request – what would happen then?
So, let’s start this little experiment and see if the concept of social capital works for something like fundraising through microdonations: Click here to go to Rachel’s fundraising page, and click here to see clickthru stats from Bit.ly.
Needless to say, cancer patients, doctors, researchers, Rachel, and I would all appreciate any retweets, reposts, or link love you care to give!