The True Power of Social Media: eComm's Challenge


Sunday, January 4th, 2009 — 9:20am PST
Comments 6

The other day I was contacted by Lee, who is behind the eComm Conference in San Francisco., because he’s decided to start an initiative that will hopefully have a ripple effect, creating some truly positive change.

Let’s have a public test of the effectiveness of social media. Let’s do it with the aim of measuring the reach and usage of social media (and hopefully with some serendipity regarding the results). Let’s do it in a way that helps us understand the role and significance of social media on the emerging communications landscape. [eComm Blog]

How it will be done:

Rather than pick something hard to measure like “positive brand exposure”, I decided to pick something easy to measure for this test. The goal is to achieve 10,000 sign-ups to the conference updates. For everyone who signs up for conference updates, eComm Media will pay 0.50 cents to The Shelter Network (charity watchdog rating here). [eComm Blog]

Fact: “The typical homeless person on the Peninsula is just 5 years old. In fact, nationally the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is families with children. Two-thirds of the people who are homeless in our community are families with children.” – The Shelter Network.


Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr

So what do you need to do? Simply sign up for eComm Conference updates by email, that’s about it. Once you have done so, the eComm Conference will donate $0.50 to The Shelter Network.

Given the outcome of this campaign, Lee has big plans for conferences going forward, “If this experiment goes well, then we can move onto fulfilling a higher ideal, which is that every conference should give 10% to a registered charity within a radius of the event location. I’ve got great ideas on how this may be realized.”

Shelter Network is committed to providing housing and support services that create opportunities for homeless families and individuals to re-establish self-sufficiency and to return to permanent homes of their own

Once again, all that is being asked of you, is that you sign up for updates about the conference, something that most social media people (or those reading this blog) would be interested in anyway. By entering your email address, you will be making a difference. Those of us in Vancouver know about homeless populations and the dire need for help and support – perhaps if we can get started with this initiative, we can pay it forward in our own back yard.

Step 1. Head to the sign up page
Step 2. Enter your information (email etc.) and select how you heard about this initiative
Step 3. Pass along this message by sharing the blog post link, writing your own post, email, re-tweet etc.
Step 4. Sign up stats will be shared on the eComm Blog
Step 5. Donations will be made to The Shelter Network for every person that signs up

Thanks in advance for your support and participation.

Other initiatives: Phones for Fearless and the TweetupHeatup

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6 comments

  1. Darren says:

    This is a good idea, though framing it as “a public test of the effectiveness of social media” feels pretty specious. He wants people to sign up for his conference newsletter, and he’s willing to pay 50 cents per sign-up to a charity. There’s nothing wrong with that initiative, but I wouldn’t try to dress it up as something that it isn’t.

    Besides, if it’s a genuine expression of “a public test of the effectiveness of social media”, then they should have chosen an international cause. I’m sure The Shelter Network is a worthy organization, but it only helps homeless in San Francisco. That diminishes the incentive for anybody outside San Fran.

  2. 2010 HOMELESS CHAMPIONS Vancouver, British Columbia
    Phone (778) 899-7111
    Email:editor@2010homelesschampions.ca

    Press Release
    Contact: Richard McLaughlin
    Phone: (778) 899-7111 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    9 A.M. PDT, January 1, 2009
    WEBSITE LAUNCH
    http://www.2010homelesschampions.ca

    VANCOUVER, BC, JANUARY 1, 2009: This website is dedicated to telling the stories of the unfortunate individuals living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in the hope that awareness of this problem will spur people to get involved, to let all levels of government know that something has to be done to alleviate this misery rooted in addiction, homelessness and depravity. To point the way to recovery from addiction, which we believe is the root of most of this situation. With the 2010 Olympics coming to Vancouver it is our mandate to record the transition and the extreme changes that are even now occurring and will continue to unfold in the Downtown Eastside.
    -End-

  3. […] Read the original:  The True Power of Social Media: eComm’s Challenge » Vancouver Blog … […]

  4. Don says:

    It would be a more compelling scenario if participants had the option to support a homelessness initiative in their own community. Like the one that Richard mentions above.

  5. Darren says:

    I happened to be closing browser windows and noticed a 404 error for the eComm blog entry related to your post. This was the address:

    http://ecommconf.com/blog/2009/01/5000-dollar-to-help-5-year-olds.html

    It’s nowhere to be found, and when I search for snippets out of your excerpted text (for example, “Let’s have a public test of the effectiveness of social media”), I can only find this site. Any idea what happened to that effort?

  6. […] The True Power of Social Media: eComm’s Challenge ” Vancouver … Vancouver blog Miss604 Rebecca Bollwitt … http://www.2010homelesschampions.ca. VANCOUVER, BC, JANUARY 1, 2009: This website is dedicated to telling the stories of the … […]

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