Blog Action Day 2008: A common goal

Blog Action Day

Yesterday at the New Marketing Summit, I had the opportunity to listen to Don Peppers present on customer empowerment.  He talked about self-organization of crowds and showed a great example of this by asking the crowd to achieve a goal of clapping in unison.  The crowd started, and within a few moments were clapping in tune.  The example was poignant: when there is a common goal, the crowd or social network can be very powerful.

I’m going to make a stretch here to tie this to Blog Action Day, a one day event where bloggers “unite to discuss a single issue – poverty. We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!”  With a common purpose, today you will see thousands of bloggers unite around a common goal to address awareness of poverty as a significant global issue.  I’m glad to be a part of it.  Imagine a stadium of folks starting to clap in unison, then go visit blogactionday.org and take a look at how bloggers from all industries, trades and backgrounds are speaking with a loud voice to millions of readers across the globe.

Poverty Awareness

I’m going to use my voice today to share some key statistics on poverty in Massachusetts, my home state, and to make a small action to contribute to the cause.  Without Blog Action Day I probably would not have taken the time to look up and share this information.

  • 320,000 people sought food assistance in Massachusetts in 2005, a 14% increase over 2001.
  • Of those, 45% had to choose between food and heat.
  • 39% had to choose between food and rent.
  • 30% had to choose between food and medical care.
  • Nearly a third say their children don’t eat enough because they can’t afford enough food.

All of these are long before the recent oil price spikes, stock market challenges and housing market problems.

A Quick Action

What can you do?  Here’s a simple suggestion – I just donated online to the Greater Boston Food Bank in honor of Blog Action Day.  You can donate online easily here or go to Feeding America to find a local one for you.

There you have it, blog and action together.  What can you do today to support Blog Action Day?

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  • I should say that the “self-organization” demo I gave, of getting the whole room to clap in unison, was something I first saw demonstrated years ago by Nicholas Negroponte.
    But self-organization is the secret to any company’s long-term success – you want your employees to glom onto any problem that comes in, address the issue, and resolve things – all without top-down direction.

  • I should say that the “self-organization” demo I gave, of getting the whole room to clap in unison, was something I first saw demonstrated years ago by Nicholas Negroponte.

    But self-organization is the secret to any company’s long-term success – you want your employees to glom onto any problem that comes in, address the issue, and resolve things – all without top-down direction.

  • Don – Thanks so much for the follow-up. The concept of self organization has many applications in social media, but seems to me most apparent around causes like this one.

  • adam

    Don – Thanks so much for the follow-up. The concept of self organization has many applications in social media, but seems to me most apparent around causes like this one.