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Win an Ultimate Digital Training Day Prize [AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS ONLY]

Let me make this very clear up front – this competition is for Australian residents only. I know this cuts out the majority of you but it is for charity and every other competition I’ve run is for everyone – so please forgive me for this localized focus. Having said that, I would still encourage you to get involved in Blog Action Day and visit Learn About Poverty for some great resources and info .

I’m excited to announce today that World Vision Australia and more specifically their blog Learn About Poverty (a blog that they have specifically set up for Blog Action Day which contains some fantastic resources for all bloggers wanting to participate in that very worthwhile project) are offering one Australian ProBlogger reader the chance to travel to Sydney on 29th October for an amazing day of Digital Training. This prize is quite amazing and I’m actually quite disappointed I can’t win it myself!

Please don’t just read the prize details – also read the rules to put yourself in the running to win!

The Prize

The prize includes multiple parts of a day of digital training on 29th October.

1. Flights to and from Sydney from your nearest capital city (you need to get to the airport yourself), accomodation overnight and transport on the day are all provided for you. I’m sure they’ll probably buy you lunch somewhere along the way too :-)

2. 4 ‘classes’ of digital training. The classes are:

Class 1 (10:30am-11:30am) Microsoft Surface

Spend an hour with the only Microsoft surface machine and experts in Australia.

Class 2 (11:45-1pm) Digital Strategy & Creative

Learn about the trends and attitudes that drive the one of the premier digital agencies in Asia Pacific: Amnesia.

Class 3 (2pm-3pm) Yahoo!7 SEO Training

Tutorial with Yahoo! 7′s SEO and SEM expert.

Class 4 (3:30pm-5pm) Google Australia

Finish off the day at Google’s Sydney office. Dialogue session with the digital experts at Google Australia.

3. It’s important to note here that World Vision has been able to provide this incredible prize through the generosity of the organisations providing the associated prizes. They have not needed to spend a dollar, and these organisations should be congratulated for their involvement.

The Rules

To put yourself in the running to win you need to do the following:

  • Be in Australia and be willing to get yourself to a capital city (or major airport).
  • Leave a comment below in this post that helps about how World Vision Australia can develop a better blogging and social media strategy. I’ve included some more information from World Vision below to help you with this.
  • The winner will be chosen by World Vision based upon your comments. So make them as helpful as possible and make sure you look over what they’re already doing and what their goals are (see below).
  • Entries need to be received by 5pm Melbourne time on Thursday 16th October. The winner will be announced in the days that follow.
  • Please confirm that you live in Australia in your comment.
  • Please use the word ‘poverty’ in your comment – this will help us make sure comments don’t get filtered into our spam filter

Information About World Vision Australia and Learn About Poverty to help you in your entry

The blog Learn About Poverty has been specifically set up for Blog Action Day (happening later this month). It is one of World Vision’s first blogging efforts and is being developed to give bloggers video and other types of resources to help them with their posting on Blog Action Day.

Here is some information provided by World Vision Australia that might help you in giving them the most helpful advice in your comment:

Goals as an organisation: We’re really trying to help ignite a social movement. Poverty is such a massive issue, that no one product or campaign will solve it, so our focus is very much becoming how we can help create/participate in the momentum already happening in society. This is a key for us moving forwards.

General direction of online: We’re moving towards a place where we can better tell our stories with anyone out there. We have a huge number of latent stories and information that circles around World Vision – literally, we walk past people in our office how are changing the world. We’re trying to come up with how we, as a large organisation, can begin to show people more of the amazing stuff we do. I’d be keen to hear how your readers think we might be able to do this and still remain authentic at the same time.

What kind of ideas: We would love ideas on how World Vision could implement more blogging and social media activities. Blogging for us could be tricky, as in some cases we can’t talk openly about our work for fear of putting governments where some of our staff and stakeholders work off-side, bringing about obvious safety issues. This has been especially tough with Learn About Poverty. But we realise we need to be much more connected with the public, in order to better communicate the urgency of the issue of global poverty. We’re really keen to hear from the probloggers our there how we could tailor a social media/blog strategy to help ignite a social movement that acknowledges this.

There you have it – please let me know if you have questions and good luck to my fellow Aussies!

update: This competition is now closed. I’ll post the winner once the team at Learn About Poverty shoot me a note with who they have selected. Thanks for everyone who entered!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Norm says:

    The thing I remember about World Vision is the 40 hour famine they do every year. What will be a great way to connect people is to have a site where all participants can blog, chat and share their experiences in doing this. Whether it is in Australia or Globally this will give opportunity people who is doing this that they connected in more ways than one. 40 hour famine online.
    During the event everyone can connect with organisers, participants, celebrities and friends.

    Another Idea is to create a special widget or logo for people can use on their Social networks that they are sponsors or participants of World Vision.

    Cheers
    Norm
    (Australian)

  2. Neil Duckett says:

    A great cause indeed, i’ve sponsored a child for 10 years now, it’s very satisfying.

  3. I absolutely think you are right that telling stories is what will make the difference. The idea of global poverty is so overwhelming that it is easy to feel like anything I as an individual person could do is futile.

    World Vision is known for the television commercials that tell mini vignettes of life in very poor countries, which I am sure have been effective.

    I wonder if there is scope to tell the same stories in an even more personal way, by sponsoring individual World Vision workers in the field.

    I’m imagining a website / blog / social media feed that is all about one person’s work. So it is not focused on “this is what World Vision is doing in ” but more “Alison has gone to for 6 months to do what she can, and this is her story”.

    I personally find it much easier to sponsor the individual work of someone I know a lot about, vs the work of an organisation in general. It gets around the fear of your money being ‘wasted’ by showing how it is helping one particular person help many other people.

    So it almost becomes ‘sponsor and aid worker’. If I sponsor someone from my home town to look after a village, and I can follow her progress online and see photos of what she is doing, I am more likely to be engaged with the whole thing.

    Plenty of scope for Facebook groups / flickr feeds / twitter interaction there.

  4. Blog Action Day is a great site. They help unite bloggers to support alot of great things.

  5. Kristofor says:

    Poverty is one of the biggest issues in the world. I believe most people know about the issue of poverty in one way or another. However for me personally I have no idea of what I can do to help, or if i have the time to help. That’s where I believe World Vision steps in.

    World Vision is not only doing great work, but they are attempting to change how we think about global issues. They are making the difference which we all want to be part of. For the average person like me, World Vision gives me confidence that there are people out there actively doing something to help others. They also inspire me to make a difference to other peoples lives. World Visions new move to blogging seems like a great way to connect with more people.

    Social media has already proven to be one of the biggest tools for awareness. Many people have used blogs to get their voice out there, to tell the world what is happening. The great thing about blogs is they can easily become viral. A blog with a small number of readers can grow to become a blog with millions of visitors within a very short space of time. I believe that World Vision should continue to break into this social phenomenon.

    The worst thing World Vision could do, in my opinion, is to have a blog where they talk from the perspective of world vision as a whole the entire time. These sound scripted and are likely to halt the ability of the blog to become viral. Blogs must be personal. They must connect with their audience. They have to sound like there is a real person behind the blog.

    In terms of improving how World Vision goes about its online strategy, I believe that there are two main areas World Vision should focus on for online.

    The first is Video Blogs. Video brings everything back home. With a bit of music and some great images you can deliver a message without the need of large amounts of text. You are able to engage with people visually, which opens the door for so much more information in much less time. In my experience all of the videos I have seen World Vision deliver have struck a chord. I always feel moved by seeing the practical aspect of what World Vision is doing. Sure it’s great to write about it, however I think that in showing ‘what’ World Vision does through video, they will be able to deliver a huge viral message. These videos can be following volunteers or workers, showing what they do to help people struggling with poverty, or they could be videos running through statistics, or showing some of the stories of people who they help. Remembering a picture is worth a thousand words… and there are 25 frames per second, that’s 25,000 words a second… The impact is huge! And these are the kind of videos that get sent around to all of the people in your email list.

    Secondly, I believe there is a large space for text based blogging. To me World Vision should focus text based posts on how people can do something to make a difference, and blogs from people who have been making a difference. This brings a very personal nature to the blog post. If you have a few volunteers, or employees who write about what they have experienced, some of the people they meet, some of the places they have been, what made them decide to help, then they will be able to deliver this very personal and yet active message of what World Vision does from the perspective of someone who is making the change. I personally find these posts very inspirational. I love to see what real people are doing. It inspires me to want to do something. It is much better than reading about, or seeing what World Vision does as a whole. It changes from this is what World Vision does to this is what ‘Sally’ or ‘John’ is doing. It becomes very very personal. It is brought down to a level where people can connect, both with the people being helped, and with the person doing the work.

    Whichever way World Vision takes their online challenge, I believe they should continue to throw more focus onto social media. Through the internet they have the ability to connect with so many people, and if just a percentage of those decide to do something, it could be those few people who change the world.

    Thanks,
    Kris – from Brisbane, Australia

  6. Warren says:

    I am in Australia and, according to instructions, here is the word – poverty.

    My idea is to give some of the people that World Vision help a blog voice.

    In one of the World Vision locations identify 3-5 people who will contribute ongoing personal stories, thoughts and observations.

    This would enable World Vision to:
    * Connect the people they help with the online world (and vice-versa)
    * Supplement the “corporate voice” of published World Vision stories with a “personal voice”
    * Provide the internet world with a view from a non-typical user demographic
    * I am expecting that there would be feedback and comments from the world back to the community – this may be an interesting experience for the community involved

  7. A Dawn says:

    Supporting World Vision is great and thanks to all of those who are making World Vision a reality. I have World Vision logo on my website (on the lower right) and I think it’s the greatest piece I have ever put on my site.
    Cheers,
    A Dawn
    http://www.adawnjournal.com

  8. Eric Tan says:

    oy oy oy!

  9. I love what World Vision does as a global community but I’ve often wondered if they ever turn their eye to the difficulties we as a nation suffer locally. I would LOVE to see more scope added to aid given to Australian’s in need.

    It would also be easier to feel connected and in touch with the World Vision appeals if we could see the action as it happens from day to day. We talk about one donation buying a goat, another a bee hive, etc. But what does this REALLY mean for impoverished people? TELL THE STORY!

    I’d love to see a blog that focuses on the journey of individuals. Perhaps a weekly highlight about how a specific person living in poverty has been helped by the work of World Vision. Seeing the results with pictures and video, sharing the reality from beginning to end. These could be like your television commercials, where we see children in new schools, and families with fresh drinking water, but with a tighter focus down to individuals. Tell us about the people. What are their names? How do they live?

    I’d also love to see ‘down the track’ updates. We know we have helped these people on the day they are helped, but where does the future take them? How has their lives improved weeks, months, and years later? Are we changing the future for these people or are their fates still clouded despite what we give?

    When it comes to the marketing and promoting aspect of World Vision I’d love to see more ways we can help as a community other than a financial aspect. How can I, as a single mother living in Australia, reach out and truly help these people if I can’t offer a financial donation? How can I spread the word? What can “I” (we) do?

    Offering advertising buttons (for example this contest needs one!) that allow us to share the cause’s upcoming events or current promotions from our own websites would be fantastic. Do you have a media kit that is available to bloggers? 125×125 and 460×90 buttons and banners?

    When World Vision blogs, include people stories, interviews, and real information about how people can be and have been helped. We don’t need the specifics about which government is being buttered up because we’re not involved in that, we’re involved in the cause and the results. What did our contribution do? How is World Vision making a difference? How are poverty-stricken lives changed?

    * Don’t forget to provide easy ways to share your stories with others (social media buttons for StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, etc.).
    * Use a Creative Commons License when possible.
    * Bio block your volunteer writers with photographs.
    * Write web suitable content. (400 – 800 words, bold, lists, images, whitespace, etc.)
    * Create a Social Media presence with regular Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, MySpace, etc. updates.

    Obviously, this is only the tip of the iceberg. *chuckles* I don’t want to hijack the comments with all my ideas and suggestions. This is the sort of thing I do for a living as a Web Tech so, I’ve more ideas if you ever want them. *grins* Feel free to email me.

    Sincerely,
    Rebecca Laffar-Smith of Western Australia
    Freelance Writer, Editor, and Web Tech
    http://www.rebeccalaffarsmith.com

  10. Thanks to the World Vision team for seeing the value in adding Social Networking to your communications strategy.

    The strength of developing this stratagem for fighting poverty will be in recognising the power of “one to one”.

    Right now you are facing the dilemma in every direct mailing of wanting to fight the broadest front to gain the attention of the masses for the cause of crushing poverty.

    With social networking you are handing the swords out and allowing the bloggers to fight in hand to hand combat on your behalf. To a certain extent this presents major trust issues for your organisation, however if you can encapsulate a concise thought in a video or text version of a life experience blog release or testimony and can hand it to trusted identified blog visionaries, then you have the potential for a strong multiplication factor with reduced translation issues.

    My strong belief is that a ‘corporate’ identity can’t expect to engage or contract the social networking solution, it has to participate. To formulate a development plan will take research and identification. The systems, outlets and topical matter will move as the social agenda, technology and the temperature of our own community works through its own transitions. To forecast future positions and be there before the crowd you will need passionate social networkers who will do two things for you.

    1. RESEARCH: Actively participate in the community and contribute to the discussion. This ensures that you are developing an understanding of the focus and triggers of the community. What are their writing priorities, emotional buttons and life direction? Through participation you aren’t dealing with a research snapshot but instead you have built a window into your audience.

    2. IDENTIFICATION: The key to a good grower is finding the healthy branches. Out of social networking participation comes the ability to find new multipliers in the form of bloggers who will be active, attuned and alert to the needs of World Vision. As a grower, you recognise the DNA of your own fruit. To that end you are the best organisation to look for like minded DNA. Being able to choose bloggers who area aligned with your goals will come out of participation not putting up a vacancy sign.

    BTW – in the social networking scene the role of a charity should not ‘on the surface’ be about the numbers. In any social networking scene driving the ‘group’ towards signing up to reach numerical goals diminishes the intent of the mission and becomes a game. It may garner momentum but not results. Keep it personal and about the difference it can make in the life of the one.

    World Vision, I wish you well as you develop this program. I’m excited by your desire and your approach.

    Regards,

    Andrew Pitchford (I am in Australia)

    REMEMBER: If you want action never lose sight of the power of telling a personal story. Personally relayed experience cuts through the corporate clag. A well sculpted blog can tell that story many times.

  11. I’m an Australian and would actually have a good shot at winning this, and would love to enter, but unfortunately I can’t go on the date specified :(

  12. Armen says:

    To be honest, World Vision Australia suffers from the same problem every big charity does. The lack of personal touch.

    The greatest doubt that everyone has when giving to charity, is how much what they’re giving is actually profiting the needy. How much is absorbed by marketing and bureaucracy?

    World Vision must obtain the confidence of people. This is what makes blogging such a potentially powerful medium for them.

    I know a few other commenters have already said some of this, but it’s so true. If they can get regular people on their staff to blog about their lives as a charity worker, rather than blogging about World Vision itself, they will gain trust in their own audience.

    When people see ‘World Vision’ it looks too clinical. But, if they can get to know ‘Joe Bloggs’ who works for World Vision and get a glimpse of his life, if he sells himself and what he does well, then others will want to get involved.

    People don’t become guilty when they see the work that a ‘charity’ does. But, they can be moved out of their comfort-zone when they see what the ordinary Joe Bloggs is doing.

    See footage of poverty in third world countries, can be very moving. But, how about members of World Vision Australia going to the streets of the cities, and finding the poverty stricken on our doors steps? How about using video, and getting those in poverty to give testimony of the horrors of having nothing?

    How about offering competitions on WV blogs, where the prize isn’t some unrelated trip to Google, but a trip into some aspect of what World Vision does? Something like that would probably change the individuals attitude toward the charity forever, and if they’re a blogger, then they’re likely going to share it with the world, and they will have an impact on all their readership too.

    If I thought about it for long enough, I could probably come up with a heap of ideas for an online marketing plan, but I trust this has been at least a little bit helpful.

    And yes, I’m in Australia :-)

  13. Schoonzie says:

    I think a simple way to leverage social get the message out there about poverty that is happening around the world is to hold a YouTube competition where entrants can submit their own videos about how they have been affected by poverty in their life.

    The videos could be about how they have seen something on TV that has shocked them enough to sponsor a child, or how they have travelled to India and seen children forced to work to help their parents pay for food, or how someone has taken on the World Vision 40 hour famine and recording their thoughts and feelings as they complete it.

    This type of competition would highlight the poverty problem from many different perspectives and how ordinary people are getting behind the cause and doing what they can to support it.

    Nick (Schoonzie) Schoonens
    from Brisbane, Australia.

  14. Patrick John O'Mahony, Sr says:

    I will not be able to attend, please do not include me in the drawing for this prize. pomahony2-at-homtmail.com, Dallas, Texas, USA

  15. John Lacey says:

    I made a few suggestions on my own Blue Day 2008 entry. I’ll reproduce them here. (To be honest, though, I’m not entirely sure how they apply to poverty as they all imply access to the internet… and while it is all relative in this comparatively lucky country of ours, I imagine few poor people have access to such things. Although there are often options in schooling and library environments, I suppose.)

    Shared Experiences: Sometimes there is solace to be had just by knowing you’re not alone and connecting with other people who share similar interests or similar challenges. The nature of most sites allow you to observe others (viewer of a video, reader of a blog) or contribute yourself. Type “Depressed” into YouTube search, for example, and quickly you are presented by people who are genuinely depressed. This isn’t the stuff of nice Public Service Announcement type videos, this is real user-generated content! You will also find more specialised content if you seek it, such as resources relating to specific medical conditions (manic depression, dissociative identity disorder) or living conditions (youth, gay and lesbian, rural living).Information: Peter Costello recently remarked on a disagreement (about a historical event) he had with his children. In order to determine who was right, Peter went to his library. His children went to the internet. This is true of a lot of people. The internet has the potential to be a great resource for information on specific conditions and treatments, as well as for practical strategies for coping with stress, trauma and grief. The challenge, I suppose, is that anyone can publish anything, so identifying trusted sources is very important. It may be more comfortable for people to research topics that might have stigma associated with them in this way, rather than borrowing a book from a library or discussing it with a medical profession. Interaction: It is my hope that text-based chat programs would be set up to rival the telephone counseling hotlines we are already familiar with. This would be of benefit to people who appreciate the relative anonymity of the internet. It might also be of benefit for people who feel more comfortable communicating via text, or whose living arrangements might make articulating problems and concerns aloud difficult. Similarly, through social networking sites and the blogs and videos mentioned above, individuals can make contact with other people dealing with similar challenges.Reference Points: The online world can point us in the direction of resources in the offline (real, or IRL – “In Real Life”) world too. Support Groups. Doctors. Other forms of media not available online (books, DVDs). Being able to identify what is available quickly and easily helps us organise a course of action. Technologies such as Google Maps and WhereIs help us identify where those things are, once we establish what they are!

  16. John Lacey says:

    I tried this earlier and it didn’t appear to take, so here we go again.

    I made a few suggestions on my own blog entry. I’ll reproduce them here. (I’m not sure if they necessarily speak about poverty as they all imply internet access. Though I hope they will be of some assistance anyway.)

    Shared Experiences: Sometimes there is solace to be had just by knowing you’re not alone and connecting with other people who share similar interests or similar challenges. The nature of most sites allow you to observe others (viewer of a video, reader of a blog) or contribute yourself. Type “Depressed” into YouTube search, for example, and quickly you are presented by people who are genuinely depressed. This isn’t the stuff of nice Public Service Announcement type videos, this is real user-generated content! You will also find more specialised content if you seek it, such as resources relating to specific medical conditions (manic depression, dissociative identity disorder) or living conditions (youth, gay and lesbian, rural living).

    Information: Peter Costello recently remarked on a disagreement (about a historical event) he had with his children. In order to determine who was right, Peter went to his library. His children went to the internet. This is true of a lot of people. The internet has the potential to be a great resource for information on specific conditions and treatments, as well as for practical strategies for coping with stress, trauma and grief. The challenge, I suppose, is that anyone can publish anything, so identifying trusted sources is very important. It may be more comfortable for people to research topics that might have stigma associated with them in this way, rather than borrowing a book from a library or discussing it with a medical profession.

    Interaction: It is my hope that text-based chat programs would be set up to rival the telephone counseling hotlines we are already familiar with. This would be of benefit to people who appreciate the relative anonymity of the internet. It might also be of benefit for people who feel more comfortable communicating via text, or whose living arrangements might make articulating problems and concerns aloud difficult. Similarly, through social networking sites and the blogs and videos mentioned above, individuals can make contact with other people dealing with similar challenges.

    Reference Points: The online world can point us in the direction of resources in the offline (real, or IRL – “In Real Life”) world too. Support Groups. Doctors. Other forms of media not available online (books, DVDs). Being able to identify what is available quickly and easily helps us organise a course of action. Technologies such as Google Maps and WhereIs help us identify where those things are, once we establish what they are!

  17. This is great that something is being done and also including poverty as well.

    But poor me, I can’t participate just because of the physical boundaries. I as well as other bloggers, I hope, around the world would like to see this type of competition be organized so that we can also participate.

    Gosh, I have to miss such interesting traning session.

    Not cool.

  18. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your amazing advice so far. Keep them coming, we have appreciated all the advice and opinions so far from all entrants.

    I think one of the most interesting, and resonating, points many of you have made is about the need to drop ‘orange curtain’ of world vision and let the blogging community see the real people working to alleviate poverty.

    This is great advice, but I’d especially like to see (in entries from now) how we can go about that whilst ensuring the safety of our staff placed in hostile environments. Cracking how to create a blogging strategy that is safe for our staff will go along way to giving us the ability to enact all your suggestions above.

    Thanks again for the comments, keep them coming!!!

    Steve from World Vision and Learn About Poverty

  19. Les Scammell says:

    Hi Darren
    This is a great initiative and I wish it all the success possible. I will follow up with blog on my site this weekend. This is one opportunity I would love to win, however, even though I live in Qld, I couldn’t make the dates so count me out of contention.

    World Vision Australia do a lot to help ease poverty around the world and they deserve out respect and support. I hope every Australian blogger gets behind this initiative and writes a supporting post – even if the prize is not up your ally, it may be perfect for one of your readers.

    Cheers Darren for promoting this and good luck in getting everyone on board

    les

  20. Sire says:

    I am currently sponsoring two kids and I love the updates that World Vision send you to keep you informed on how they are doing. The family and I would rather go without rather than fall behind helping these needy families.

  21. I’m the assistant event coordinator for Blog Action Day 2008. If anyone has ideas on how to make our event better, please let me know here in the comments or at (my first name) at blogactionday dot org, or at 1-970-372-6630, or at twitter.com/blogactionday.

    Thanks to the great folks at World Vision Australia for setting up this incredible competition.

    If we can change one person’s world, we can change the whole world.

  22. I have been a long time sponsor of a World Vision child and am pleased to see this initiative to help in areas stricken with poverty.

    I see there is a request “I’d especially like to see (in entries from now) how we can go about that whilst ensuring the safety of our staff placed in hostile environments. Cracking how to create a blogging strategy that is safe for our staff will go along way to giving us the ability to enact all your suggestions above.”

    I am assuming some of the problems here would be

    + Identification by specific country authorities
    + publishing information authorities deem sensitive
    + carry equipment that could be used to to publish sensitive information

    My suggested solution

    The internet does not require a face to create a personality. The recent explosion of micro-blogging from the Twitter platform can be done under a picture of anything. Microblogging is quick, to the point and very very personal.

    Recent twitter successes that I would point to would be Roz Savage’s Ocean row http://twitter.com/rozsavage?page=6 .
    She posted from a remote location (middle of the pacific ocean) had 5000 people from all round the globe hanging onto her twitters with many MANY more carrying her RSS feed to their blogs.

    This can be incorporated into the meat of the World Vision blog and be expanded on with larger stories from people in less sensitive areas.

    In 140 characters you can impart information like “Going to a village where there is no food to help a sick woman” and have the distilled information without the identifying marks. Mix that in with “just played kick ball with some local children and laughed ourselves silly” and you have the stuff that people love to read on Twitter

    Allison Reynolds
    Sydney

  23. In helping World Vision eliminate poverty via Blogging and Social Media, I’ve taken a slightly different approach to my entry by listing more ‘actions’ that can implemented TODAY, as opposed to ‘high level’ strategy.

    Strategy is great, but in my dealings with non-profits… there tends to be an overwhelming amount of discussion around ‘strategies’… which results in wasted time and either little, costly or no ‘actionable’ ideas.

    As Steve Hopkins pointed out the “need to drop ‘orange curtain’ of world vision and let the blogging (read:social/world) community see the real people working to alleviate poverty” is a MUST…

    So here are my ‘actionable’ strategy ideas for World Vision, which they can implement NOW, for very little cost which will drop the curtain..

    TWITTER

    Create a twitter account where World Vision (WV) can tweet little bits of information about poverty and what they are ‘doing’ to combat it.

    For example:

    “The WV Africa team, just helped build a toilet in ____ today.”
    “Did you know that ________ happens somewhere in the world ever ____ seconds”
    “Thanks to our ____ team, they gave a village in ___ water today. 476 can now drink”

    I think this would be something a lot of people would follow as it would be a constant (somewhat subtle) way to be constantly reminded of the greater world we live in… and that there is more important things in the world then what “@Scobleizer is doing right now”

    FACEBOOK APPLICATION

    A Facebook application could do a similar thing to the tweets mentioned above… You will find a lot of people would ‘install’ this application to simply “look” like they are happened, but even if that’s the case, social proof is a powerful force.

    The WV Facebook app, could be a great tool for participants in things such as the 40hr famine, to generate sponsorships and encourage their ‘network of friends’ to sponsor them. It could list ‘their funds’ raised so far and which of their friends have sponsored them (there’s that social proof thing again – If Scott sponsored Sarah, I should too)

    VIDEO BLOGGING

    Showing short 2 min videos from aid workers in the field. They can simply record a short 2min video showing what is ‘actually’ being done. I think a lot of people have a real disconnect between the donation and the end physical result. Video blogging would be a really great way of breaking down that barrier.

    By seeing the ‘moving’ faces of people my donations help, and the projects it funds.. it would build a stronger bond and a stronger bond creates a stronger commitment and consistency result.

    And the beauty of video is that people can SEE, what is being done without having to actually know which country the work is being completed in.. This could hopefully help reduce the ‘issues’ of staff placed in hostile environments..

    Just show me the ‘actions’ being done, I don’t particularly care which country it is in, as long as I can see the positive effect on another human being – We all live on teh same planet, countries are just lines.

    KIVA STYLE PROJECT FUNDING

    Similar to Matthew Patterson’s suggestion above. Create a social network style platform, similar to KIVA.org where people can sponsor individual projects, it can show the % of goal collected so far etc etc

    I did see that you link to KIVA on your http://www.worldvision.com site, so maybe the JV you have in place is enough… but funding a ‘WV project’ is a lot different to the mico lending that KIVA does.

    People could then link to, add banners/buttons on the ‘project’ they are trying to support on their own blogs… So their viewers/readers can get involved.

    “I blog for free because I like it.. so if you want to say thanks to me, sponsor the project I support by clicking here”

    BUILT A LIST

    On any of the WV sites I looked at there is not a clear or obvious way for people to join the WV e-mailing list.

    I know there would be thousands of people who would supply their email address in an effort to be kept-updated on all things WV. You can’t expect people to continually visit the site(s) for updates… Get their details and keep them abreast – the world is too busy, and Facebook is too distracting.

    The real asset WV (or any business has for that matter) is it fans/supporters… The WV brand is only as strong as it’s ‘followers’ (theirs a web2.0 cliche) so make it EASY for these people to become part of your community buy having a ‘join our mailing list’ box prominently on your homepage.

    AND yes, a mailing list is a community.

    RUN SOME CONTESTS that cause viral epidemics.

    Get a major to sponsor a ‘best viral video’ award each year, with the winner getting a round the world flight.

    Give away a MacBook Pro to the person who creates the best ‘online flash game’ that revolves around poverty.

    With every major ‘marketing/awareness’ campaign you choose to embark on, get the marketing material created via a ‘social contest’ – It removes the ‘advertising budget’ WV would otherwise invest, it creates a community, it gives budding artists/designers/videographers a chance to build their portfolio and it generates lots n lots of buzz

    Go to the elance.com ‘s of the world, get them to ‘advertise’ the contest to a GLOBAL marketplace of budding artists.. and you never know, you may just find the winner comes from a third world country that needs the support/exposure – Not all poverty is financial.

    Hey, here’s an idea… Instead of trying to create your own Web 2.0 social network community (which will ALOT of hard work)… just piggy back off the ones that exist… Simply go to every major web 2.0 community site, find out what there niche is and leverage off that.

    http://www.AllRecipes.com could run a contest around the best recipe made from a ‘poverty stricken countries’ main produce… Creates exposure, conversations and donations.
    http://www.LinkedIn.com could sponsor a Kiva style ‘mico-lending’ project… Creates exposure, conversations and donations.
    http://www.iminlikewithyou.com could create a game around ‘third world countries’ and poverty
    http://www.travbuddy.com/ – where do I start with these ideas.

    Cheers,

    Pete Williams
    Melbourne, Australia

  24. John Tracey says:

    poverty

    Hello, my name is John Tracey and I live in Brisbane, the capital city of Australia.

    I suggest something like the following.

    A good (non commercial) blog needs a large pool of writers, the more the better. This means there is something new and different every day, or at least several posts every week. This keeps a blog alive, it moves and changes and readers want to keep up with what is going on. It is not just a notice-board for occaisional communiques but an organism with a life of its own.

    A post can be as simple as a few sentences commenting on an interesting link somewhere else so regular writers do not have to take on too much of a burden and, again, the more the better to minimise individual workloads.

    The Andy Warhol principle, celebrity creates celebrity.

    * Host high celebrity special guest bloggers, preferably writers who are prepared to answer (even a few) of the comments. Let readers know that they can have a direct interactive engagement with the celebrity (e.g. ABC’s Q&A program).

    *Live blogging special events , not necesarily World vision events but anything central to the “target groups”, e.g. World Youth Day, election day, big concerts, sporting events, Australia Day, etc. There have been many very boring attempts at live blogging by simply opening up comments during an event. However a bit of creativity such as immediate photo (or video) download or getting a celebrity associated with the event to join the real time discussion will liven it up. There is heaps of room for experimentation and innovation in live blogging. The bar is very low at present.

    As I see it, live blogging comes to life immediately after the event, as a follow up to the event when people have gathered their thoughts about what happened but are still buzzing.

    As others have suggested, there should be widget link things, twitter and RSS and all those things for others to put on their sites. An invitation to do this should be prominent in all special events or guest bloggers, encouraging readers own connection and identification with the celebrity event.

    Bloggers are always willing to promote other blogs in particular special events such as live blogging. Asking supportive bloggers to pre-advertise a special event in itself helps build a network.

    You can wait a long time for a network to come to your own blog if you don’t give it help to find you. Identify the blogs in the target network and participate in their discussions, make yourself known to the network. If you have something like a special event or a celebrity guest blogger you are offering the network something that it is interested in rather than trying to convince them that they should be interested in your blog and organisation.

    Interactivity

    * Construct some blog articles as unresolved questions, not just a good story, to encourage discussion amongst the punters – a good blog has a life of its own above and beyond the bloggers own contributions. While there are times for information sharing – communicating facts as well as presenting coherent opinions, throwing open ended questions to the readers to give their own perspectives and discuss amongst themselves encourages ongoing relationship with the blog.

    Non-internet promotion of the blog/website – “branding”

    *bumper stickers
    *billboards
    *paid advertising in TV and print media

    * systematic issue of media releases about issues covered in the blog including details of the blog as an info source on the issue. Also, any new developments on the blog itself can be media worthy – where the blog itself is the news story (e,g having a celebrity guest blogger).
    *Hand leaflets about the blog to high school and university students.

    Youtube

    - put a very, very funny short video on youtube, Something bizzarre and outrageous but within the issues of world vision and with the blog/website clearly promoted in the video. Better still, get a celebrity comedian to do it, but doesn’t have to be. could even be a cartoon. If this youtube is outrageous and funny it will be reproduced on thousands and thousands of websites of fellow travellers around the world.

    Check out “Grocery Store Wars” as an example
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVrIyEu6h_E

    Check out the other “FreeRange Studios” clips on youtube.

    Hope this helps.

    JT

  25. Jason says:

    World Vision’s approach to blogging and social media needs to take a more local approach. While we are endlessly bombarded with stories in the media about terrible situations overseas, we have some dire situations here in our own backyards that no-one seems to be rushing to solve. Getting local content, possibly even from some of the people that they seek to help would go a long way towards raising the awareness that charity begins at home.

    - Jason
    [Sydney, Australia]

  26. Loreena Walsh says:

    Ok, This has taken me some time and some thought, and it’s something I feel very passionate about. This is long, so I will start by talking about what is worrying World Vision most about where they want to take their company with blogging and interaction with internet users.

    Firstly, I know there are concerns about identifying specific campaigns, workers, locations, countries or causing political unrest or dangerous situations to world vision workers. No blogger wants this. The truth is, we (the general public) don’t care WHERE world vision workers are exactly, we just care that THEY ARE. They are out there putting donations to good use. They are out there changing lives, and they are out there taking action that many of us would love to but are not brave enough or able to achieve.

    Most bloggers blog because they love to tell stories and share ideas. About things, about their lives, through photography or art. They love to share.

    Most people read blogs for exactly the same reasons. The goal of becoming an interactive part of the blogging and social networking internet communities should be to share stories, although it may not necessarily be the types of stories you expect that people are really wanting to read.

    It will be great for world vision to share where they are in the world, and small snippets of information about politically sensitive areas. I mean who doesn’t want to know that a new village was built, or a years supply of rice was provided, or 12 children are now at school. We all do, and this is a great way to share that information. What’s vital for World Vision to understand is that we won’t read, or share your stories any LESS because they don’t identify individuals. In fact honesty about the fact those things can’t be shared, but telling part of the story that is able to be told actually makes World Vision seem more real and transparent.

    So don’t name people who can’t be named. Don’t give exact geographical details or politically sensitive information if it’s dangerous to do so, but do share the minute, tiny details about a child interacting with a world vision member, do give details, the tiniest ones that warm our hearts. Do share details that chill our blood. We need to know. Even if we may not know the exact details, let us know that your people are out there in the world at “location A” and that something dangerous happened. If you are continually sharing information with us, we will learn to trust the information, respect it and rise up to support it even when we can’t know details.

    We know about the sick, starving communities, and we know World Vision is out there, but we don’t know about the small details.

    (ok so that was a bit long!! Sorry but I hope it makes sense in developing communications)

    A year ago I started a blog with a goal to focus on world environmental and humanitarian issues and these are some things that would have definitely helped me to feel more connected to the organisations I was wanting to get behind and support.

    FROM WORLD VISION:

    Web 2.0 should be huge in the interaction of world vision with its supporters.

    Micro Blogging:
    Twitter is an amazing micro blogging tool where everyone from world vision office staff, to staff out and about on the field could be sharing the mundane and exciting parts of their day, after all it’s all important! Twitter can be accessed from a mobile phone, or online and could share ANYTHING and everything to do with worldvision, from “setting up a mail out” to “delivering rice to a village”. It’s the real things that happen behind the scenes that we are interested in. I want to know what’s going on and be able to say to people “hey you should follow world vision on twitter, today they did x, y, z” or “did you know World Vision have a new campaign coming up about A,B,C?” It would help people feel like part of the family and stay connected.

    Plurk – This is similar to twitter and could be used the same way.

    Social bookmarking – Once you have the blogging community onside and active, then this is a no brainer. Bloggers love to digg, stumble upon and fave in technorati (not to mention all the other social bookmarking site, these are just a tiny selection) These buttons need to be integrated into your website and blog so that they appear on every page and blog entry. If world vision is talking about and supporting bloggers, bloggers will love the attention and digg their busy fingers off bringing some great attention and huge page rank to any sites for worldvision (not that it’s probably an issue for your sites).

    Social Networking – As a blogger, I also want to be able to show my non blogging friends that I support World Vision. Sites such as Facebook and myspace , even youtube can reach millions of people. From Company profiles, specific campaigns for the latest World Vision promotions, to “subscriber only” competitions. But it shouldn’t stop there. World vision should follow in the steps of other companies who are creating their own community portals.

    There are sites such as NING that allow you to utilise their technology and infrastructure to establish your own community, or starting your own from scratch. Sites such as this could work for World Vision in it’s entirety or for specific campaigns such as 40 hour famine etc. This is better than a basic forum because people can generally blog within the community, share photos, music and really interact with each other. It would also be a great way to get close and personal with world vision staff and volunteers.

    Featured Bloggers – Choose some of the top bloggers in Australia or some of the smaller bloggers for that matter and allow them to interview people from World Vision. Give them time to allow their readers to submit questions and once the finished product is ok’d, publish it on the blog. Perhaps this could take place monthly? This way the blogging community really gets to ask what they would like to know. (of course not everything can be answered but its another way to connect)

    Allow bloggers to apply for this position. Publish the results on the world vision page also, this allows bloggers (who pass the application process) to get some great publicity of their own as well as great back links, something bloggers crave.

    Add a widget to the World Vision website that tracks blog posts made with certain tags. That way, when bloggers are writing about World Vision, they are rewarded with their link showing up on the World Vision website for a time, once it is tagged correctly.

    FOR BLOGS:

    Banners & Buttons – This goes without saying that bloggers need a variety of banners and buttons to use on their blogs. 125 x 125 is a popular size, as are vertical banners that fit nicely down side bars.

    Rss Feed Widgets – Supplying bloggers with a choice of rss feed widgets they can place on their blogs would be great. For example greenpeace have a widget that shows all their latest headlines. It sits nicely on my blog and updates automatically. You could have one all inclusive widget feeding news for the entire site, or separate widgets dedicated to particular campaigns. Bloggers love interactive and self updating goodies to put on their sites

    Donation Buttons – It would be amazing if bloggers could register for their very own donation button that would track exactly what money was raised for world vision via their blog. Bloggers definitely love to get behind any good cause, having some idea of just exactly how much their campaigning is helping would be wonderful. World Vision could even have competitions based around the blogger with the highest donations via their blog.

    Contests – Competitions are always good, and they don’t need to have expensive prizes to attract blogging attention. In fact, promotion and links are often enough motivation. Allow people to become the blogger of the month and work with world vision staff to feature some discussion on what’s happening with World Vision and their thoughts and ideas on the matter. Just another way bloggers can help share the stories of the world.

    Opt In Form – Firstly the opt in form on the world vision website is hard to find, but have a version for bloggers to put the World Vision opt in newsletter form on their blog. Greenpeace do this and it’s great!

    Overall, for World Vision to become more personalised, its definitely about sharing your stories. The one’s you mention that are sitting dormant. If there is a way to share those stories by removing details that can’t be shared, don’t be scared to do so. It seems that is your major concern, but I honestly just want to hear the story(even if there’s sensitive information removed). Meet the people. Are they mother’s like me who still take time to go and help the world? Are they young, old, have they always worked for World Vision or have they made a change from the Corporate world so they could do something to make a difference?

    These are the details that matter and by using the strategies and services above, a great campaign could be formed. Not just a once off, but by blasting World Vision into the social networking scene and letting your people share their hopes, dreams and experiences with the public.

    Thanks for your time and good luck. I can’t wait to see this wonderful World Vision journey take place.

  27. Ross Hill says:

    Wow – there are some really amazing ideas here!

    @ John Tracey Check out the Kenny (Shane Jacobsen) video at http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=1dYefCCHGoE – I found it this morning. Who knew it was the UN year of sanitation!?

  28. Arif Rahman says:

    Just would like everyone to visit my blog and know about a poverty eradication project I’m working on.

    We are trying to harness the power of microchips to eradicate poverty, while at the same time empower businesses.

    We have working models in Kyrgyzstan and Malawi, and are looking forward to implement it in more places!

    http://villagersprogrammingmicrochips.blogspot.com/

  29. dj paine says:

    from someone who works with World Vision, i wrote a two parter:
    part one http://bit.ly/djpart1
    part two http://bit.ly/djpart2