Craigslist founder Craig Newmark wants to hear you tweet about squirrels, and he’s willing to pay for it. He’s running a fundraising campaign to raise money for the National Wildlife Federation, experimenting with Twitter to see just how powerful 140 characters can be.
If you tweet #Squirrels4Good (or post it to his Facebook page), Newmark will donate a dollar to the National Wildlife Federation, up to a total of $5,000.
He’s also teaming up with @common_squirrel, a Twitter account that tweets from the point of view of a squirrel (whose 60,000+ followers are treated to insightful tweets like “blink blink blink”, “run run run” and “sleep” several times a day). They’ll be working together to raise awareness for the campaign and for the plight of little furry urban dwellers everywhere.
Newmark wrote to Mashable to explain why he’s trying his hand at raising money for squirrels:
“I do most of my work in my home office next to some woods, where frequent squirrely visitors remind me of a growing love of the natural world. Through social media, I became acquainted with @common_squirrel. We share a love of the little critters and nature in general. It made for a great partnership to raise money for related causes and social media is the method of choice for us both.”
And it won’t take long for Newmark to hit his goal of 5,000 tweets, if the current excitement is any indication. According to Topsy search results, there are over 1,000 tweets already out there with the #Squirrels4Good hashtag, just 24 hours after the campaign was launched.
Honestly, this is a pretty cute way to raise money and awareness. Even if you think squirrels are a nuisance, there’s no denying they’re adorable when they’re stuffing nuts and acorns in their cheeks. And they’re a great mascot for a wildlife Twitter fund raiser – their twitchy chirps are as close to a tweet as a mammal’s going to get.