Last week, Twitter’s Claire Diaz-Ortiz, the company’s leader for social innovation, released her book all about how people can use Twitter to be good global citizens. But the book, Twitter for Good, is only one part of Twitter’s focus on social change: Hope140, Twitter’s web site for supporting causes, serves as a launch pad for the various ways social media can make a positive difference. Here are the top 5 things Hope140 is doing right at this juncture. 1. Listing specific causes. Right on its front page, Hope140 lists three big, broad causes that you can support: #hope4japan for earthquake relief, International Literacy Day, and Help Haiti Now. Even if these causes don’t speak to you, or are evolving faster than Twitter updates the Hope140 web site, listing specific causes helps give people ideas about the ways we can make an impact through Twitter. Furthermore, literacy and disaster relief are two huge categories — proving that though tweets are small, the differences we can make are big.
2. #betternow. Hashtags are even popular in spoken conversation now — and by giving Twitter users the direct opportunity to tweet a pledge with the #betternow label, people can be both Twitter-hip and socially productive.
3. Attacking from all angles. Twitter spreading its Hope140 message on Twitter and its own web site is nothing to write home about — that is the least we would expect from this social media company. But with the launch of the new Twitter for Good book, Twitter is demonstrating a commitment to a comprehensive strategy that gives people plenty of options about where to receive their information about charitable and volunteer-oriented opportunities.
4. Case studies. The Hope140 web site also features case studies that list best practices for social change organizations that want to tweet their way to success. Room to Read and Charity: water are two of the case studies that are posted now, but if Twitter continues to highlight organizations in this way, browsers of their web site are sure to be inspired — if only to receive recognition on Hope140 in the future.
5. Soliciting good news. Finally, as Hope140 states explicitly on its front page, “The open exchange of information is just beginning to become an everyday part of how the world communicates.” Twitter is embodying that “open exchange” model by inviting all users to tell them how their tweets are promoting goodness in the world. The promoted tweets model, which all Twitter users have been accustomed to on their homepage, lets people and organizations receive greater recognition on one of the most pervasive platforms in existence.
Have you tweeted for social change lately?