Tonight at 9:12pm David created a blog post for a friend in need. Daniela, with her three youngsters, made the courageous decision to exit a physically abusive marriage. Now homeless and far from home and support, her friends came to her aid. David posted a picture, an entreaty for donations and included a widget from ChipIn–a PayPal enabled payment system–to raise money that would provide Daniela the means to rent a small apartment for her family. His target was $5,000 and within two hours it easily passed $7,000 in donations.
To be fair, David is just any guy. He’s David Armano, or @Armano on Twitter where you may already be one of his 8000+ followers. I am. You should. He puts great thinking and creativity into the SocialSphere everyday through his Logic+Emotion blog, twitterstream, twitpics, flickr visualizations, slideshare decks, bookmarks and more. David populates and prolifically fills his SocialMap with an abundance of original thought, discoveries and insights. So, when he finally asked for something in return, the community answered his call. When he posted to his blog, he also asked in addition to giving that people help him spread the word by “retweeting” his link. They did and the response was immediate.
The widget allows you to track progress and it’s clear by the decimal point movement that people were making payments of all sizes, including very small, but meaningful ones. Because with The Long Tail and micropayments, a little can add up to a lot. In this case, a families dreams of a better life. Currently 218 donors have raised $7,099.31 or $32.56 per person on average.
To bluntly and awkwardly bring this back to the business of digital marketing and Real Branding, here are some lessons David delivered tonight:
- Brands that create value have the right to make the ask on occasion and their fans will respond
- Micro is the new black. Sure widgets have been around for at least three years when RockYou put its code up on MySpace and started tearing at the walled gardens creating a distribution and value-creating revolution. But now they’re getting people elected, or into their new home
- Blog post alone isn’t the solution as Forrester’s Jermiah Owyang has recently discovered; need to add viral and urgency through twitter. Add a twitter url and hashtag for your followers to use, making it easier to promote, track, aggregate through search and measure
- We digital folks never fail to be amazed when our magic works for us–and it does
Thanks David and family for the lessons from the heart. Every little bit counts. You can help the cause by clicking over and making your donation now (I don’t know how to embed widgets in WordPress otherwise you would be able to do it right here; don’t tell anyone :-). Be Great.