The Charter for Compassion, a website and document intended to promote compassion among people of all faiths, was born of social media and lives both in and outside this sphere.
The charter began as the wish of British author and TED (Technology Entertainment & Design) prize winner Karen Amstrong. In 2008, Armstrong won the $100,000 TED prize, given annually to an exceptional individual having “one wish to change the world.” She unveiled her wish at a TED conference that same year.
TED is, Wikipedia says, a global set of conferences curated by the American non-profit Sapling Foundation to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.” The conferences are available for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through TED.com.
I see the TED website as the birthplace of The Charter for Compassion social media campaign. The TED site invites visitors to share and comment on videos with onsite interactive tools, including “embed this video” code, threaded comments, and buttons for tweeting, sharing, promoting, and bookmarking.
If you watched Armstrong’s video, you’d probably want to visit The Charter for Compassion site. That site provides prominent buttons to add your name to the charter and to join others in committing to a more compassionate way of life.
A Share link at the top of the site accesses other tools for spreading the charter’s message and for participating in community events and religious services that promote compassion. Links for joining Charter for Compassion reading groups and a charter group in Pakistan are displayed in a scrollable slide show. A graphic displaying partner logos and a link to view all partners invite visitors to learn who supports the charter and contact them (through website links) if they wish. Links to Twitter and Facebook allow visitors to easily share the site’s URL with others. An RSS link allows them to easily stay abreast of site updates. The site displays the number of people (67,768) who have affirmed the charter (by clicking the Add Your Name Now button and completing an online Affirm form) since the site launched on November 12, 2009.
I do not know how if that number represents success or failure of the charter’s social media campaign. The number seems fairly small considering the very large number of people who could have affirmed the charter, and that would indicate failure. Or the number may be large considering charter content. People may disagree with the premise that all religions share the Golden Rule as a fundamental tenet, or they may agree but be afraid to affirm their agreement.
I believe The Charter for Compassion makes good use of social media. It has attracted and retained nearly 70,000 individual supporters, as well as 100 organizations committed to promoting its message and effecting cultural change.
Incorporating Social Media into My Online Presence
Some people can’t sing. Some can’t dance, can’t throw a ball straight, can’t do calculations in their head. Some people are shy, and they have reason to be. I am one of those people. My plan for incorporating social media into my online presence is by crawling on my belly, painfully over the gravel, to the desired goal. And then I will be graceful, and thin, and rich, and beautiful.
Kidding aside, I will incorporate what I have learned in class to enhance my online presence. When I have worked out the kinks in my blog, I will post it with my LinkedIn profile as part of an online portfolio. I may also post it on CUA (Certified Usability Analyst) Central, with the objective of building relationships with fellow CUAs. I say “may” because I am not sure that my blog topic is appropriate for that venue. I am not sure how or if I will use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or any other social media tool. I so prefer solitude.