Sunday, 2 November 2008

When downloading a Widget just isn't enough...

If you have been floating around the South African Blogosphere in the past few weeks, you have probably stumbled across posts and items relating to the Blogger Bakeoff - an initiative by Breadline Africa to raise $1m to "bring food and hope to poor communities in Africa by helping to convert shipping containers into community kitchens."

But if you had looked at some of those blogs where the "Collection Widget" had been downloaded, you'd have noticed that the "Donations from this Blog" still read $0.
In fact, the campaign has been running for nearly 3 weeks, and so far (at the time of writing this blog post, only collected $2,557.

Admittedly - there are a number of ways of getting involved in the initiative, and not all of them include donating money. However, how many of us have just downloaded the widget and given it not a second thought?

The Breadline Africa people that I have spoken to are aiming at collecting their £1m - and have estimated that they will need to enlist the help of 100,000 bloggers internationally. By a very quick calculation (using both my fingers and toes) I figure that every blog therefore needs to collect $10.

So why haven't we yet?
At first I know that the great big $ sign used on the blog is a magnificent detterent to donating - fearful of what the exchange rate might do next. But when I processed a donation, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could donate in Rands - and that my donation was thereafter converted on my widget. I know this is a particular matter that the good people at Breadline Africa are attending to - but it doesn't stop us donating in Rands now.

And if you don't want to donate yourself - then why aren't we promoting our widget, and encouraging OTHERS to donate through our blogs?

In total, each South African blog writer needs to collect somewhere between R80 and R100 to have their little widget clock up to the magical $10. If each of us has a dedicated audience of 10... or 20 readers - well on average we are talking a very small amount.

And yet our widgets remain at ZERO...

And what of our readers?
Readers of blogs cannot just ignore the good efforts of the blog writers. I don't really mind, nor care, if people use my blog, or someone else's blog to make a donation. The important part is that every $10,000 collected can be used to convert a container to a kitchen. So ERVERY small amount helps - from WHATEVER the source.

We all need to do our part.
I challenge every blog writer in South Africa to try to get their donations tally to the magical $10. And every blog reader to make some kind of donation. Even R10 will register on your favorite blog as a $1 contribution.

Let's stop the $0 and get into some REAL action!


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