Blogging for Poverty

29 September, 2008 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

15 October 2008 is Blog Action Day, an annual event in the blogosphere that’s aimed at getting bloggers around the world to discuss one topic of global concern. This year’s topic is poverty.

We invite bloggers to examine poverty from their own blog topics and perspectives, to look at it from the macro and micro, as a global condition and a local issue, and to bring their own ideas, views and opinions on the subject.” – The Blog Action Day Blog

Seeing as how 45-55% of South Africans live in poverty, here’s our chance to do some digital good and raise awareness and discussion around poverty through blog posts, podcasts and videos. 

To participate in this event, you can do one or all of these 3 things:
– Register to participate on the Blog Action Day site.  You’ll be given a bit of HTML code to add to your blog post so that it can be tracked on October 15.
– If you earn income from your blog through ads or product sales, you can also donate a day of your earnings to a poverty-related charity in your area or one supported by B.A.D.
– Promote the event by spreading the word or adding a promotional banner or video to your site.

Mass support

Since its inception in 2007, Blog Action Day has received huge support in the blogosphere and from organisations like the United Nations, Opera, Change.org and BlogTV Inc.  This year, there are currently 4770 sites participating in the event, with more than 9.5 million RSS readers.  

To follow the latest developments, you can check out the Blog Action Day Twitter feed, or Flickr, Facebook  and MySpace groups.

Conversation

It would, ofcourse, be silly to believe that Blog Action Day is going to decrease or put an end to poverty.  What it will do though, is get us thinking and talking about an issue of global importance that doesn’t get enough attention in the blogosphere.  I think this event is also crucial in changing the narrow mindset that social change and awareness is only possible by “real” activists or organisations in “real life”.

We all – activists, bloggers, geeks, social media addicts – should play a part.

And just for a day, it will be interesting to see if we bloggers can resist our narcissism for a bit of altruism. If we can talk about real issues instead of the iPhone 3G or the parties we went to on the weekend. Just for a day. And then, maybe another, and another.

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