It’s All About People Contributing to a Collective Idea


 

A great many people espouse the virtue of using one’s blog for good. I
certainly commend these bloggers who consistently raise awareness of local,
national and even global issues. I, for one, admittedly have not been the
type of blogger who concentrates on huge issues that plague our planet
because in all honesty I feel too small and too powerless to make a
difference. How can I, one blogger, shape and help eradicate monumental


MUST WATCH! 

Friday, 9/23/2010:

Changing the World, One Mother at a Time: A Conversation with Mothers On-line

Today at the UN Week Digital Media Lounge, Emily McKhann of The Motherhood, Chrysula Winegar of Work.Life.Balance and Kristina Daniele
of Moms of Hue engaged in an impressive discussion about the power of moms online.

Watch the discussion online
.

travesties like world hunger, global poverty, educational disparities, or even the digital divide in my own city for that matter? I have perpetually been debilitated by the notion that since I really can’t make a huge difference I guess I won’t do much at all.

As I sat covering the first day of UN Week yesterday at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, I finally hit upon an epiphany! Global issues about poverty and education, world hunger and sex trafficking, as examples, don’t need to be solved by me. Rather, they can be solved when intelligent, conscious people bring ideas and solutions to the table and then people like me (bloggers) move those ideas and solutions through the Net. That is where the power of change really happens. Similarly that is where I know my power to make small change lies as well. While I won’t be on the front lines making things happen, I can do what I do best to help causes by reporting on them and keeping the ideas and solutions alive in my small corner of the Internet. That is, making a difference may seem hard as one single blogger. Working together as a collective unit is where real, measurable, and sustained change blossoms. How’s that for an epiphany?

That is why I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Digital Media Lounge to report on UN Week. The Digital Media Lounge is the brainchild of the UN Foundation, Mashable, and the 92nd Street Y and is a completely wired environment for correspondents to report on everything that’s going on during UN Week. Skype is also a major sponsor of the Digital Media Lounge and is bringing in notables via Skype who can’t be in New York City either because they are on location in an area in need or because of time constraints. For the next few days I will be around bloggers and social media types who have dedicated themselves to issues that affect powerless people the world over. You can also watch the coverage live at www.unfoundation.org/unweekdml. Also, follow all of the coverage on Twitter at #UNWeekDML.

How do you use your blog for good?

 

41 thoughts on “It’s All About People Contributing to a Collective Idea

  1. Just like our “house money” jar — gather up enough small change and, well, it’s always SUCH a surprise to see exactly how much we’ve been able to save, after all — or, something like that. Thanks for the continued inspiration, my friend!

  2. You are at an amazing place because of all the amazing things you do. Your actions don’t have to be huge to be meaningful, but I know exactly what you mean.

    I actually read this quote from Yehuda Berg yesterday and it was right on:
    “The biggest mistake you can make is to do nothing because you can only do a little. ”

    It got me running :)

    Enjoy your trip and all the inspiration that shall come out of it!

  3. A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the idea of trying to save the world. But what if everyone of us could just save one person? My contribution might not be much, but all of us together have immense power for good.

  4. Go Jen! I’m all for spreading awareness from a grass root level. In truth while we as one person/blogger can do much as a collective force amazing things can be done. As you know I’m a strong supporter of community projects and efforts

  5. So interesting that you wrote about this.

    I, too, wanted to use part of my blog for *good* but was feeling the same as you. What could I, one little blogger, do to make the world better. Then I talked myself out of the idea I had.

    A few months later, I had the same epiphany–I don’t have to change the whole world. If I can help one or two people (or connect others), isn’t that good enough? So, I started The Give Back Initiative (#GiveBackIn) where I feature one non-profit organization or individual per week and help them get the word out about their efforts.

    http://www.writrams.com/givebackin/

  6. I’ve been working on a campaign – Blogger’s United to unite behind the Safe Chemicals Act that is in front of congress. The goal of the campaign is to drive signatures to the petition.

    I’ve created a pre-written post in an attempt to make this SUPER easy for others to participate and have been surprised at how challenging it is to enlist other blogs to participate. http://www.purenaturaldiva.com/blogger-united/bloggers-united-2/

    Slowly, but surely we are adding blogs – it just takes a lot of follow up on my part and I don’t have as much time as I’d like to devote to my little passion project.

    • Awesome! I think if we all find an issue that we are passionate about and spread the word than we can make a difference. Doesn’t matter how many readers our blogs have 10 or 10,000 – every little bit helps! And if we work together to spread the word through our blogs, imagine what changes we can make!

      I have set up a group on Mom Bloggers Club called Mum’s Making a Difference (yep, I’m a Kiwi so I spell like a Brit!!) … http://www.mombloggersclub.com/group/mumsmakingadifference … I think it has real potential for Mum’s who blog to network to raise awareness for the causes that speak to them!

  7. Deb and I formed Bloganthropy because we wanted to support charitable efforts more directly than donating our Mamanista revenue and profiling charities on there. We hope Bloganthropy will enable us to launch blogger philanthropy projects and recognize the work others are doing for worthy causes.

    A lot of bloggers are reluctant to “brag” about their volunteer efforts but by using your social media influence, you are inspiring others!

  8. Hey MAMAS! I started a website that brings Opinionated MAMAS together to get to the heart of the social and political issues of our time- with a little humor and a lot of common sense. O-MAMA tackles the new & events from a mom’s perspective and puts parenting into the context of the bigger issues of the day (i.e., spoiled brats on Wall Street…bandaid on healthcare reform). Empowering America’s moms to be a constructive voice in our country’s most important conversations. If children are our future, then America’s moms are literally shaping the future of our country, one child at a time. We believe CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME and it starts with each of us. We do make a difference every day…to our kids, our communities and our country!
    Please JOIN us on facebook/omama2009 and http://www.O-MAMA.com.

  9. Jen – I agree with Meg that if we are are passionate about an issue we can use our blogs to spread the word than we can make a difference. We love to blog about the people and organizations who are already making a difference, hoping to generate more interest in their causes. We can definitely make a difference.

  10. Well I’m so glad I came across your blog and I’m so glad you mentioned sex trafficking. I am trying to use my blog for good right now by raising awareness in my own city and acroos the blogosphere. I would love for your to stop by and maybe you can contribute in one small way. You mentioned feeling too small to help? Well its when hundreds and thousands of people come together and even though their actions might seem small, collectively they are enormous. So please please stop by my blog and maybe you can be apart of this in some way.

    Have a great rest of the day!

    Heather from Rescue Her!

  11. What I’ve noticed is that when I’m writing a blog post about a “bigger” issue, I always receive more comments. My articles covering topics such as cancer and AIDS are also re-tweeted and re-posted more often by my readers, thereby, increasing the size of my audience! In that sense, I feel that blogging is a powerful tool!

    • Sadly, I find the opposite is true for my blog :( My lowest comments are always on posts about Charities… Happy to hear that is not the case everywhere on the web :)

  12. Love this post! I feel it is my responsibility to use my blog for good or at least social networking. As I type this I am in Washington, DC and tomorrow will be boxing food to feed the Hungry with DC Cares. I’ve raised over $5100 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and many of my largest donations came from companies that I worked with on my blog that wanted to give back. I think raising awareness makes a difference, we won’t solve all the problems but we can help people become aware and maybe think about what they can do too.

  13. This sounds like such an interesting opportunity, I love being involved with things that make me thing beyond where I would normally go.

  14. I am excited to make some time to watch this. I really believe as moms we hold the purse strings as well as the keys to changing things for the better. Those of us in the social media sphere have an incredible amount of influence, and we can create huge waves of change through blogging.

    I was introduced to blogging for good through a campaign ConAgra put together to help raise awareness and funds for Feeding America. Together with 13 other bloggers we raised awareness and funds in our local communities. It was an amazing experience, and for their work creating Social Good ConAgra received a SAMMY award this month.

    We really can work to change things through blogging, and I hope to see how you use your blog for social change.

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  16. Jennifer this has been on my mind a lot recently. I can passionately about certain issues, like the 147 million orphans in the world, and I want to use my little bit of influence and the voice I have with my blog to help. I’m glad you had that epiphany :)

  17. I am definitely going to watch this.

    I have felt extremely passionate about using my blog for some sort of good. I’ve been given an audience and I want to raise awareness for those things that I’m passionate about. My blog actually started because of wanting to help others, which I still do every single day.

    I was part of the ConAgra campaign that Kelly mentioned which was such a good cause! I was also honored as one of a few bloggers who went on the first blogging trip with World Vision (and I got to take along my son and show him the need for giving back and helping others). That was the best experience I’ve had yet to date because I was able to get kids sponsored, giving them a financial means to live another day – well, that’s a no brainer (and an answer to prayer).

    I also do other stuff where I have the proceeds from a magazine sale go to a non-profit. In the past year, the amount is several thousand dollars. I’ve not done anything except have some good SEO in place and rotate the organizations I support. actually, I just finished the non profit who supports mentally handicapped adults as that affects our family personally.

    Honestly, I think bloggers whether they do it in private or public need to do something to contribute to worthy causes. We don’t have this platform to just make money or gain influence. We have this platform to help change the world. And, we WILL do it! Don’t wait for it to happen. MAKE it happen.

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  19. So funny how signs pop up to tell me when I’m doing something I should be. Earlier tonight I read an article about the very UN meetings you refer to here and they challenged readers to be part of the solution, in some small way. I took the challenge and created a blog – Make It a Girls’ World – http://makeitagirlsworld.blogspot.com and decided that I would start spreading the word. And lo-and-behold, about 10 minutes later I stumble on to this blog post from a link in a Mom Bloggers Club email. I’ll take it as a sign. So, I wrote a post about this and linked back to your post! I hope that I can be a part of the collective action you refer to – and I hope that we can all feel like we are a part of something bigger – something big enough to accomplish something great!

    Thanks for writing – it was meaningful!

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