Posted by Bryan on March 29, 2009
Last week YouTube launched a new feature called ‘Call to Action’ for Non-profit Partners, allowing them to place overlay ads linking direct to their own website on their YouTube videos – for free. The clickable ads can direct viewers to any webpage, such as a secure donation page – essentially making YouTube videos into online DRTV ads.
To test the new feature, last Sunday YouTube placed a video for charity:water on its homepage, complete with a clickable overlay encouraging viewers to donate to fund water wells – and generated a very impressive $10,000 in donations in one day. So it certainly seems to work!
Before you get too excited about the potential to upload your latest video, add an overlay, and sit back as the money just rolls-in, you need to bear in mind that the test video was on the YouTube homepage – which guaranteed it a whole load of traffic.
However, ‘Call to Action’ still represents an opportunity not to be missed for any non-profit with good quality video content looking to find a way to monetise their YouTube uploads. At least it does for US and UK non-profits – as I’m afraid that at present YouTube’s Non-profit Partner Programme is only available to organisations from those two countries. Although they are apparently intending to expand the programme.
So, if you’re a UK or US non-profit what’s stopping you? Click here to register as a Non-profit Partner and then all you need to do is go to ‘edit Video’ and complete the ‘Call to Action’ fields for your headline, promotional copy, and destination URL. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could even combine clickable overlays with YouTube’s ‘annotations’ functionality to develop interactive direct response ads.
And do leave a comment to let me know how you get on with it.
Posted in Online fundraising, Video, YouTube | Tagged: Bryan Miller, Call to Action, non-profit, Online DRTV, Online fundraising, YouTube | 3 Comments »
Posted by Bryan on March 28, 2009
Development charity ActionAid took to the streets this week with a novel approach to publicise today’s ‘Put People First’ protest march through London, in the form of The MegaMouth – a megaphone-equipped superhero shouting-out slogans provided by the general public via SMS and Twitter.
Followed by a camera crew providing video updates to the ActionAid website and quik.com, and a Twitterer providing a live commentary, The MegaMouth has roamed the streets of London for the last week shouting-out submitted slogans about everything from climate change to anti-capitalism. Including a suitably arboreal contribution from The Woodland Trust’s Head of Campaigns (aka ‘EdWoodlandTrust’) with “Hey G20 LEAF our planet alone, we’re SYCAMORE you lot doing nothing when WILLOW you listen?” and an ’80s-inspired “Obama Obama let’s have some drama: stop the bonuses, feed the world and give us more Bananarama.” from ‘Mel’.
Some folks didn’t quite seem to get the point of it all, as exemplified by the message “I love you Mum! Sorry I forgot mothers day.”! But in the main it’s a fun and distinctive way for ActionAid to get people talking about the issues surrounding the G20 meeting and an innovative use of Twitter to give people a voice in the debate.
With Twitter use quoted as growing by 1,689% from February 2008 to February 2009, some 1.8m UK sign-ups, and a growing understanding of the type of people using it, hopefully we’ll see a lot more such innovative applications of the technology over the coming months.
If you spot any, do let me know by leaving a comment below.
Posted in Online Campaigning, Twitter | Tagged: ActionAid, Bryan Miller, Online advocacy, Online Campaigning, Twitter | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Bryan on March 13, 2009
Today is apparently the 20th birthday of the World Wide Web! So, why not celebrate this great day by taking a little time to stretch your thinking about the Web just a bit.
Go on, make yourself a cup of tea, relax… and watch the great TED video above, in which Tim Berners-Lee explains how he invented the World Wide Web – and sheds some light on how he believes his brainchild will evolve in the future.
In this short talk, Berners-Lee explains how the World Wide Web all began because he wanted to refine the way we use information and work together – and, apparently, because his boss humoured him and agreed that he could spend time on it on the side as a “play project”. All bosses with bright staff – take note!.
It goes without saying that this particular play project ended-up revolutionising our lives through the way the Web links documents together online.
But this is just the beginning. The future, Berners-Lee explains, will comprise evolving from the current ‘linked documents’ approach to a ‘linked data’ approach. This is the next revolution. Releasing, repurposing, and re-using the infinite wealth of data we collate – from medical research databases to data on relationships held on social networking sites – by linking it up in previously unconsidered ways to support previously unachievable applications.
This revolution has already started, with the ever increasing number of of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) being launched – from Facebook to Kiva – which enable the data traditionally held within websites to be accessed, combined with data from other sources, and re-purposed in an infinite number of new ways (such as Google Maps mash-ups).
It might take a second, stronger, cup of tea – perhaps with sugar – for you to start to consider what this means for your own Web activity. Could you release the information you currently only share through ‘documents’ on your website for others to use and share on your behalf? What implications will this mean for your future web architecture and implementations? And what benefits might this bring, given the challenges of marketing within today’s highly savvy and highly connected networked society?
Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: Bryan Miller, Kiva API, linked data, mash-up, nptech, Online fundraising | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Bryan on March 8, 2009
Just a few weeks behind the originally planned launch date (which is pretty impressive for a development of this complexity) the online fundraising site formerly known as Play it Forward and now renamed Pifworld went live over the weekend.
I’ve been watching the development of Pifworld with interest over the last few months, for a couple of reasons. Partly because it is the latest of a number of innovative online community fundraising developments to recently come from the Netherlands, where the whole concept of online community fundraising has really taken off over the last 18 months or so. But also because pre-launch announcements suggested that Pifworld would offer a very different online user experience to that of established charity project crowdfunding sites like Kiva and Globalgiving – and indeed it does.
At the outset, in addition to the usual project search functionality we’re used to seeing, Pifworld’s project inventory is displayed on an interactive globe (shown above) that you can spin and zoom to see what they have available in any particular area of the world you might be interested in. All within a main screen that also displays latest funding and supporter data. This might sound like an unnecessary novelty, but actually works really well and is a fun and engaging way to see what’s going-on.
Then, when you find a project that looks like it might be of interest, in place of the traditional text and photo-based project funding request, Pifworld projects are promoted through neat little video interviews with key project staff who explain the project aims, activities, and needs – like the woman below explaining her project in India.
Now, other fundraising sites have certainly used video in places to help illustrate project activities. But I’m not aware of any which have taken the next natural step of replacing text and photo project reviews (which are often little more than on-screen versions of good old direct mail leaflets) with a far more authentic and engaging video presentation. Pifworld project updates are also video-based, so you can really see (and hear) what the team have been doing with your donation.
Unfortunately at this stage, once you’ve found the project you’re interested in, the user experience slips a bit – as the online donation process seems a bit more complex than usual. Donations are made from a Pifworld ‘wallet’ which you first have to upload 5 Euro ‘credits’ to. This can be done from vouchers or using most major credit cards (at an added transaction cost of around 1 Euro) but the overall process feels a lot less streamlined than I’ve experienced on other sites. Also the confirmation email doesn’t arrive immediately (I’m still waiting for mine). For all that I love other aspects of the site, I think this payment process could do with another look – given that it’s fundamentally what the whole site is about. It wouldn’t be the first time that an apparently very engaging online fundraising site failed to maximise income simply because insufficient thought had been given to the back-office functionality. Hopefully the Pifworld team will be watching their site analytics to ensure that people are completing their transactions and will fix this if not.
Beyond this, another very nice feature is the way that project advocacy has been built into Pifworld, with people encouraged not only to become Supporters but also Ambassadors for their chosen projects – with blogging facilities provided to help Ambassadors mobilise their personal online networks. There is also email promotional functionality and project details can be shared as an Open Social widget (although only by copying the widget URL and not through a simple pushbutton which is becoming the norm elsewhere).
So all-in-all, a fun and engaging site that will hopefully prove attractive to potential online donors of all ages – with a few wrinkles to iron-out over the coming months. Definitely a site to keep an eye-on.
Meantime, if you’re interested in what else is happening in online community fundraising in the Netherlands, then it’s worth taking a look at 1procentclub.nl and geefsamen.nl (thanks to Victor for those). As well as the latest implementation of the YoCo fundraising platform from my old colleagues at WWAV Holland, which has raised almost 1 million Euros in sponsorship donations for cancer charity KWF Kankerbestrijding’s Alpe d’HuZes cycling challenge just a couple of months after going live.
Posted in crowdfunding, Online advocacy, Online fundraising | Tagged: Community Fundraising 2.0, crowdfunding, GlobalGiving, Kiva, Netherlands, nptech, Online community fundraising, Online fundraising, Pifworld, Play It Forward, WWAV, YoCo | 2 Comments »