ON-AIR; Weekends and Overnights
With Andrew Reimer
HELLO. What is social media for good?
Microvolunteering. “An act, through time or skill online, to benefit another.”
Kinda like ProBono but not. It’s all online. A bit of research assistance, a bit of gamification, a bit of simply having fun and helping out. What can’t it do? Well, it can’t always get people out of the house. And it can’t always get people out of their pajamas. It can however get us all sitting with our PC, iPad or laptop listening to the FIVEaa broadcaster, as we tap away and help others. It’s that easy.
Websites like Mike Bright’s www.helpfromhome.org are reputable and safe. The types of “volunteering” you do, channel out from his website, have all been vetted and are safe.
Like “Free Rice”. It’s a word game that we play – that feeds others.
Or watching out for camels, swans, or wild dogs and reporting them onto an online and electronic map of Australia.
Or getting the Place Pulse bug and clicking away on pictures that look more safe, more populated or more urban to assist urban designers across the seas. It all helps.
It helps us reduce social isolation (we have something to chat about online with our other microvolunteering buddies) and it helps keep our brains ticking.
Can microvolunteering make a difference? We think it can.
Who are we targeting?
NBN Co, which is building the national broadband network, recently asked 800 Australians aged over 55 about their online habits. They found 76 per cent use the internet to contact their children and 59 per cent use the web to contact their grandchildren. Amongst this group, email is the most popular way to connect with children, by 90 per cent. Facebook is used by 61 per cent and 35 per cent of older internet users talk with their grandchildren using Skype, FaceTime and other video chatting platforms.
My own research for over 40 year olds and their online habits in 2014 (162 participants) agrees with these findings. Where I delved deeper, was in finding out who knew about microvolunteering. Unfortunately 88% had never heard of being able to “do good for others via online”.
This is what we hope to change.