Social-media trends with a cause

Saturday, December 4, 2010

If you've been on Facebook lately, you've probably noticed some of your friends have turned into cartoon characters, by the looks of their profile pictures.

A recent Facebook trend is bringing awareness to child abuse. Facebook users are changing their profile pictures to their favorite childhood cartoons and updating their statuses to:

"Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on FB til Monday, Dec. 6. Join the fight against child abuse & copy & paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same"

Many other awareness trends that Facebook has facilitated include breast cancer awareness and self-harm awareness.

I think these are refreshing and important ways in which social-media can and should be used.

Social-media is designed to connect people across the world and I think it's important that these devices are being used for good causes.

Although the help these trends are actually bringing to the problems they outline is unknown, the point is that Facebook and other social-media tools are getting the word out to the masses in the best way they know how.

A trend is designed to help people find out what issues are currently being talked about.

Other trends that social-media promote are trends in discussion. Twitter is especially popular in this respect and even has a "Trends" column that can include worldwide, national or local trends.

These Twitter trends change daily in accordance to what people are talking about most.

This article by Mashable outlines which Twitter trends were most popular for any particular week.

Social-media trends have a much more important purpose than to just give people something to talk about.

Trends inform people about breaking news, connect people across the world on the basis of a single subject and break down the bureaucracy of news coverage by giving everyone a voice on important issues.

Whether trends are bringing public awareness to an important issue or informing people about something new, they are always connecting people in ways that were never thought possible just a few, short years ago.


Is Groupon Crazy?

Mashable is polling readers. They are asking if readers would have taken the money Google offered Groupon for control of its site if they had been the founders.

According to the poll, Groupon's founders denied the $5.3 billion offer Google made to take over the company.

"Basically, the motivation for a big exit is not longer motivated by 'how much money can I get;' it is motivated by 'what is my legacy,'" Baldwin said. "That simple shift makes their rejection of Google's $6 billion offer not that surprising."

I agree with Baldwin. Groupon is a great site that has been attracting users and has made good money.

Groupon made a good choice because:

1) it freed itself from potential harm under Google's control;

2) it brought attention to itself when it said no to Google, which might attract more users;

and, 3) I'm sure if the company ever decided to sell, there would still be an offer on the table.

Share your view on the subject by answering Mashable's poll or commenting on my blog.

Also, check out the video below showing how Groupon works. If you're like me, you will get very excited thinking about the deals Groupon may get for you.

Learn How Groupon Works! from The Point on Vimeo.


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