23 March 2009 Blog Post from Graham
Water for Dixie and the 24 hour safari!!
It has been some time since I updated everyone on the Water for Dixie project, but that does not mean nothing has been happening.
As you all know WE won second and third place in the Amazee Bucket competition in January this year, and as a result received a donation of $5,000 towards our project. WEangels have also donated $1,130. Not the $2,000 that I mentioned in a previous interview (sorry). Emily set me straight, which is frankly not the first nor the last time that this will happen I am sure. :) Thank you very very much for your support.
The Bucket was very interesting to me, because it provided an opportunity for you, our WEfamily, to 'earn' the money for this very worthy cause without having to come up with the cash yourselves. Not everyone of the WEfamily can afford to donate money (particularly during these difficult times) and WE have to get to about $25,000 (final pricing not yet in) and this will be difficult on conventional donations. So I got to thinking ... and chatting to the WEcrew and WEadmin teams, as well as a few of our WEfamily members ... and an idea has begun to form ...
Basically the idea is to get about $20,000 'pledged' to the Water for Dixie project, by individuals, companies or even organizations, but WE have to earn it! The way WE 'earn' the pledges is by all working together to get 20,000 viewers on a game drive ... kind of like the Bucket, but with viewers not members.
There is still a large amount of work to do and a lot of thinking (and WE would really like your comments on all of this, please comment here on the Blog), but the plan would be to run a 24 hour safari (game drive) at Djuma on the Jigga, some time in April 2009. The plan would be for us all to get our friends and families to join us on the drive some time during the 24 hours. As long as each unique viewer (unique IP address) logged on during the 24 hour period, and stayed watching for a minimum of 10 minutes, they would unlock another $1.00 from the pledges. The plan would be to get 20,000 unique viewers on the safari during the 24 hour period.
This may even be some kind of world record attempt (maybe somebody could check this out), but even if not it is certainly a new concept in social collaboration and at the same time helps to get the word out about WildEarth and provide the companies that pledge the money tons of media exposure (WE are going to provide our pledging companies with all sorts of exposure on the website and in the stream during the 24 hour safari) ... and of course, with a bit of luck, gets the village of Dixie water piped to every home. :)
So, WE need your help. This project is going to succeed or fail entirely on how well WE can all work together as a team. I was brought to tears by how everyone pulled together as one during the final days of the bucket and if WE can do that again WE will once again make history, and hopefully achieve: Water for Dixie!
WE need the following:
* $20,000 in pledges! Peter du Toit a BIG fan of WildEarth, an accomplished motivator and a very inspiring man, has very kindly agreed to help find this money. Already we have met and have some excellent leads. While I am away in Europe selling our content and trying to move WE to the next level, Peter is going to forge ahead with getting the pledges in. If you would like to pledge some money, or know of a company that would be interested, please get in touch with Peter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that each pledger will get a huge amount of exposure and coverage.
* PR during the 24 hours. WE need to seek out, arrange and then coordinate as much press, TV, radio and web exposure for the 24 hour safari as possible. This must not be left to the last minute, but rather planned and prepared in advance to make sure that as many people as possible heed our call to come on safari and so a small village in Africa can also have fresh running water. A team of volunteers must be assembled who will prepare email lists, telephone numbers and names of journalists everywhere. Press releases and information packs must be completed and readied to be sent out. Please mail email@example.com if you would like to be a part of the media team. Tell us where you live, what you can and are willing to do.
* Twitter. @wildearth now has over 3,000 followers and continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Everyday there are more and more people Tweeting about WE in the Twitosphere. The WEtwits volunteer group that Tweets for @wildearth has expanded and become a recognised force on Twitter. This service has the potential to make a significant difference to the success of this project. So if you are willing to volunteer for the WEtwits or have any great ideas of how WE can increase our followers or use @wildearth to get to 20,000 viewers on the 24 hour safari please mail firstname.lastname@example.org
* Embed the player. WE need as many websites as possible to embed the WildEarth player into their websites. It will cost them nothing (WE pay all the distribution bandwidth) and all their viewers (that are watching the stream) count towards our viewers. This could be a very quick and effective way to get our numbers up. So if you have a website, or know someone that does, or just try and convince some of your favorite sites to embed WE somewhere on their sites you will be making a massive contribution. The embed code can be found behind the 'link' icon on the bottom right of the video player window.
* Ideas, suggestions and comments. This has never been done before. I think you will all agree that it has the potential to be a very powerful tool for change. It re-looks at the relationship between advertiser, donor, viewer and broadcaster. In fact, if WE get this right, WE could use this concept to change the lives of many people all around the world. But the key is: getting it right. So if you have any thoughts, suggestions, concerns or anything at all, please comment on this Blog, or if you would prefer send it through to email@example.com . WE can't promise that WE will respond to every mail, but WE certainly will read every one.
Over the coming days and weeks there will be more information as this concept evolves. A date will need to be set, but first WE need to get the pledges in, Zaplive.tv need to work on some technical items like how to show the viewer count through the 24 hours as per the rules, and WE will need to assimilate your thoughts and build the teams and strategies.
Please get involved, this is an opportunity to change the world ... it is in your nature.