August 3, 2009

All about Geeks for Good

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All about the Summer of Social Good from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaDid you know that this is the first Global Geek Week (Aug. 2-8)? It’s a way to promote the use of social media for the social good — which also happens to be identical to the mission of Socialbrite.org.

On Twitter, go to the hashtag #geeks4good to see conversations around the topic. The new GlobalGeekWeek site showcases “an entire week dedicated to all that is Geek & giving back!” One cool feature: a Twittervision interactive map that tracks posts about geeks4good from around the world (new version of Flash required, I think).

I caught up with Shira Lazar, the TV/Web personality/journalist and founder of the Society for Geek Advancement, in LA to talk about Global Geek Week and how it fits into the Summer of Social Good (also at sosg.org), which runs through Aug. 28. (And here’s Adam Hirsch of Mashable’s post on Global Geek Week.) Shira has been working with Mashable in raising awareness about charitable causes and how social media can be used for the social good.

“We’re encouraging the geek community around the globe to come together for social good,” she says.

oxfamSpecifically, you can donate $20 (or more or less) to four worthy charities: Oxfam America to fight hunger, WWF to protect the environment, the Humane Society to protect animals and Livestrong to fight cancer.

And don’t forget about the weeklong YouTube video competition. Just talk about what you’re doing to support a social cause (or how you’d like to help) by submitting your geek-inspired video to the Global Geek Week YouTube Group by midnight PT Thursday. The winner will get two round-trip tickets to anywhere Virgin America flies, with free wi-fi. The judges — Guy Kawasaki, Shira Lazar, Hank Green of Vlogbrothers, Marina Orlova of TooHotForWords, puzzle champion Wei-Hwa Huang and Lisa Donovan aka LisaNova — will pick and announce the winners at noon Friday.

The Summer of Social Good culminates in a conference sponsored by Mashable in New York on Aug. 28 (tickets on sale now). Shira suggests if you have a large number of followers, you should be thinking about contributing to the greater good.

Shira also talks about some of the other causes she’s involved with or supporting, including Live Earth, International Literacy Day on Sept. 8, with a Tweetup in LA on Sept. 3, and Twestival Local taking place in cities around the world on Sept. 10-13, 2009. (By the way, you can catch Shira on the Travel Channel’s Confessions of a Travel Writer, a new series airing next Monday night (Aug. 10) at 9 pm EDT / 6 pm PDT.)

Some of the other organizations supporting Global Geek Week and the Summer of Social Good include GlobalGiving, TreeHugger, Sprout, Federated Media, Facebook, Kompolt, Social Media Club and Social Media for Social Change.

Watch or embed video on Vimeo to spread the word!
Download video from Archive.org

By the way, if you haven’t seen the Society for Geek Advancement’s introductory video on what a geek is, check it out, it’s fabulous (and not just because most of the participants are friends or personal acquaintances):


JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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