The following are projects carried out elsewhere that may provide inspiration for prospective clients, especially if you're interested in helping to 'push the boundaries' a little with innovative, exploratory ideas that take advantage of new technologies such as mobile computing, web 2.0 and social networking this year.

Blogging to raise awareness and provide support

"Mind Bloggling is a project of The Media Action Group for Mental Health (MAGMH), a charity based in the West Midlands. The focus of MAGMH is to promote positive perceptions of mental health by collaborative working with the media and the general public. It has had considerable success in challenging the stigma and prejudice attached to the reporting of mental distress and mental health issues in general, and in encouraging self-supporting communication.

The main aims of the Mind Bloggling Project are to:

  • improve awareness of mental health issues
  • provide a safe space for people to write their online journal
  • encourage collaboration and mutual support
  • develop skill levels and improve opportunities for future training.

MAGMH first discussed the idea of a blog over two years ago as a way of raising awareness of mental health issues. Giving those living with the affects of mental ill health a voice was seen as an ideal way to reduce misconceptions and to help to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental illness. It was also seen as an opportunity to build a supportive online community for people experiencing the effects of mental ill health.

The project has made an enormous difference and the bloggers have found the site a huge source of support. It has enabled the organisation to find new volunteers, changed the lives of the bloggers involved and supported who knows how many other visitors to the website. The sense of community has really begun to develop, and was particularly noticeable over Christmas."

Quoted/summarised from:

Video to promote understanding

"An American group called has made a splash on YouTube with videos in which people with autism describe their view of the world. Tens of thousands of views, supported by hundreds of comments and bloggers adding the films to their own websites, have enabled the message to spread way beyond their traditional constituency."

Quoted/summarised from:

(ICT foresight: how online communities can make the net work for the VCS NCVO/Griffith, M. 2007).

Engaging more responsively with your audiences

"Demos, the democracy think tank, combined blogging, tagging, bookmarking and podcasting in a unique knowledge community system. These tools provide two main advantages over traditional content management systems: flexibility and relevance. For example, researchers and active audience members tag content with themes, so that as  policy research areas evolve, so does the content navigation (or ‘folksonomy’). Blogging gives the organisation a real-time, easy-to-use tool to discuss current events which are then archived within relevant projects for months or years."

Quoted/summarised from:  (ICT foresight: how online communities can make the net work for the VCS NCVO / Griffith, M. 2007). 

Communicating with the "Google Generation"

"Dogs Trust's canine-themed music playlist, called Woofstock and hosted on free music streaming website Spotify. Tracks include Puppy Love by Donny Osmond, and the perennial classic Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Men.

Supporters listen to the trust's tracks by signing up for a Spotify account. They can then share the list with their friends on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Spotify has more than a million users, according to the trust, despite the fact that users must listen to advertising before hearing tracks. The site will also shortly be available as an iPhone application."

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