“Causes are the new black,” quipped the moderator as he introduced actor Anthony Edwards, first up on a celebrity panel discussing how social media has impacted the lives of pop stars.
This was at the Blog World and New Media Expo in Las Vegas 10 days ago.
Edwards’ cause is funding the construction of what will be the largest children’s hospital in Kenya, via his organization Shoe4Africa.
My ears perked up at the moderator’s observation, because I’d noticed this recurring theme the previous two days during exposition panels and keynotes.
My husband and I had registered to attend the exposition along with about 1,000 other bloggers.
We knew we’d be entering liberal land, with such sessions offered as, “Blogging for change: How to influence health care through blogging.” But we were putting up with a little left ideology to get valuable New Media tips, because the other side is progressive on that front, too.
This wasn’t the first time I’d entered their world, having been one of only two conservatives blogging at the Democrat National Convention in Denver last year.
But since I don’t read them much, I was unaware liberal bloggers become grumbling, self-centered navel gazers when not talking politics.
At least that’s what Day One keynote speaker Chris Brogan seemed to say. Brogan is author of the New York Times best-seller “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust.”
Brogan wore jeans and a plaid CPO, that I think he may have slept in. And he swore quite a bit, even though he said at the beginning of his speech he didn’t like speakers who swore.
But the thrust of Brogan’s speech was intriguing. He called on bloggers to quit whining (“When I meet a blogger, I say, ‘Oh, and what do you complain about?'”), and to start using their forums for the world’s good, like writing about homeless people. He recapped on his blog:
I’m issuing a call to arms, a call to action. If you’re still on the fence, get in the game. What can YOU do to help others? What will YOU do with all this stuff you’ve learned? Help me by going out and finding the people around you who could use your help. Share what you know with each other.
Another speaker, Linda Fitton, co-author of the book “Twitter for Dummies,” told of raising $25,000 on Twitter to build wells in Africa.
Fitton recommended a Web article by Tony Hsieh, the young CEO of Zappos, “How Twitter can make you a better (and happier) person,” which includes “helping others.”
On the discussion panel, “Online locally, acting globally: How social media lets us affect and organize the planet,” was Robert Chatwani, called “eBay’s greenest rising star” by Treehugger.com.
Chatwani explained eBay’s new Giving Works plan, which offers sellers the opportunity to donate as little as $1 to any of eBay’s 16,000 “certified” nonprofits.
Chatwani also discussed the trend of consumers wanting to align their purchases with their core principles. (Sound familiar? Pro-lifers have been ahead of this curve for years.) So eBay buyers plug in to the Giving Works plan by purchasing items from the charity listings.
Speakers and topics like this were peppered throughout the exposition, such as “Kick cancer’s a**!! And other ways to rally your community.” (Only the asterisks weren’t asterisks. Liberals are quite the free spirits.)
We may be entering a time when liberal celebrities and liberals online are particularly sensitive to human-rights issues – to helpless people, to victims.
I also think it is quite compelling to them that pro-lifers now outnumber pro-aborts in America.
Put those together and pro-lifers may soon find the time ripe to engage those across the ideological divide to take a second look at the most helpless victims among us, preborn humans.