What makes for a transformative media moment: a moment when an individual reads, watches or hears a news story and is galvanized to take action on an issue? Social Signal hopes to offer a new answer to that question with the WIDget, a tool that will turn words into deeds by marrying web-savvy media outlets with the latest nonprofit volunteer and donation opportunities.

The WIDget is our proposal to the Knight Foundation’s 21st Century News Challenge, a call for “new ways to understand news and act on it…new ways for people to communicate interactively to better understand one another…[and] new ways for people to use information.”

The WIDget answers this challenge by by using the latest Internet tools to match issue-oriented journalism with opportunities for concrete citizen engagement. Through a Words Into Deeds widget (WIDget), online media outlets, blogs, audio and video sites will be able to complement any issue-specific story with a set of related volunteer and donation opportunities. You can read about the WIDget and take a look at a mock-up in our draft proposal for the Knight Foundation (PDF).

We’ve made a conscious decision to share our proposal before the December 31 submission deadline because we think that a community converesation about the proposal can help make it stronger, and help us find the best partners to support the WIDget’s development. You can contribute to this process if you are:

  • A nonprofit organization that maintains organizational databases: contact Social Signal to add your database to the list of databases that will be tapped by the WIDget.
  • A nonprofit organization that wants to promote its donor or volunteer opportunities: contact Social Signal to add your organization’s name to the list of nonprofits who want to appear in WIDget listings.
  • A media outlet or blogger: contact Social Signal to add your outlet or blog site to the list of outlets that would deploy the WIDget to offer volunteer and donor opportunities to your readers.
  • An interested observer: share your thoughts about the WIDget by commenting on this blog post or by emailing Social Signal with your comments.

To contact Social Signal, please e-mail widget@socialsignal.com.

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggested partnerships, and we’ll keep you posted on how our proposal evolves.

Attachment Size
WordsIntoDeeds-30Nov06.pdf 354.07 KB