Craig Newmark, founder of online communities network Craigslist, is conducting an experiment to expand his understanding of the use of social media to promote the causes he holds dear – this time around being nature – mainly squirrels. So, for anyone, (up to 5,000 anyones), who mentions the hashtag #Squirrels4Good on Twitter or his Facebook Page, Newark will donate $1 to the National Wildlife Federation. Likewise, he’ll also shell out $1 for each new follower he adds during the next few weeks. While setting the bar for squirrel donations at $5K is noble and cute, the second stipulation of his pledge, if honored, might quickly get out of hand – alas, squirrel awareness in the urban environment is integral, and Newmark is no neophyte when it comes to bids for charitable causes.
Newmark told Mashable in an email, “In the short term, I’m learning how to use social media to support the stuff I believe in. I do most of my work in my home office, where frequent visitors remind me of a growing love of the natural world – Beyond that, I need to learn social media more effectively to support what I believe in the 20-year range and the 200-year range.”
Newmark chose squirrels, because – he likes squirrels – “I do most of my work in my home office next to some woods, where frequent squirrely visitors remind me of a growing love of the natural world – Through social media, I became acquainted with @common_squirrel. We share a love of the little critters and nature in general. It made for a great partnership to raise money for related causes and social media is the method of choice for us both.”
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Newark also mentioned setting up squirrel-related pinboards on Pinterest, in his bid to solidify his stake in the cause of woodland creatures, in hopes his footprint regarding the movement will live on, 20 decades from now.