My friend, Manny Hernandez, founder of Tuiabetes Community and author of Ning for Dummies, let me know that today, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Today, at 14:00 hours (local time), thousands of people with diabetes will test their blood sugar, do 14 minutes of exercise, test again and share their results on TuDiabetes or on Twitter.
He is using a tool called "Twibbon" that makes it easy for people to change their avatar to incorporate a visual for a particular cause.
Exactly two years ago, the idea of changing the visual of your Twitter avatar to support a cause spontaneously happened as part of the Pea Fund Fridays, a Twitter fundraising campaign created by Connie Reece to support breast cancer research to honor Susan Reynolds. If I remember correctly, it was Robert Scoble who did it first and others took his cue. See the range of creative expression in the flickr group.
Two years later, changing your Twitter icon in support of a cause (even though some call this "slacktivism"), is a techniques being used. Remember the sea of green avatars last summer in support of the Iran? There are tools now to make it easy for supporters to change their avatars, although you don't get the range of self-expression.
What do you think? Is changing your Twitter profile in support of a cause a silly click action or the first rung on ladder of engagement to get people to do something offline?