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Connie Reece

Scoble wasn't the first to sport a "peavatar" but he was among the early ones, and he wrote the first blog post about the peas. It was quite striking at the time, and there was a great deal of variety in the avatars. I'm not sure using a "twibbon" will have the same effect now that Twitter has seen such explosive growth. I will look forward to seeing some data about the results.


It's interesting - I've created the tool after seeing Scoble turning his avatar into green.

As for your question - I created my campaign to raise people's awareness to what happens. I know that I got aware of what happens in Iran after seeing Scoble's avatar turn green and so many others. And while not everyone will do some action in the offline world, the increased awareness to the topic sure helps.

But as Connie mentioned, today changing avatar is quite common so people are less engaged. So if I was doing another campaign I would think of a new way to get people's attention.

I think the potential is still there to raise a little more awareness for folks. But ultimately I think it's dependent upon the engagement that the "advocate" twitterer already has with his/her/their audience. If the twitterer's audience is already engaged, then they might be curious enough about the twibbon to ask or research what it's all about [plus I'd assume/hope that the twitterer would be talking about the cause]. If not, then folks may not even notice it changed.

In general, though, I think that there is an over-saturation of twibbons and the majority of designs are so poor or obscure that most people probably aren't going to notice.

I believe engaging people to get involved and express themselves at any level, such as a twibbon, is valuable both for the cause and for the people who are exposed to a new message. I think more causes should be seeking ways to engage with more people and give them tools to allow them to advocate for causes they believe in.

I used to facilitate a a group dedicated to "high-level discourse" at my alma mater. One of our more interesting conversations revolved around the idea of incrementalism in "causes".

The central question: Do yellow LIVESTRONG bracelets help to find a cure/treatment for cancer? An hour of expressive dialogue led us to two conclusions. Either every dollar donated toward purchasing a bracelet was a dollar towards research that wouldn't have necessarily found its way into researchers' arms and a way to spread "awareness" about a topic, OR it was all a lot of self-congratulatory back-patting.

Even though Twibbons require no cash contribution, I think that the possibilities for (proper) exploitation are good - When I see a Twibbon, I want/need to know what on earth it means. And that desire can lead to action, sure. Have I ever Twibboned-up my avatar? Nope. Will I? Maybe.

Katherine B.

AAUW has had great luck with our new Twibbon campaign -- Stop the Stupak Amendment.
The campaign started late in the day last Wednesday, and we already have 300 supporters. The Twibbon page links to our online action to write to Senators protesting the amendment. Our audience seems to be very engaged.


I agree with Jeff above, in that 'it's dependent upon the engagement that the "advocate" twitterer already has with his/her/their audience.'

I recently spoke with the creators of Twibbon – about the tool, how it’s being used by nonprofit organisations and how the tool might be expanded and customised for charities. The interview can be found here:

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