Apparently, cell phones are even more innovative than I knew when it comes to social change.
In response to my earlier post regarding how social media has affected nonprofits, Katrin Verclas from MobileActive.org shared a bit more about the capabilities of cellphones. MobileActive.org is an organization focused on social change through the use of mobile phones.
Now, maybe this is old news to some people, but it's news to me. I am the person who didn't even want a camera phone but, alas, had to give in because apparently cell phones aren't made without them anymore.
I am, however, aware of some of the interesting, creative art projects that use cellphones as I wrote about them a few years ago at the Boston Globe. So, I'm not completely in the dark but I'm not completely in the light either.
Here are a few services that different organizations offer through SMS (better known as text messaging):
The Human Rights Campaign:
- America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.
- Its Corporate Equality Index, which rates American businesses on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors, was made available via mobile phones. By texting "SHOP" and the name of a business to short code 30644, the businesses' corporate equality rating will be sent to your phone.
- MobileActive.org gives more in-depth information.
- A nonprofit organization funded by Stonyfield Farm, Inc. working to bring consumers and companies together in the fight against global climate change.
- By texting "cc" and then a company name to 30644, Climate Counts will deliver that company's carbon footprint score to your phone. Click here for more information.
- A conservation organization working to conserve sea life.
- It's mobile service, Fishphone.org "enables restaurant patrons, supermarket shoppers and chefs to make healthy, informed and sustainable choices when deciding which fish is right for them—and the environment...consumers can text 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish in question, and within seconds FishPhone will text back with Blue Ocean’s environmental assessment."
These are some interesting ways to use a cell phone that could (and is) developing further.
I conducted a few different Google searches and was not able to find any other SMS-based advocacy campaigns but I'm sure they're out there.
Disclosure: Stonyfield Farm Inc., which funds Climate Counts, is a client of the public relations agency at which I am currently working.