I got an invite to join the beta version of MTV’s new youth activism site "think" yesterday. Looks like an another way to facilitate activist social networking, group blogging, calls for action, volunteer matchmaking, and awareness-raising about various issues. Non-profit organizations can use "think" to try and reach out to a younger demographic for their work. Teachers can integrate "think" into social studies and volunteer programs at their schools.
The "think" categories for action are interesting: Discrimination, Environment, Politics, Drugs & Alcohol Abuse, Faith & Spirituality, Health & Self, Education, Human Rights, Relationships & Sex, War & Peace, Crime & Violence, Poverty & Disease. I’m not sure how I feel about poverty and disease being put together as the same category. Is poverty a disease?
An interesting tool on "think" is a social reward "badge" system. "Badges" can be redeemed for tangible rewards like invites to celebrity events and video cameras and intangible rewards like shiny stars next to your profile on the site. How do you get "badges"?
Almost every Think action has an equal and opposite Think reaction.
Upload a video; get a badge. Complete your profile; get a badge. Pass a
quiz; get a badge. Attract enough eyeballs with your blog; get a badge.
Get the picture? And while some badges will be much harder to get than
others, it couldn’t be easier to get started. So go ahead. Make
I will be interested to see how think’s social reward "badge" program works, or doesn’t. Introducing a game-like system into an activist site might be a really great way to get people to "play" and invest in your site. Or it might lead to spoilers trying to game the system to get that videocamera.