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Making social media socially worthwhile

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Way back when in the early days of the web, there were a number of innovative sites that allowed you to raise money for your favourite causes by shopping online or searching the web.  These sites have evolved with the times, and a number now use coupons to entice you to shop via them, with proceeds going to a charity of your choice.


They are among of a number of interesting approaches to fundraising.  Recently Iwrote about a novel project undertaken by Greenpeace Russia called theEcoCard.  On the surface it's a simple business card, but the developers hope that it will also promote greener behaviour.


The front of the card offers the standard business card type information.  The back however, is where the magic occurs.  On the back are instructions informing the recipient that inside the card is a metro card that can be used on the Moscow underground network.


The card therefore doubles up as a holder for the metro card, whilst also informing holders how many journeys their card has remaining on it.  Those ordering the card can choose to pre-load up to 60 free rides to their recipients via the EcoCard.


With cards such as this being a ubiquitous part of our wallet, it's nice to see them being used for good causes.  The UK basedCommon Pence is attempting a similar feat.  They reason that there is often small amounts of change left on the Oyster travel cards used in London, and devised a system whereby that money can be easily given to charity.


The project has produced a panel that can be added to the traditional Oyster card (or indeed contactless bank card or NFC enabled smartphone).  A simple tap of the card sees 50 pence deducted from the account.  Holding the card against the panel will donate all of the remaining credit.

This money is sent directly to a charity, which thus far is determined by Common Pence on a monthly basis.  The panels are run by wireless and can be set-up in any public location.  Check out the video below for the cards in action.


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