Tracking a Greener Africa: Twitter as social network amplifier

Continuing to play in the Twittersphere, I came across a really interesting service today – called WildlifeDirect. The organisation is evidently making pretty slick use of social media tools. All I recieved was a notification that WildLife Direct was following me, but here I am bringing them to my community.

@WildlifeDirect offers short punchy (140 characters or less) notifications about conservation projects and problems in Africa. Some tweets are designed for fund-raising for particular initiatives. For example:

“DR Congo: $3000 out of $20,000 still needed to protect mountain gorillas habitat from becoming charcoal -Pls Help!”

Other notifications are updates or news about particular projects. WildlifeDirect is taking advantage of me as a 21st century switchboard operator. The model would work equally well for any type of NGO, but the green tech community is definitely leading the charge.

Education is of course critical – and when you read this:

“Kenya: Brilliant blog posts coming from the Mara Triangle. Last week Kimonjino couldn’t even use a computer mouse.”

You just have to follow it to Anti-poaching in the Mara Triangle. I can’t really blame the poachers- they look like they may well have hungry children at home. But WildlifeDirect is concerned with conservation, and its evidently doing a fine job of identifying projects and letting contributions go to those specific initiatives rather than into a general bucket. For example providing firewood to a large refugee camp near a Gorilla sanctuary. IT-enabled trackability is a going to be a big part of conservation efforts globally. I will be keeping track of this – and probably making some contributions. Bringing that together with blogs and videos is really best practice in NGO social IT.

Small things loosely joined, making a difference.
picture of Koikai courtesy of WildlifeDirec. If you have a spare tri-band phone he might like it…