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One More Link (and this one's for a good cause--)

Through the miracle of Facebook fliers (yes, I clicked on one – it looked pertinent and interesting! I promise I'm not a sucker), I stumbled across one write thing. Although I could have gobs to say about the web design of the site (indeed, it's the first thing that jumped down my throat), I'd like to talk about the idea behind the site. What is the idea behind the site? Well my dear reader, I'm glad you asked (what was that you were saying about coercive writing?).

The idea behind One Write Thing seems to be that if the writer can get people interested in the site, whether it be through his journalistic abilities or the prizes he plans to give away, he can get people to donate to a cause they care about. It's an interesting theory, and I want to consider it with respect to attention theory.

While most people would be happy with a steady stream of web visitors, One Write Thing claims that it has no interest in web visitors other than as potential donors. While its very interesting to hypothesize that people's wallets will follow their attention (if I read about his experiences in Haiti everyday, I'll be much more inclined to donate than if I was randomly hit by a request for money backed up by a convincing argument), I'm not aware of any research backing it up. If it succeeds, I'll be very interested to see the theoretical repercussions. In some ways, this reminds me of viral marketing, but since he's not trying to sell you anything tangible I'll be interested to see how it works.

I'm interested that he has decided not to have advertising on the site. Since he has claimed that he's invested in drawing repeat visitors to the site, why doesn't he have advertising and use that revenue to support his cause as well? Sure, it would remove some of his street credibility, but I don't see that as a sufficient argument against advertising…

Either way, go visit. It's an interesting take on generating interest in service projects.