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Free Pancakes!!! Social Networking Charity/Volunteer Experiment

Just Get Me to the Pancakes!

The Question
: Can social networking and bookmark networking sites be used to associate donors and volunteers with charity events in the real world?

The experiment: A blog post about the event will be written and connected to the various bookmarking and social networking sites.

The hypothesis: Site users from the area near the event who want to get involved and involve others will see the post and vote for it. As the post receives more votes, it will become more visible and more area users will hear about the event. This positive feedback mechanism will help more people turn out for the event.

The Measurement: The post will contain printable event badges for each social networking site it is associated with. People that donate can print the badges and add them to their donation. A tally will be kept of the donations from each site.

So, here goes!

The event:

On February 12th in Austin, TX, IHOP and the Shriners will be teaming up to raise money for the Shriner's Hospitals for Children. IHOP will be giving away free stacks of pancakes that day and inviting their customers to donate to Shriner's Hospital for Children.

Each year, the Shriner's hospitals attend to the medical needs of more than 125,000 patients. All of the patients are children with orthopaedic conditions, burn injuries of all degrees, spinal cord injuries and cleft lips and/or palates. And all of the medical procedures are provided free of charge!

And this year, the Austin web community is getting into the act also! Austin is a very tech oriented community that plays host to several hardware, software, and IT firms. So, this year, we're using digg to get the word out about free pancakes and a chance to give back to the community. If you are in the Austin area, please digg/vote for this article and send it to all your contacts. Then, please plan on eating some free pancakes on the 12th!

A map of all the IHOP locations is shown below. To show how involved digg/reddit/ users are in their communities, you can print your favorite image out below and hand it to a Shriner with your donation that day. We'll tally up all the donations, and post the totals here!

By the way, reddit did a variant of this experiment and posted their results.

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