No, not that clicking.
Clicks are the new currency in an Internet economy. We all know that. But it's never been more true than in


In The Race to Mouse-Click Their Way to a Charitable Payout, Eastside Moms Are Destroying Amputees

No, not that clicking.
Clicks are the new currency in an Internet economy. We all know that. But it's never been more true than in the case of a charitable promotion being run by Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union--one that comes to an exciting climax today.

Seattle Metropolitan is going to give away $5,000 to a worthy non-profit organization--depending on which of seven finalists receives the most votes on the credit union's Web site. The potential winners include, for example, a group that prepares meals for the homeless and a scrappy theater company (Wing-It Productions).

There are no limits to voting. No registering or providing email addresses. You can just keep refreshing the page and voting again and again. It's all about passion and dogged determination.

So it may not be too much of a surprise which of the seven groups has managed to take a commanding lead.

The promotion, called "op:co op (operation cooperation)" is the latest phase of a a huge marketing and re-branding effort that Seattle Metropolitan, like other local credit unions, has undertaken over the past couple years. Their aim: Take advantage of recent financial distress and PR blackeyes suffered by big corporate banks, while painting themselves as a folksier, more benign home for your ridiculously low-interest-earning savings account.

Seattle Metropolitan even pledges to be guided by 7 Principles, with Principle #7 being: Giving Back to the Community is an Obligation. This is apparently a principle also shared by the people who brought us KeyArena and the Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmunson Pavilion. Though they never did it with such cute graphics.

Thumbnail image for BC_Carnation_Co-Op_Preschool_image.jpg
Carnation's lean, mean clicking machine.
Back to the competition. Online voting began earlier this week and with just a few hours left (clicking ends at 5 p.m.), handicapping the race appears fairly easy. A tiny cooperative preschool on the Eastside, which employs just one teacher and assistant, and relies heavily on parent volunteers, has so far been trouncing the competition. They've generated over 130,000 votes/clicks--more than twice the nearest competitor. Carnation Co-op says it will use the $5,000 to pay for future operating expenses and provide tuition aid.

Back in seventh place is Amputee Advocates, who've mustered significantly fewer clicks. (Sorry, but it's true.) Their digits were still shy of 2,000 as of yesterday evening.

Of course, for those of us in the online media business, clicks also translate into cash. The more page-views we get, the more advertising revenue we generate. So...seeing what those kids and their parents out in Carnation are capable of, I'd like to suggest that they get in touch when this contest is over. We too might be able to work out an arrangement.

[Disclosure: I have friends in another of the finalist organizations, one that also appears to have no chance of winning.]

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