Home & Office

Comic Relief clowns around on YouTube

Social networking seeing red
Written by Gemma Simpson, Contributor on

Social networking seeing red

Comic Relief is working with social-networking sites to expand its online reach and increase Red Nose Day's appeal.

The Comic Relief charity has approached several social-networking sites, including Bebo, Flickr, Google Video, MySpace and YouTube to test, trial and play with various ideas to encourage users to do more fundraising.

Martin Gill, head of new media at Comic Relief, told silicon.com the charity is planning to use the web 2.0 websites as a promotional vehicle for their own content and get fundraisers showing the world what they're doing to raise money via online photos and videos.

Cheat Sheets

♦ Web 2.0
♦ Mash-ups

Bebo has already signed up to give its homepage a Red Nose Day makeover on the charity's main fundraising day: 16 March 2007.

Gill said one of the challenges is that social networking sites have not really been used very effectively to drive action for charities - with only a handful of campaigns motivating online communities behind a certain issue or activity.

Comic Relief has been running for more than 20 years and culminates in a bi-annual fundraising day which sees supporters wearing red noses and generally doing daft things to raise money for the charity and a fundraising show on BBC One.

YouTube is already awash with videos from the previous years' shows but few supporters are using the site to promote their fundraising events.

Gill said Comic Relief is working with social-networking sites to see how users react to this year's campaign with plans afoot to buff up their web 2.0 offering for the next campaign in 2009.

The standalone Comic Relief site already encourages user-generated content - such as blogs - with visitors able to make a donation to a specific fundraising event or the charity as a whole.

Nearly 4,000 fundraising events or sponsorship pages have already been created on the Comic Relief site for this year's event.

Editorial standards