Tuesday Buzz: An Association’s Message in a Bottle

The story of a marine biologist, a message in a bottle, and an association's unlikely messaging coup. Also: Facebook offers up a button that nonprofits probably can't wait to get their hands on.

Think your messaging game is strong? It may be, but it’s not nearly as strong as that of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Way back in 1904, marine biologist George Parker Bidder launched an experiment to better understand deep currents—launching bottles from the North Sea to see where they would land. Inside each bottle was a postcard, addressed to Bidder, which offered a one-shilling award to the person who returned the bottle. The idea was a novel one, and it worked as both an experiment and a form of promotion for the association.

“It was a time when they were inventing ways to investigate what currents and fish did,” Guy Baker, the association’s current communications director, told The Telegraph. “The association still does similar research today, but we have access to technology they didn’t have, such as electronic tags.”

Bidder released 1,000 bottles, many of which were found within months of being sent afloat. But earlier this year, a retired postal worker from Germany discovered one of the bottles—nearly 110 years after it had been sent—on the island of Amrum, in the North Sea.

Despite the long period between the sending and the finding of the bottle, the association is still around and has upheld its end of the deal.

“We found an old shilling, I think we got it on eBay,” Baker said. “We sent it to [the postal worker] with a letter saying ‘Thank you’.” (ht @Digitec)

One Valuable Button


If you have a Facebook page and a need for donations from the public at large, you have a good reason to be excited about Facebook’s latest announcement.

The company has now opened its “Donate Now” button to all nonprofits, roughly two years after it tested the concept in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Available both for pages and for ads on the Facebook network, the button could be a huge benefit for nonprofits looking to raise a little extra money for their causes.

Other Links of Note

Feel like you’re facing a bully in the office? This guide from Lifehacker could help you manage a source of major frustration.

Get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 recently? Be aware of this design flaw.

Your event’s over, but that doesn’t mean you can take it easy. Event Manager Blog says that you should plan to do all of this stuff after your event.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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