Ice Bucket Challenge

Wednesday Buzz: The Value of Slacktivism

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? Scientists are now crediting it for a breakthrough in ALS research. Plus: The Sherry Turkle conversation continues.

After collecting $115 million in a single year, has the ALS Association’s rampant success following the viral spread of the Ice Bucket Challenge prompted any results? Or was it just another example of so-called “slacktivism” by dispassionate online communities?

As it turns out, the funds generated for ALS research have already produced at least one scientific breakthrough, as Washington Post reporter Robert Gebelhoff writes in his latest story.

A research team at Johns Hopkins University, led by professor Philip Wong, found themselves empowered by the influx in cash, which brought their team the stability it needed to continue its research.

“Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to come out with the studies as quickly as we did. The funding from the ice bucket is just a component of the whole—in part, it facilitated our effort,” Wong told Gebelhoff.

And their work, which revolved around the protein TDP-43, could result in a means to slow the impact of ALS or end its effects entirely.

So the next time you hear someone griping about slacktivists, or critiquing the Ice Bucket Challenge’s return, remind them that fundraising, when applied correctly, can do some good—even if it comes at the expense of flooding your Facebook feed.

CAPTCHAs of the Day


“As machines become more advanced, the classic CAPTCHAs just aren’t cutting it anymore,” Sage Lazzaro writes in a post for Observer. So don’t be surprised when you start seeing more complicated human verification methods, like the two above, the next time you log into a secure website.

Other Good Reads

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Closing General Speaker Sherry Turkle struck a nerve last week with her speech contending that mobile devices inhibit human interaction and intimacy. Some say it missed some important points, but association communications expert Maggie McGary has an interesting defense of Turkle’s points in a new blog post.

Remember the Reddit disaster last month? Ben Martin, CAE, of Online Community Results has a new post detailing why he sees it less as a matter of bad community management, and more of “a fundamental misalignment between the community strategy and business strategy.”

Earlier this week we covered how to manage volunteers. And now, SocialFish  shares ways to motivate your own employees to volunteer.

(Anthony Quintano/Flickr)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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