SocialVibe: Widgets That Save the World

Finally, I’ve signed up with SocialVibe. I was inspired by a recent press release I received last week, even one of those barely personalized ones, which goes to show that good content is often all that matters. [An aside: I tried writing this post before and Flock crashed on me. I have to save drafts more often. Please tell me Firefox 3 will be more stable. Flock’s recent funding may be too late.]

Here’s an excerpt from the release:

In response to these tragedies [in China and Myanmar], SocialVibe.com, a new way to make a
difference for charities online, is establishing a cause called
Disaster Relief that will enable SocialVibe to quickly mobilize fundraising
efforts when a global or regional disaster strikes. SocialVibe.com’s
Disaster Relief (http://www.socialvibe.com/charities/22#)
launches today on the homepage and as the featured cause of the site. SocialVibe.com "Points " earned
by selecting Disaster Relief will be allocated to charities within SocialVibe
making a difference for Asia.

The gist with SocialVibe is that you sign up for a cause, pick a brand to sponsor it, share this widget, and earn points for the cause.

I’d be curious to hear some case studies on how well the marketing works, and what the brands are even trying to get at here. Is it just some cause marketing branding play?

I also wonder how much of a rush there is for consumers to put more ads on their profiles, which is basically what these widgets are. Yes, widgets are a form of self expression, and people do have their favorite brands. Interestingly, this is the second social site I’ve tried lately where I’ve been asked to list my favorite brands; the other is SocialSpark.

Still, there is the potential for one of those win-win-win-win-win….. types of deals.

One nit: it wouldn’t let me update my school. I’d try to click save and it wouldn’t do anything.

I also don’t mean to get overly critical. There are lots of things I like about it. Very easy signup, smooth design, and the ‘points’ system (not unlike the Spock Power at Spock.com) gives some sort of motivation to do more. The membership upgrade from Gold to Platinum is very clever, where you have to spend a few minutes filling out more info about your interests to better target brands.

In any case, here’s the code for my SocialVibe widget. I chose Perrier as my sponsor for two reasons: 1) I drink it sometimes, namely when I’m visiting the in-laws in Dallas, and 2) I felt like this older-skewing brand might need some extra love.