Communication Through New Media essay

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Communications New Media

Care2 -- Social Network Tool

Care2 was started by Randy Paynter in 1998 however it was a dream that he developed when he was a young adolescent (Paynter). He was traveling in South America with his father studying environmental issues and realized that there was a great imbalance in society in regards to how people treat the planet as well as how people treat each other. Paynter desperately wanted to be a force for positive change in the world and when the internet became main stream he identified this as one vehicle to reach millions of people. He started the organization out of his apartment and today the organization has more than fifty employees, fifteen million members, four hundred non-profit partners, and hundreds of responsible advertisers who are committed to making a difference (Paynter).

Care2 is a profitable, privately funded company and a B-Corporation. The company's business model is focused on pay-per-action lead generation for non-profit organizations and CPM sponsorships for responsible consumer brands. As a B-Corporation or social enterprise, Care2 generates revenues by connecting individuals with nonprofits and businesses that are making the world a better place (Care2). Care2 is a social action network whose mission is to empower millions of people to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle and support socially responsible causes (Care2).

Care2's site includes content offered by users and contributors including such things as original stories, blogs and content provided by syndication partners covering a broad range of issues from healthy lifestyle areas, and causes ranging from politics to human rights and animal welfare. The site is useful to people who are involved in various causes because it integrates various relevant content sources and also provides some actionable opportunities; such as petitions, pledges and daily actions. Care2 claims that it builds a deeper level of passion and engagement with its users than other sites that do not appeal to social or environmental issues. Their loyalty program, the Butterfly Rewards member loyalty program, offers people a chance to support their favorite causes by undertaking some project for that can earn their favorite organization money or credit from other users of Care2.

Care2 target market represents the emerging majority of conscious consumers, who bringing a high level of passion for social or environmental issues. These consumers are highly aware of environmental and social issues and this issues influence to everything they do; especially in regards to shopping. The typical Care2 user, according to the website, is a woman who is 25-54 years old, lives with a spouse or partner, and has one or more pets, volunteers for causes she believes in, buys eco-friendly products and donates to nonprofits (Care2).

Care2 represents the largest and fastest growing social networking tool in this specific niche. It has over sixteen million registered users and claims to have had a pretty steady growth rate, over a hundred seventy percent, in unique visitors' per year. Care2 also owns and operates another subsidiary site that is a tool used to gather petitions for various causes; it is said to have been generating over twenty million signatures in the past year. With strategic partner applications, such as Facebook, and a network of over one hundred revenue sharing partner sites, Care2 is estimated to be able to reach over one hundred fifty million people. Therefore, it is reasonable to claim that Care2 represents a popular and effective way to organize people to help with their favorite causes, social, and environmental issues.

There are several ways in which tools can help individuals raise money for their cause or preferred organization. For example, members can send out emails to their contacts with information about the cause as well as an opportunity to make a financial contribution. Another way funds can be generated is through advertisers' websites being visited by guests. Each time the guest visits a partner site the activity is recorded and a small financial contribution will be made for each unique visitor. Other than financial support, there are many social tools that can facilitate communication and organize members' efforts. For example, there are profile pages that allow users to meet other users with the same interests in their local area. There are also forums in which users can group comments about different interests so that anyone can read them at any time.…[continue]

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