The extreme excitement around the #WorldCup had everyone a’ Twitter with supporting their favorite teams. From live tracking to replays, there were a host of Twitter tools that helped create community and channel conversation around one of the biggest sporting events ever.
I particularly enjoyed the fun integration of tiny flags that were embedded into tweets when a user incorporated a country’s hashtag.
Flags in Tweets
The added visual element was a nice addition to helping make a tweet pop in a user’s stream. Unfortunately, it does seem that a user had to be on Twitter in order to see the flags which was a bit constraining since most users access and interact with Twitter via third-party desktop clients or via their mobile phone.
I imagine Twitter was treating this as a test ground around the World Cup but they would be smart to consider how this technology can be applied for nonprofits. Unlike YouTube, which has their own nonprofit program or Facebook which integrates causes and pages, Twitter has yet to launch an official nonprofit program or general guide to assist nonprofits in maximizing use of their platform (note – they have done this with their business center). Outside of Twitter, nonprofit consultant @johnhaydon has created this Twitter e-book guide for nonprofits that is worth checking out.
How simple would it be for Twitter to coordinate with nonprofits to integrate ribbons or other images to appear in accordance with assigned hashtags? I for one, would love to see a yellow ribbon associated with #livestrong, green ribbons tied to #organdonor, a #humanrights symbol, etc. The images could even hyperlink over to a specified site for users to take action without burning up precious Twitter characters.
4th of July Visual
Check out the visual above and think about the possibilities (without Twitter turning into a graphic frenzy like MySpace).
What else could be done to help Twitter ramp up their engagement with nonprofits? Could they help isolate some real estate at the top of streams and on applications around certain days to generate attention for a cause? What about integrating key links into the Twitter.com sidebar?