A Time for Change:
The Single Voice: Uniting All
ANOTHER day; another shooting in the U.S…
There’s almost a song lyric in that (steal it if you wish). Seriously though, my opening line has almost become a cliché: every week there seems to be a new shooting; another chance to get angry. It is all very well (President Obama) being disappointed- at how he cannot soften gun laws- but the fact remains: so long as the (irrelevant and seriously outdated) Constitution remains, the U.S. will always be strong-armed- never able to become truly civilised. The news is dominated by violence and terrorism; horror and fear: we will never eradicate all of this misery. With social media (and the Internet) growing and expanding, there is an opportunity being missed: a real chance to utilise it for genuine good, rather than self-promotion.
What the Charity Does.
I have mentioned The Single Voice in previous blog posts (probably bored everyone to tears) – I am really pumped about it. Whereas charities focus on one issue/cause, The Single Voice brings them all together- and has its own agenda. By uniting all charities, it is not only hoped that a) more money/awareness is raised for them, but b) each charity can help one another. The Single Voice will have its own website- that would be eye-catching and unique- that is informative and easy to navigate. There are links and ways for charities to interact; help one another and unite to raise funds. The main points of The Single Voice are to make genuine changes and get everyone involved in charity.
The Charity’s Main Focus:
Mental health is a big issue: by addressing mental health issues, we can prevent so much tragedy from occurring. A lot of gun violence and killing takes place, because (the perpetrator) has mental health issues- that are not being addressed. The usual solution- when responding to terrorism and gun violence- is to shoot first; ask later. It may seem pie-on-the-sky but actually talking about things; addressing issues before they occur is paramount. In this country, there are limited resources: there is finite money/people available to tackle mental health issues. By raising money- through mass online appeals and social media unification- we can generate funds; join mental health charities together- tackle those most vulnerable.
Another aim is to raise awareness of lesser-known charities: get their name into the forefront; compel people to do more for causes- and get involved in the community. There are a lot of causes and concerns that get overlooked- go under the radar- that deserve wider acclaim. From animal rights to equality for women, The Single Voice can help- by putting these charities up front.
The First Promotional Imitative- 2016
How it Raises Money.
The campaign is designed to bring together YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft: some of the most influential and important (companies on the planet). I will go into more depth (below) but the way (the user) raises funds is through YouTube ‘views’: every time someone views a video (you have uploaded)- 15p is donated to your chosen charity (an additional 5p is donated for every ‘like’). YouTube is the ‘hosting site’: it is their website that is the basis of the campaign. Google will be the ones who are donating the money. Each user/member- who chooses to take part- will register on the main site (see below) and through advertising and increased search results, Google will gain revenue- which in turn will be donated into The Single Voice. Companies like Google and Apple generate enormous profits each year; they do great work but have a lot of profit coming in. Finding a (legal and non-invasive way) for them to generate more funds- by advertising and getting more ‘business’- would allow them to channel this money into the campaign. There is the potential (for an individual) to raise millions (possible tens of millions over the campaign) for a great cause- either something at a local level; or a national issue.
The Main Site.
The initiative will have a homepage: which will be where each person goes to register. The campaign will be shared and spread to social media, but at the first point of contact, each person would start here. Like Facebook and Twitter, registration is painless and quick: and a great way to connect with other users and like-minded people. The homepage will be well-designed and eye-catching. The top half will have various links: A-Z of Charities; Contact Details; Discussion Board; Events/Fundraisers; Latest Members; Links; Generated Profit (so far). The bottom half will be fun and interactive. It will depict a variety of locations: a comedy club; recording studio; film set; bar etc. The sign will be the only constant- saying The Single Voice. Whether attached to a studio (or comedy club) the figures (that interact will be from that world). Musicians- past and present- will interact; comedy and film icons (too)- it will be constantly changing and moving. Each figure will be animated- giving the homepage a great two-tone look/feel. I shall expand more/give ‘the fully skinny’ in my next blog. (middle of June).
Each person will be asked to register simple details: name, D.O.B., location; campaigns; total raised (and several others). It will work a little like Facebook, where there is a profile page: it will be a simple process and contain plenty of information- although nothing too personal or revealing. From the registration page, there are links to social media- where you can easily promote your page/share your success. When all the personal details/key details are entered, then comes the ‘fun part’. The Single Voice has the option of 25 different YouTube-based ‘initiatives’/ideas. These will be split into categories: Film and T.V., comedy, music, miscellaneous.
Each new member is allowed to ‘sign-up’/choose five of the twenty options. For each initiative you will be selecting a different charity (I will go into more depth later). On the profile page will be your list of ‘initiatives’. By each of your selections will be the total (money) you have raised; how many times your idea/entry has been shared (and how many times you have shared it). This charity campaign will run for a year- from its launch date- and your selected charities will get donations each month (at the end of each month; however much you have raised will be donated to them).
There are twenty five different ideas- covering film, T.V., music and advertising. As I have said, each person will be allowed to select five different ideas (from the list of twenty five). Each person could be involved with the campaign for five years When you register, it will ask you to select from the list- which idea/choice you want- and there will be a step-by-step guide. It is very easy and simple to complete. Before I explain how it is done; here is what you can choose from (among others):
Top-10 Songs. Like Desert Island Discs and Tracks of My Years, each user gets to choose their 10 favourite/most important songs. There is an option- on each entry- for a user to commentate/explain why they have chosen (what they have selected) but it is a great chance for the person to share their favourite songs.
New Music. This is an option that is a chance (for new music to be heard). A person can give the world a chance to discover new music/musicians. If a new band/act has posted to YouTube, then their music can be shared. There is a chance to select your ten favourite songs (from new acts).
Music Videos. It is nice and simple: choose your favourite ten music videos. Whether it is from a new band- or classic act- you get a chance to have a good think- what you consider to be the best of the breed.
Comedy. Whether it is a short clip- lasting a few seconds- or a full-length film/T.V. episode, this is comedy-orientated. Whatever makes you laugh the most: get it uploaded! I shall expand on this more- and what I would select- but you can choose a stand-up show; an episode of The Simpsons- or a comedic home-made video/prank.
Drama/film. Again, whether it is an episode of Breaking Bad- if they are allowed on YouTube- or a short film, this is the chance to get it shared.
Originals. This is the chance for a user to create something new- and upload to YouTube. Not a chance for self-promotion, it is a chance to flex your creative muscles. It can be anything you want: a mock advert; a new song; a comedy sketch- whatever you fancy.
Commercials/Misc. If you have favourite adverts then you can get them seen hear. This option gives voice to other videos: those weird and wonderful videos- YouTube seems to proffer by the bucket-load. Beauty blogs and ‘how-to’ videos; home-made videos can be selected. The rules are simple: it can be anything (as long as it is not sexual, offensive, and violent- or violates YouTube’s rules).
There are- as I have mentioned- 25 different choices; appealing enough to everyone- that gives the user a chance- not only to think about their favourite music/films etc.- but discover new and exciting work.
Beyond Social Media.
Of course, the point of the campaign is not to share music/film- just for the sake of it. The idea is to raise money and awareness of causes and charities. On the home page, you get a chance to share your ideas and videos- and raise money (each time they get a ‘view). When you select a charity- for each entry- there is an information button: this gives you huge information and links. If you select Diabetes U.K., then you get to find out about the charity. There are links to their website; how to get involved in the community; how to spot the signs (of diabetes); ways to further becoming involved with the charity- runs, fundraisers, volunteering etc. This will be the case for every charity. It means that, not only does the user get to learn more about their chosen charities (and causes); other people do too. On the site’s main page, there is an A-Z of Charities: a full list of all charities; information, links and videos for each. In addition engaging people more with charities and causes; there is a hope it will lead to more community involvement. There is a chance to ‘represent’/choose (to support) women’s rights, stamp out gun violence, support local communities and boroughs- causes not usually represented by the big fundraisers. In addition to giving information about each, there are ways for you to get involved: get out onto the street and make a difference. Raising money will be a huge and important part of the idea, but it is hoped that the government will take note- issues and campaigns will be highlighted; a chance to change law- change people’s lives and initiate social change. Not only does one get to learn more about charities and causes- the main objective of the campaign- there is a secondary bonus’. Each time you compile a list; there is a chance to benefit others. Say you have selected Top 10 Songs. After you have selected each track, there will be a link on each video/selection. Song and album information is provided; links to other (similar) acts; ways to record your own music/become a musician. In terms of new music, there is a chance to help new musicians (links to campaigns; ways to share their music and causes); find great new acts; support local venues and festivals- ways to bring about equality and change for musicians. The same goes for film and music videos: ways to become a director/actor; local schools and campaigns; links to similar films/videos; local schemes; ways to support other charities and causes etc. All of this video-selecting and information-finding is designed to be quick to share/promote. With a click of the button you can share you entries/profile to social media; encouraging friends to get involved- taking this thing viral. It is A fun, quick, and educational scheme; with the potential to raise a lot of money very fast
I hope to organising a charity gig towards November/December- to raise money for Mind. It would unite my favourite new musicians and would be an all-day event; not only aimed to showcase new music but raise a lot of money.
The Single Voice: Using Creativity to Make Changes:
The charity would use music and the arts to pull in people: encourage creativity and artistic endeavour to raise money and awareness. Like the first promotional initiative, the charity’s website encourages creativity: becoming involved in music/creating your own sounds; D.J. work and music writing; comedy and screenwriting etc. Having its own social media site, The Single Voice encourages collaboration and joint ventures: getting users to unite on creative projects; use music and arts to raise charity funds- and raise awareness of great causes.
Setting Up and Going Forward:
At the moment, there are a lot of ideas on paper; schemes and plans coming together- the first steps need to happen (before we can run). Hoping to establish the charity this year, I will need trustees- and people to support it. The website is the important next step: not only establishing what the charity does/aims, but having everything in one place. There will be a social media channel and links to charities; bespoke music and screenwriting sections; ways to become active in the community.
The main aim is to help eradicate big issues and ills: from gun violence and terrorism to social inequality, there are ways to make a change. Rather than use violence and hatred, raising money and awareness- helping tackle mental health issues- are much more vital. By joining with companies like Google and Microsoft- helping to promote them- there will be money available and a necessary platform- which means The Single Voice can thrive.
The Point of Doing All This:
Something needs to be done in the world: there is too much needless violence; stupidity and ignorance; a lot of people not doing their fair share- people need to do a lot more in this world. The Single Voice, not only aims to raise a lot of money and solve issues- but get people more involved in community and charity- and less concerned with social media and needlessness. Before the end of the year, I will set up the charity and produce a more thorough blog- it may seem a little sketchy at the moment. I just get so annoyed by the state of the world: too much rudeness and selfish people; needless gun violence and terrorism- nobody seems capable of being able to solve things like a human. Things can be done; changes can be made- it just takes the support of the people…