Refugee Week 2009 – My Simple Act.


If you didn’t know already, it’s been Refugee Week 2009 this week. To commemorate the cause Jaz and Ben have been doing a brilliant job getting the word out, energising the blogging community and collectively making some however big or small, social change.

When it comes to charity and making social change, i’m sometimes a bit too cynical for my own good. However, this got me thinking to myself what are the words that I think of first ordinarily when I see or hear the word refugee, here’s my top 5.

1. Poverty
2. Forced
3. Conflict
4. Unrest
5. Global

When you look at those words, they’re all pretty powerful and all probably stir some kind of emotion inside you. I’ve often thought just how lucky we really are in western society having all the luxuries we’re accustomed to and take for granted.

What are your top 5 and what’s this all in aid of?

Let me answer the latter part at least..

The Simple Acts campaign is about inspiring individuals to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees.

It consists of 20 actions that can be done by anyone and that encourage us to learn and do more with refugees. With every person who joins the campaign and does a small thing with and for refugees, we get a little closer to removing barriers between communities and to creating the kind of world we all want to live in.

There’s no way of knowing an exact number, but we hope to see thousands of people doing at least one small action by 2010!

According to the homepage 3298 simple acts have been carried out. Amazing. How about adding another one to the mix?

Check out a few other posts from Matt Churchill, Anke Holst and Kate Evans Bush

#Amazonfail and a coincidental job advert

This post was originally going to be entitled ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ and simply put up the image below but felt like it deserved a bit more than that..

Reading this is probably the best place to start.. then come right back..

I’ve been keeping half an eye over the weekend on the steadily building #Amazonfail which is incidentally the top trending topic on Twitter and there are this minute more mentions than even Easter. (For an example of it’s talkability factor, in the past hour there’s been a further 700+ mentions since I carried out the original search.)

Amazon PR Week Job Posting

It’s starting to also garner mainstream coverage now as the traditional press catches up but it is something as far as I know started on Twitter and then made it’s way through the blogosphere shortly after.

What’s happened since then? #Amazonfail was being mentioned 4 times a second barely an hour after the first tweet. A petition was started (which over 15,000 people have signed) a Google Bomb took place, and no I formerly had no idea what one of them was either but it sounds pretty damaging. A Facebook group ‘Boycott Amazon’ has been started. A poll was created with the question being ‘Can Amazon redeem/repair their reputation after #amazonfail?’ A list has popped up featuring all the affected titles – here. Some internet hackers are claiming it’s all their doing whilst the names and numbers of the Board of Directors at Amazon HQ have been published. The CTO has been also been ‘unmasked’ (and remains quiet on the whole debacle). Clearly, this is an issue that’s not going to just disappear overnight.

I’ve rounded up a few posts below. One question that everyone at one stage appeared to be asking was do Amazon have a PR manager in the UK or otherwise to deal with freak happenings like this? The advertisement to my right that I coincidentally spotted in the back of the most recent issue of PR Week would suggest otherwise. I put up the picture on Twitpic and soon after @girlonetrack (an affected publisher) retweeted it to her followers.

A few questions for you..

Do you think this is going to affect Amazon’s reputation at all? Has their silence thus far helped or hindered the situation? What do you think their response should be?

Roundup –

Blogs and Twitter coin Amazonfail by Wall Street Journal

Amazon feel the web’s wrath by Zoe Margolis

Amazon sees censorship decisions magnified through the social web magnifying glass by Becky McMichael

Amazonfail – Easter PR Disaster by Matt Churchill

Amazon = FAIL by Alas, a Blog

#Amazonfail – Timeline of WTF by Anastacia

Amazon Follies by Mark Probst

AmazonFAIL discussion thread at Metafilter

Amazonfail: A call to boycott Amazon by Edward Champion

Amazonfail – Malice or Bumble by Jessica Gottlieb

Amazon has removed it’s customer based reporting of books by Brutal Honesty

Amazon blames a glitch by Los Angeles Times