Online Activists and the Weary Reader
When the conference begins, I’ll have loaded up my three boys, fed my pregnant belly, somehow put on makeup and prepared my heart to deal with some threatening facts. I trust that I can approach the Idea Camp Orphan Care Conference without a sense of dread. Orphan Care Advocates can put the weary straight into anything if the advocating is not done with grace.
How are you feeling now that I’ve brought it up, Orphan Care? Do you already feel yourself wanting to click away? Please not another project, not another video boasting children with flies in their eyes. If someone else asks me how much I spend on my coffee every day, I might die or swear off anything with sentimental music!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has chosen to turn away, who has been numbed by the numbers and access to so much tear-jerk marketing.
Some of us are orphan care advocates in this world of social media, swamped with important causes and touching images. As online activists, we risk losing even long-time readers when we begin to request support for our cause. When trying to push readers into compassion that spurs them on to action, we’re asking them to swallow more numbers, more heart ache, and – often times – more guilt.
Readers are overloaded and information fatigued.
Would you consider some of these questions in the comments because so many advocates are unsuccessful? Can you tell me why are stay and why you click away?
How do we avoid using “fly-in-the-eye” images that cause readers to feel manipulated while still sharing the truth of the dire need of millions of orphans?
How do we engage a reader’s mind and hold attention spans while sob stories seem a dime a dozen?
How do we invite readers into our own passions and spur them into action without exhausting their sense of empathy?
What orphan care stories have held your attention and pushed you into action? What Orphan Care Projects have you seen done well?
If you haven’t already considered joining us in NWA for the Orphan Care Conference, please register. With your help here, I’ll be joining in a panel conversation there with Dan from Bible Dude, Kristen Welch from We Are THAT Family, Elora Nicole from Love Wins, Lindsey Nobles from I’m Just Sayin’, and Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan.