A stitch online: Macmillan’s super scarf

This week is, officially, Social Media Week. It is a global event, hosted in nine cities across the world, from Sao Paulo to Hong Kong.

There have been some fantastic events across London so far, and as I write this, many more to come.

I made it along to the public sector social media huddle on February 8. It was an unconference, but I was lucky to have an early heads-up from Kerry at Dell. So I took the opportunity to get there a bit early and pitch for a slot to talk about #nhssm. You can view my Prezi here, minus speaking notes.

However, the first session I attended was by Christopher Hall from Macmillan Cancer Support, to hear about their knitition.

In a nutshell, Macmillan wanted to encourage people to sign a petition against fuel poverty for cancer sufferers. In order to encourage people to sign up, they set up an online platform that meant every signatory contributed a short piece of knitting to a very, very long scarf. And they could watch their portion of scarf being knitted live, online.

This is a real scarf, being knitted by a very clever machine, which can be viewed online in real-time.

I have embedded Chris’s presentation below, which has all the information, but it’s safe to say I was very impressed. It seems like such an original, yet relatively simple, idea. Unless you know of anything similar? Let me know.

Chris didn’t put a figure on ROI, but with more than 4000 signatures to date, he implied that it was very cost effective compared to other activities.

My only criticisms would be that there doesn’t appear to be an offline method to contribute, which excludes a lot of people, and when I signed up I had to download a Flash player upgrade to see my piece of scarf appear.

[slideshare id=6876399&doc=infi-knitpresentationsmw11-01-08final-110210045621-phpapp02]