Social Media for the Homeless: Part 2

There has been a tremendous response to my blog post, “Social Media for the Homeless”. Many people have asked me how we can turn what is essentially a concept into a reality. Reality is such a strong word these days, and thrown around far too lightly. What is a reality? How do we know what is real and what isn’t? Is a dream real? Is social marketing for the homeless a dream? Can it be a reality? And we’ve come full circle.

SM4H. Closing the gap in connectivity

To answer this final and burning question there needs to be an action plan, steps of implementation that operationalize the concept from a bright-eyed man’s fantasy to something tangible and real. Below are the six steps that I believe will revolutionize the notion of homeless living.

Step1

The introduction of an office phone recycling depository: smartphone2homeless, where old smart phones can be donated for use by the homeless. Most professionals are reaching the end of the second cycle of smart phone use (can you believe it has been over four years since Alec and I lined up at the front of the Mac store on Michigan Ave in Chicago to become the world’s first iPhone owners?), and thus there are a huge amount of smart phones left unused in homes and offices.  Only one tenth of all office workers would have to donate a smart phone to supply the entire homeless population in Australia. And, thus, it is projected that within a year of the smartphone2homeless donation scheme, all homeless people would have the potential to access social media from their smartphone.

As the plan gains momentum, phone companies may offer a trade-in service whereby on signing up for a new phone, the socially-responsible professional trades in their phone on the spot – enabling reducing distribution times  and costs within the program.

Step 2

Of course, there is the question of how the homeless, with their new phones, would get connected to a data plan. The answer: Vodafone. Recently the victim of substantial negative publicity and customer exodus, Vodafone has been desperately trying to repair its battered reputation amongst Australia’s fickle phone-buyer market.  What better way to do so than to offer the homeless access to a data plan for social media usage?

The extra homeless phone users would not clog up Vodafone’s underutilized new network, as it is possible for Vodafone to limit data usage to social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc). The cost to Vodafone? Almost nothing. It is anticipated that any network and administrative costs will be offset by the tremendous gains in goodwill and positive publicity

Step 3

But how can we educate the homeless on how to use their new smart phones to “connect” with others using social media?

Using the patented Anthony Schumann SM4H guidebook™ (2012, forthcoming), volunteers will be skilled on how to run a class with the homeless, in addition to being able to communicate the fundamentals of social media use (including guides to Facebook and Twitter).

Step 4

Running parallel to step 3, a SM4H headquarters will be established, where a call centre and a group of IT specialists will organise and promote events for the provision of food, clothing and shelter for our country’s homeless.

Looking to the future, social media’s limitless mobility means outsourcing is a real possibility and will reduce costs. Either way, the centralization of homeless event organization will significantly reduce administrative costs, thus providing more funds and labour committed to increasing the standard of food shelter and clothes provision.

Step 5

There is no step 5 or 6. Why say six steps? Because alliteration sells, and you guys read this far didn’t you.

Step 6

By reading this you have just justified my point directly above. Alliteration sells. Sex sells? Exactly- alliteration, it sells.

By following these six steps, and listing largely existing infrastructure and currently unused smartphones – a social media network will be in place, connecting and empowering the homeless.  This will go some small way to reducing the vicious cyclical nature of homelessness, by connecting, educating and providing opportunities a group of people which often fall through the cracks in our society.

-Ted Anthony with Alec Schumann

*you would have seen in the prior blog there was the potential to make savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. A larger, soulless firm would have looked to make a profit from the selling and implementing the above action plan. But not Anthony Schumann, whose commitment to using its expertise for the greater good has always been pro bono.

About AnthonySchumann
Subtle Bravado // Creative Boutique. Ted Anthony - Vision Alec Schumann - Creative Follow @AnthonySchumann

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