In one of the truely social media driven experiences I’ve ever had I participated in the 2009 Earth Hour. On March 28th at 8:30pm local time households and businesses were asked to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. This is an annual event that was adopted in 2008.
What makes this event social media worthy is how people were encouraged to “Vote” for earth. An Earth Hour 2009 Filckr account was created for users to upload their photos of the event and what activities they chose to do in celebration. An Earth 2009 YouTube channel was created for users to upload video of the even and what activities they chose to do in celebration. Bloggers, like myself, were encouraged to write about the event tagging it with earthhour or voteearth and their location. Lastly, users were encouraged to Twitter tweet about the event and spread the word using the hash tags #earthhour or #voteearth and your #location to enable full tracking on the event and tweets.
Personally I did not know about Earth Hour until about 2 pm this afternoon when I saw a few people I was following, that live on the east coast, preparing for the event. I saw the hashtag #earthhour, did a twitter search, which led me to a link about the event. As many Twitter users witnessed this evening the power of social media is unquantifiable. The ability to inform and change a nation truly is possible. All it takes is one photo, video, post, or tweet to make it happen.