Sunday, April 28, 2013

Change the World in 30 Seconds

A few days ago the book How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior's Guide to Animal Advocacy Online came in the mail. I first heard about this book during the last blog hop. The blog that mentioned it had a 50% off coupon code. Help animals, save money -- you know I'm a sucker for that! The book is less than 100 pages so I read it pretty quickly. I have mixed feelings about what I read. On the plus side, the book gave lots of concrete examples of things to do and places to go to make a difference. I'll discuss these in a minute. Unfortunately, it also promotes some of the kooky, almost conspiracy-theory things I have to fight on a regular basis -- I should probably explain that too, hunh?

OK, first the good stuff:
  1. Freekibble -- This is a fun site. It has a daily trivia question (and I love trivia). Whether you answer right or wrong, sponsors donate food to animal shelters for every visit to the site. You can click once daily, and you can even sign up for a reminder email.
  2. The Animal Rescue Site -- Like Freekibble, this site has sponsors that donate food to shelters for every click they receive. You can click once daily here as well. The site also have a store where you can purchase clothes, jewelry, pet supplies and more. Additional bowls of food are donated with every purchase.  
  3. The book discusses online petitions (which I doubt the effectiveness of) and letter-writing campaigns (which I believe are very effective) and gives the particulars of how they work. Letters to the editor are also discussed -- but really, who reads newspapers anymore?
  4. Social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) can spread information instantly. The author discusses how social media can be used to arrange transport for animals and showcase animals available for adoption. Blogs can be used to promote issues.
  5. Online fundraising is explained briefly. Surprisingly, she didn't mention First Giving or any of the other online fundraising sites I've seen (and donated through).
  6. Web addresses are given to download various flyers and brochures.
And the other stuff:
  1. The Dogs in Danger section is overly dramatic. I get tired of hearing about evil "kill" shelters, and am disappointed when I see the No Kill movement vilify municipal, open-admissions shelters to promote their agenda. There are better, more productive ways to save animals than pitting agencies against each other. (OK, off the soap box -- for now.)
  2. Some information is inaccurate -- heart sticking being the most obvious to me. (This is used during euthanasia.) The inflammatory verbiage used turned me off as well.
  3. The possible perils are grossly exaggerated. The author states that among other things, "Free to a Good Home" pets on Craigslist are sold to laboratories, fed to pet snakes and used in satanic rituals. I've heard these stories a hundred times during my eight years in animal control, but have never seen facts backing them up. The author didn't offer any either, which is disappointing because she was so meticulous with her other stats and sources.
All in all, after the coupon I spent $7 (including shipping) on the book. I think it was worth it for me, kooky propaganda aside. If you feel differently you can borrow my copy. Or you can keep reading my blog for free. You know I'll share anything I feel is important. -- K