Social media embraces Ideas Campaign for economic recovery


10 Mar 2009

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The Ideas Campaign, which is calling on the people of Ireland to propose solutions that will help rebuild the economy, has evolved into a multi-social media endeavour spreading to sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ammado and IGOpeople.

The genesis for the Ideas Campaign began in February and, in weeks, Aileen O’Toole, former editor of the Sunday Business Post and managing director of web consultancy AMAS, began seeking volunteers on LinkedIn, focusing specifically on people who had just been made redundant.

A campaign manager was appointed on 25 February and, by last week, the need to generate good ideas for economic recovery that focus on solutions, not problems became an item on RTÉ’s Prime Timeand Morning Ireland.

The Ideas Campaign website had clocked over 12,000 visitors by the weekend, attracted 335 friends on Facebook, 138 followers on Twitter, 30 connections on LinkedIn and similar numbers on Ammado and IGOPeople.

O’Toole said the campaign is going well, with over 900 ideas logged on the site.

Tomorrow, a panel of eminent Irish people at home and abroad will form an Independent Advisory Council to select the best ideas.

An Taoiseach Brian Cowan TD has confirmed the recommendations of the council will be fast-tracked to the Cabinet sub-committee on Economic Renewal for assessment and implementation, “where appropriate.”

O’Toole told siliconrepublic.com that over 100 organisations from the Irish Internet Association to the American Chamber of Commerce have offered their support.

“The key is to get the message out that Ireland is open for business. We need to get everyone talking and get the gems of ideas out there that will create jobs, lift confidence and get people back to work.

“This country’s reputation internationally is in the toilet. We have to do something about this. There’s a lot of negativity and it’s spilling onto the international scene.”

She said the Independent Advisory Panel will have a two-hour meeting in April to go over the action plan. “We hate the death of ideas by consultation. We will go into the first meeting with a shape of what we want to do, and by the second meeting have a plan of action. This initiative will not be blighted by endless meandering meetings.”

By John Kennedy