Good stories push people’s buttons. Now the people can push a button back. Moved by that story about adult illiteracy? Did that last tornado article really bring the wreckage home? Outraged by that magazine profile of the misogynistic congressman? Well if the new TakePart.com platform gets the penetration it hopes for, you’ll soon see one of its buttons tucked in between the Like and the Tweet. And presto: instead of just Liking those articles you’ll be able to volunteer tutor, donate food, or sign a petition against Neanderthal lawmakers. Called TAP (TakePart Action Platform), the idea is a hybrid of Google Adwords and sites like Kickstarter. TAP scans the content you engage and matches it to commensurate social action prompts–delivering options so you can immediately do something about the issue in front of you. Why just Tweet when you can TAP? (Not that one couldn’t do both.)
It’s the timing that’s essential: TAP will try to deliver its social action umbrellas at the moment the stories make rain. And as everybody knows, there’s no shortage of metaphorical precipitation in the news. TAP is a great Utopian idea that marries big data to grassroots action–and it will be interesting to see if it finds wide adoption. (Much will depend on the prompts TAP presents–how well it can match readers’ stirred emotions with appropriate calls to action.) TakePart cites research saying that upon learning of an issue, 84% of cause-minded consumers wish they could do something about it and 69% wish doing something were easier. One thing is certain: if you start seeing these buttons everywhere, we’ll find out how many people were telling the truth.