The Single Voice:
From the Initiative... to the Charity.
How it Began…
Over the past few months, I have been particularly devout, with regards ‘helping others’: feeling I am not doing enough to be a ‘better person’. I enjoy my semi-regular half-marathons: I am taking on my 4th- for The British Heart Foundation- on Saturday; I like to spend the weekends doing ‘good deeds’/helping out; I have launched a few charity/social media campaigns- it makes me feel more useful as a person. One of the things that is getting me down is the unfairness of life. A few people I know have recently been diagnosed with cancer; others are struggling to fulfill their dream as a musician; others are suffering horrible illness. I guess you can say that it’s part of life: with so many people on the planet, not everyone can live happily/healthily. As glib and unhelpful- advice/words like that are- it is still unacceptable in 2015 that so many people go unnoticed: so many blights blot the world’s landscape. I am a man who is not just committed to supporting certain charities: I am passionate about various causes. In addition to supporting equal pay/rights for women, I am passionate about animal welfare: I am dedicated to supporting the eradication of racism, homophobia and inequality- gun violence and social deprivation are not exactly twin barrels of laughs! There seems to be a great deal of people unconcerned with ‘making a change’- at least doing very minimal motions. When it comes to supporting causes; donating a bit of money here and there- I know exactly of my contacts on social media will ‘step up’- most will not bother. I know we all have budgets- I earn less than most people I know- and it seems disheartening so few are motivated to do more. I feel- as a person- that I can do a bit more: dedicate more of my free time to volunteer/get involved with campaigns and protests. Across the world, there are some great annual charity campaigns. Red Nose Day (Comic Relief) is looming large; Stand Up for Shelter and Children in Need do their part- they are hugely important events. In so much as those events tend to focus for the most part of children who are the minority of the population; they seem to capture the imagination at specific times- namely when they are televised. For the remainder of the year, momentum tends to be lost. Social media have tried to ‘buck the trend’. The dreaded/loved/cold Ice Bucket Challenge was a worldwide success last year, yet seems to have petered to a standstill: I hope people are still donating to fight A.L.S. I have always thought- in order to perpetually unite the ranks on social media/general public- something a little longer-lasting needs to take place. This brings me down to my point…
The Single Voice
The campaign I want to launch is an online one: something that anyone- neigh everyone- should be taking part in. Whereas charity events- like Comic Relief- raise money for specific causes; this idea is designed to unite all charities- raise funds and awareness for all causes. Being passionate about various charities- and angered by certain illnesses and social inequalities- I feel that certain ‘issues’ are being overlooked. Through public engagement- and an easy but fun idea- here is a chance to raise serious awareness for important issues- raise money to help defeat some rather vile problems. Rather than community events or sponsored events this idea uses YouTube- and videos on the site- to raise money.
How it Raises Money
The campaign is designed to bring together YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft: some of the most influential and important companies on the planet. I will go into more depth below but the way the user raises funds is through YouTube ‘views’: every time someone views a video you have uploaded; 10p is donated to your chosen charity. YouTube is the ‘hosting site’: it is their website that is the basis of the campaign. Google will be the ones who are donating the money. Each user/member- who chooses to take part- will register on the main site (see below) and through advertising and increased search results, Google will gain revenue- which in turn will be donated into The Single Voice. Companies like Google and Apple generate enormous profits each year; they do great work but have a lot of profit coming in. Finding a legal and non-invasive way for them to generate more funds- by advertising and getting more ‘business’- would allow them to channel this money into the campaign.
The Main Site
The initiative will have a homepage: which will be where each person goes to register. The campaign will be shared and spread to social media, but at the first point of contact, each person would start here. Like Facebook and Twitter, registration is painless and quick: and a great way to connect with other users and like-minded people. The homepage will be well-designed and eye-catching. The top half will have various links: A-Z of Charities; Contact Details; Discussion Board; Events/Fundraisers; Latest Members; Links; Generated Profit so far. The bottom half will be fun and interactive. Figures from music, film, T.V. and comedy past and present interacting with one another- they will be animated.
Each person will be asked to register simple details: name, D.O.B., location; campaigns; total raised and several others. It will work a little like Facebook, where there is a profile page: it will be a simple process and contain plenty of information- although nothing too personal or revealing. From the registration page, there are links to social media- where you can easily promote your page/share your success. When all the personal details/key details are entered, then comes the ‘fun part’. The Single Voice has the option of 8 different YouTube-based ‘initiatives’/ideas. Each new member is allowed to ‘sign-up’/choose five of the eight options. For each initiative you will be selecting a different charity- I will go into more depth later. On the profile page will be your list of ‘initiatives’. By each of your selections will be the total money you have raised; how many times your idea/entry has been shared- and how many times you have shared it. This charity campaign will run for a year- from its launch date- and your selected charities will get donations each month- at the end of each month; however much you have raised will be donated to them.
There are eight different ideas- covering film, T.V., music and advertising. As I have said, each person will be allowed to select five different ideas from the list of eight. When you register, it will ask you to select from the list- which idea/choice you want- and there will be a step-by-step guide. It is very easy and simple to complete. Before I explain how it is done; here is what you can choose from:
Like Desert Island Discs and Tracks of My Years, each user gets to choose their 10 favourite/most important songs. There is an option- on each entry- for a user to commentate/explain why they have chosen what they have selected; but it is a great chance for the person to share their favourite songs.
This is an option that is a chance for new music to be heard. A person can give the world a chance to discover new music/musicians. If a new band/act has posted to YouTube, then their music can be shared. There is a chance to select your ten favourite songs from new acts.
It is nice and simple: choose your favourite ten music videos. Whether it is from a new band- or classic act- you get a chance to have a good think- what you consider to be the best of the breed.
The broadest option, this covers a multitude of music. On this option there is a drop-down list: giving you a selection of options. Includes is Decades- best music from ‘50s, ‘60s- all way to modern-day; Voices; Cover Versions; Guitar Riffs- up to 10 different selections.
Whether it is a short clip- lasting a few seconds- or a full-length film/T.V. episode, this is comedy-orientated. Whatever makes you laugh the most: get it uploaded! I shall expand on this more- and what I would select- but you can choose a stand-up show; an episode of The Simpsons- or a comedic home-made video/prank.
Again, whether it is an episode of Breaking Bad- if they are allowed on YouTube- or a short film, this is the chance to get it shared.
This is the chance for a user to create something new- and upload to YouTube. Not a chance for self-promotion, it is a chance to flex your creative muscles. It can be anything you want: a mock advert; a new song; a comedy sketch- whatever you fancy.
If you have favourite adverts then you can get them seen hear. This option gives voice to other videos: those weird and wonderful videos- YouTube seems to proffer by the bucket-load. Beauty blogs and ‘how-to’ videos; home-made videos can be selected. The rules are simple: it can be anything- as long as it is not sexual, offensive, and violent- or violates YouTube’s rules.
Beyond Social Media
Of course, the point of the campaign is not to share music/film- just for the sake of it. The idea is to raise money and awareness of causes and charities. On the home page, you get a chance to share your ideas and videos- and raise money each time they get a ‘view. When you select a charity- for each entry- there is an information button: this gives you huge information and links. If you select Diabetes U.K., then you get to find out about the charity. There are links to their website; how to get involved in the community; how to spot the signs of diabetes; ways to further becoming involved with the charity- runs, fundraisers, volunteering etc. This will be the case for every charity. It means that, not only does the user get to learn more about their chosen charities and causes; other people do too. On the site’s main page, there is an A-Z of Charities: a full list of all charities; information, links and videos for each.
In addition engaging people more with charities and causes; there is a hope it will lead to more community involvement. There is a chance to ‘represent’/choose to support women’s rights, stamp out gun violence, support local communities and boroughs- causes not usually represented by the big fundraisers. In addition to giving information about each, there are ways for you to get involved: get out onto the street and make a difference. Raising money will be a huge and important part of the idea, but it is hoped that the government will take note- issues and campaigns will be highlighted; a chance to change law- change people’s lives and initiate social change.
Not only does one get to learn more about charities and causes- the main objective of the campaign- there is a secondary bonus’. Each time you compile a list; there is a chance to benefit others. Say you have selected Top 10 Songs. After you have selected each track, there will be a link on each video/selection. Song and album information is provided; links to other similar acts; ways to record your own music/become a musician. In terms of new music, there is a chance to help new musicians- links to campaigns; ways to share their music and causes; find great new acts; support local venues and festivals- ways to bring about equality and change for musicians. The same goes for film and music videos: ways to become a director/actor; local schools and campaigns; links to similar films/videos; local schemes; ways to support other charities and causes etc.
All of this video-selecting and information-finding is designed to be quick to share/promote. With a click of the button you can share you entries/profile to social media; encouraging friends to get involved- taking this thing viral. It is A fun, quick, and educational scheme; with the potential to raise a lot of money very fast.
If I was doing the ‘comedy option’, these three videos would be first up: when I was feeling very down recently they helped me hugely- and dehydrated me in the process- and all from the same T.V. show
The idea is going to take a lot of promotion and co-operation. When it does start out: the website is designed, everyone has said ‘yes’, there needs to be some great backing. The idea is to get five celebrities involved from three continents- North America, Europe and Australia. They would cover the fields of T.V., film, music and comedy. Covering a range of ages, both genders- who have a track record of benevolence and charity work. I am wiring to various celebrities at the moment, but it when the scheme is kicked off- it would be great to have some terrific names involved. They would post comedic/fun/serious videos on YouTube: hopefully inspiring ‘undecided voters’ to become involved- and reminding everyone what they are doing this for.
At the moment there is the idea and determination: without contracts being signed; sites being designed- the big guns being involved. Of course it is not going to be as simple as it should be- celebrities and huge companies are as apathetic as they come- so will take a lot of effort and campaigning. The point of this blog/the early stages is to gauge opinion: would people take part? Would it interest people? Could this work? For each entry people select from the list you have to donate a small sum yourself- rather than relying on others- but this should not put people off- it is a chance to engage and unite social media; represent all charities; try to make some genuine change. The rest of this year- in terms of this campaign- will be to get people talking; get names involved- contact YouTube and Google- and get them saying ‘yes’. I want to launch this within a year- it sounds a long way off but will take a lot of work. Above all, it will rely on people getting involved: I want it to be a lot bigger than the Ice Bucket Challenge. It is a golden opportunity to raise millions and more for a lot of causes; raise awareness of various issues- get people involved- on the street; in the community etc.
Taking it Further: Making the Charity Work
The words above were how The Single Voice began: That initiative that was largely a one-off. It seems to me that things need to go further: Take that idea and make it into a fully-fledged charity- something that can raise money and awareness. I shall get into points concerning the big tech. boys; the way the charity works- three or four different prongs- and how it will all get kicked-off. For now, it is worth breaking it down, point by point.
The bottom half would be interactive and animated: music figures would interact in a variety of locations: from Abbey Road to Reading Festival; to a recording studio and around London. There would be music and video player that can be accessed- linked to YouTube, SoundCloud etc. - and the locations would be around the world. The entire homepage is designed like a vinyl and has a record design; the front would be the animated figures and site name- the back would be the options and information; opening like a vinyl sleeve.
There would be eleven different options; each would expand/open like a song. The options/’tracks’ are as follows:
- Track One: Register
The user would sign-up-like a social media site- and be able to have full access to the site.
- Track Two: About/Contact; Guided Tour
- Track Three: A-Z of Charities and How You Can Support Them
A list of every charity around the world- from local causes to international names- that you can raise money for
- Track Four: Social Media
A bespoke social media site that the emphasis on charity and music: the connection between the two and engaging users to become more involved in the community.
- Track Five: Creative Zone
This would pull together everything within Psychoacoustics: https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/psychoacoustics-a-one-stop-music-venture/
This will be expanded, too. Not only will there be a spoke music zone; there will be a similar ‘creative one’ for directors- film, T.V. and music video- and actors; in addition, there would be one for comedians, comedy writers and YouTube stars
- Track Six: This Year’s Initiative
The Single Voice initiative detailed at the top of this post. This would launch the charity
- Track Seven: Local; Sites, Music and Points of Interest.
It would allow you to programme your town/city. If you lived in London for instance, you would be able to find all charities in your area; the music sites and venues- in addition to points of interest. It would work with Google to create a bespoke search engine that would allow the user to be productive and engaged in the community.
- Track Eight: Connected: Tools for Musicians, Fans, Lovers and Labels; Writers to Charities and Organisations
This is a list of contacts and websites; connections and tools that allow charities to connect with musicians and the public; creatives to link-up with the right people- essentially, a LinkedIn-style site.
- Track Nine: Listening Zone: Video and Media Player
Here, we have a huge library of music and video. Bonding with YouTube, there is a defined and organised library of music, film and T.V.: One that is broken-down into sections and genres; decades and time periods- allowing listeners to discover new music and film.
- Track Ten: Psychoacoustics
This is the bespoke shopping site- working with the likes of Apple, Amazon and Samsung- that would not only sell music, D.V.D.s and vinyl; it would sell apps. And subscriptions; instruments and tickets- all under the one site.
- Track Eleven: Search/Archives
This allows the user to search through the music; film, T.V. archives: discover lost gems and album covers; information and interviews etc.
The Front Line
The Single Voice is a charity that raises money through music and entertainment: Working with giants of technology and social media; the aim is to unite music, charity and the global population- raising millions (and billions) within the first few years. We have the central website; there would be an H.Q. - it would start as a modest London base; growing to larger premises as it becomes more successful. There are so many great charities and local causes out there; a lot of illnesses and social issues that have not been cured; businesses making huge profits and technology and social media growing- they seem separated and disconnected.
There are so many great charities and people raising money every day. Through social media and life, we see posts of people competing events: Running, walking and enduring for charity; doing something amazing. One of the issues is that social media relies on sharing- in order to increase fundraising and awareness- a lot of time people can’t afford to donate a lot. By engaging big businesses- see below- and utiilsing music and the creative arts; it allows for bigger fundraising; tying charities and people together- from all around the world. The website lists all charities in the world; those that are both local and international. The charity aims to proffer and promote all charities; put them under one umbrella- unite social media and posts to ensure that greater awareness is raised. When users sign to the charity- and create an account- they can download music and support artists; discover great music and help musicians- earning points and rewards as they go along. When they reach certain targets, they can cash-in these points; donate them to causes- the ability to raise thousands of pounds in a very short space. It is not just reserved to charities and causes, either. There is an opportunity to raise funds and money for bands and artists. The artists themselves cannot raise funds; yet others can donate to bands and their recordings; filmmakers and projects- tying-in the likes of Pledge Music and Kickstarter.
The charity/fundraising elements will all come together in more detail- as the charity is set-up and developed; the full details and plans will be explained- but there is another element to the charity. Through the bespoke tools and links, it encourages users and people to take up and create music; become engaged in filmmaking and television- this is where the likes of Microsoft, Samsung and Apple will come into the fold. The companies would not only assist with designing the bespoke tools and sites; they would gain revenue and profit: In turn, they would be funding some of the world’s most innovative and well-designed music/creative tools.
It is not good enough to sit behind a computer screen and just click away. The idea of the charity is for it to be a part-time thing: Checking -in and not dedicating too much time to it. Because the charity encourages social engagement and connection, it is hoped the users get out into the community: Supporting those in need and making a difference. Whereas social media relies heavily on too much Internet time; The Single Voice aims to get people out and making a difference: Setting up schemes and businesses; forming charities and supporting the vulnerable.
Awareness and Connection
One of The Single Voice’s assets is the way it connects people around the world. The charity looks at the user and tailors it around them. If you suffer from an illness or disease, it not only puts you in touch with those who can help- giving information and advice; making sure the social media side of things gets people connected. Every day we hear of new ills and issues- from gun violence to discrimination against transgenderism; animal cruelty and natural disasters- yet we feel helpless. The charity puts these issues at the forefront: It mobilises people to tackle the issues; gets people working to fight discrimination- raise money and support quick, so we can stamp out these inequities and problems. Issues like mental illness or still stigmatised; homelessness and social poverty is rife. The charity aims to put them into the spotlight: Change ways of thinking and help bring about progression and discussion.
The Realities/How Big Businesses Can Help
The biggest tech and business giants make enormous profits. Every second it is estimated Samsung makes $6,000 revenue. The likes of Google and Apple are not far off. Of course this is earned and deserved to an extent- they provide services we all need and use- yet think about how much they earn a year? I have seen reports where some of those companies are unsure what to do: They have so much money but nowhere to put it. Whilst they are developing multi-million dollar headquarters and facilities; it seems there is a lot of money that could be better used- a tiny amount of their yearly profit. This is why The Single Voice is so important to me. It is not a Robin Hood Effect- taking from rich and giving to the poor- as each company will be earning extra revenue/partnering with the charity: It is taking a tiny percentage of their revenue; giving it to some wonderful causes/charities- helping to fit big issues and social ills. With such extravagant and unfathomable profits pouring in; there needs to be a better and fairer balance: Ensuring the organisations are charity-conscious as they can be. I am not suggesting they hand over, say 1%, of their profits a year: They are getting increased advertising and business; they will see their custom rise- it is a win-win, give-and-take situation. As it stands, the charity that is an idea and a seed: It needs the investing waters of businesses to get it off the line- and to nourish and help it grow. Without them it will take a long time to happen: It is advantageous a working bond is created as soon as possible. There is no real downside to either: The big companies- such as Apple and Microsoft- rarely work closely together; there is a sense of rivalry and competiveness- this is a way of bringing them together- without denting their business profits and market edges.
The Bottom Line
This is a charity I feel needs to happen: With every passing day there seems to be bigger gaps- between people and countries- big topics that are being hidden- too many people suffering silently. Money-raising is only part of the solution: Awareness and social activation needs to occur; governments and bodies need to be on board- it will take time to happen. The first step is seeing what people think; getting it going- getting those big names on board. There is more and more music created each day; most people on the planet love/have an opinion on music- using this to make money and help people seems icily logical and sensible. There is a lot of big business profits coming out; a lot of compartmentalisation and social disconnectedness: Unifying and remedying this would counteract these points. I am in the process of mailing companies- the likes of Samsung, Google, Apple etc.- and some big names- I hope the likes of Emilia Clarke, Jameela Jamil and Stephen Fry will back the charity- to get this thing going. Whilst there are a lot of words here (even for me!) the facts are this: Music and the arts is an easy and fun way of fundraising; we all need a little help and awareness; too many people are suffering needlessly- we all want this to change. The Single Voice is not so much its own charity- raising for one specific cause- but a way of housing and promoting every charity there is- whilst encouraging creativity and social interaction; tackling issues our government are not. In a way, it is a political party we can all get on board with: No false promises and crooked smiles- just a charity we can all support.
It would be good to know thoughts; whether people would get involved and support it- share and spread the word. Regardless of how long it takes to get businesses on board; this will happen- it may take a while for it to fully fly and succeed. The initial ideas, steps and components are in place: Now it is the time to take a big step- and appeal to the giants of the business/technology world. My words cannot really fully explain and great it could be; how in-depth and all-inclusive it could be- nor the depth of my excitement and hopes. With that said, let me know…
WHAT you think.