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Tweeting for good

A campaign by a bank reveals the positive power of Twitter when it is roped in for a good cause, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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A trailer parked in a plaza at Melrose Arch over a recent weekend was the unlikely scene of a triumph for Twitter. The social network has had a bad rap for the flood of vile, threatening and demeaning tweets that have stained its name in recent years. What with presidents using it to settle scores and Twitter often appearing incapable of dealing with hate speech, it would have been easy to write it off as a lost cause.

But causes are exactly what thrive on Twitter, and these fan be tremendously positive  causes.

Standard Bank used it to launch a unique social campaign to show that “inspiring and positive tweets can be turned into tangible educational tools with the help of 3D printing and laser cutters”.

The concept was that, anyone posting a tweet with the hashtag, #GoodFollowsGood, would trigger a chain of events that would deliver instructions to a 3D printer to produce a school stationery space case, and to a laser cutter to produce a maths set to go into the case.

“For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction,” said Katlego Mahleka, Senior Manager, Brand at Standard Bank Group. “Some call it the concept of cause and effect. Others would term it reaping what you sow. At Standard Bank we like to say that #GoodFollowsGood.

“Everything we do in life sets in motion a chain of events. Our actions today have a ripple effect that influences our individual and collective futures. This is why we choose to use our business decisions to promote positive change on our continent, and indeed the world.”

To demonstrate the impact of the philosophy, he said, the bank launched its Tweet Machine campaign to show that positive actions and words can be transformed into tangible outcomes that have a lasting impact on people’s lives.

Travelling the country from August to October, the Tweet Machine is a mobile industrial container that acts as a factory. The global reach of social media, linked to 3D printers and laser cutters, will produce at least 1000 set square and ruler kits for grade 6 learners.

Standard Bank says it is the first installation in the world to turn tweets into educational tools. 

“The idea will be to kick-start a positive impact initiative on social media by encouraging South Africans to tweet about something positive using the #GoodFollowsGood hashtag. Standard Bank will then facilitate the forward payment of this positivity by transforming these tweets into stationery sets for learners that are part of the Standard Bank Tutuwa-BRIDGE School Programme.”

“The five-year partnership with Tutuwa-BRIDGE seeks to support schools in improving learner outcomes. Both learners and school performance will be monitored to ensure that the impact is effective and long-lasting.”

It seems simple, but the technology powering it took several months to put together.

Continue reading to find out how the Tweet Machine works.

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