CoffeePledge officially launched its social network today for its 40,000+ users. The world's first social media movement to leverage the coffee industry to fight cancer, is still in its first 120 days of birth, and is beginning to heat up the pot of tens of thousands of coffee-lovers world-wide.
CoffeePledge's social movement, provides the opportunity for users to pledge to drink at least one cup of coffee during CoffeeWeek, to support the fight against cancer. They are able to select their favorite coffee brands when pledging, to invite them to join the movement. As the total amount of cups pledged increases - so does the buying power of the user base. The goal of the movement is to influence coffee brands by demonstrating a big enough cause-market size of interested coffee-lovers, who want to participate if the coffee brands join.
The CoffeePledge started off as a pledge-only website to gauge the response from Internet users on the concept. After only two weeks, and more than 50,000 cups pledged by users, the development of the complimentary social network version of the site had been greenlighted and launched a couple months later.
"We are so happy to finally get this beta version launched," says Aspen Decker, CEO of the Social Good Foundation, "we knew we were on to something and didn't want to lose momentum, so we pretty much worked round the clock to get it done."
The CoffeePledge Network includes many familiar social network features, such as posting updates, newsfeed, inviting friends, liking a profile, as well as uploading videos and pics. It also includes a Coffee "Buzz" point system, where users can compete against each other on the "Buzz" leaderboard. There are badges to unlock and specific actions users need to do in order to unlock them. Users are also able to post to Twitter and Facebook from their profile and earn "buzz" points. Uploading Videos and Photos also earn users "buzz" points.
"The idea was not to be a stand-alone social network for users at all" says Decker, "it's to leverage all available tools and platforms of existing popular social networks and have users manage their coffee "buzz" progress from a single interface." "Users can collaborate, compete against each other, and help raise awareness about a great cause at the same time. It's simple and fun. Who said fighting cancer had to be depressing."
Decker and team wouldn't disclose what actions earn the most "buzz" points, but informed us users can find out when they start using the network. As Decker and team continue develop new features for users, they have also begun preparation for numerous offline events during CoffeeWeek, scheduled for September 5th-11th, 2011.
"We are setting up many events in six major markets nationwide" said Decker, "and coordinating the events are the next big hurdle for us. With the help of our wonderful user base and volunteers working round the clock, we are confident that we can reach our offline milestones and make CoffeeWeek a success."
With CoffeeWeek only a few months away, the CoffeePledge team seems to be maintaining high-energy and there is definitely not a shortage of creativity when it comes to the events being planned and social networks being built.