There is no form of activism lazier than Internet activism. A new startup promises not to harness that laziness as much as to embody it, aiming to convert clicks into do-gooding, through some online alchemy of advertising.
Everywun, a new website, lets users display badges on their blogs and social-network profiles indicating their support for a cause. Their friends will click on them. If they get enough clicks, some charity will magically get money from someone else.
That someone else is, conveniently, an advertiser. Ad-supported charity! Why not? The only problem with that notion is that advertisers are disappearing fast, and spending on experimental social-network websites is the kind of thing that gets hit hardest in a recession.
Everywun itself is a venture capital-supported charity at present. If the three-person company has signed up any actual sponsors, they're not visible on the site. It is planning to give away $100,000 of its investors' cash to nonprofits, if it gets 100,000 badges posted online. So far, it has 454.