Bringing Social Gratitude Back By Showing What You’re Thankful For.

Thankfulfor.com

In light of it being Thanksgiving in the United States, I thought I would take time from my day to bring something to your attention that will really bring the meaning of “thanks” back into context. With social media, a lot of talk has centered around commercialism and using social media to conversate with one another and basically get your message across – promote your wares, so to speak. But there’s also another part of social media…the part that will go towards helping others. This is the social good part. Much has also been said and the common call to action would be to donate money towards a cause or supporting a specific choice, vote or belief. All very commendable.

This ons is probably slightly more different than a social cause. It’s actually probably considered social gratitude and the name of the website is ThankfulFor.com. Its sole purpose? To allow people to really reflect on what they’re doing and say “thanks”. Sure, we all say the same thing around this time of year:

I’m thankful for my family, friends and for having good food on the table to eat.

But ThankfulFor.com takes it to another level…evolving it, in a manner of ways. They call it a personal journal of gratitude. And it’s quite simple: you log into the website using either through your Twitter or Facebook credentials or you can create a whole new username/password. Then you just jot down on there what you’re thankful for. All of this is in 140 characters and you can even have it posted to Twitter. That’s it…nothing else to it. You’re just expressing what you’re thankful for at that moment.

You might be thinking that this should have some commercial aspect to it, but I think it doesn’t. It’s just getting people to be human. There’s all this talk about having a personality and having conversation, but in no way did anyone say that in order to have a personality, you should try and monetize it. ThankfulFor.com may not be the best thing out there for marketers to try and do, simply because it doesn’t seem to be an immediate commercialized system. BUT, you can definitely have some charitable and karmic points to your adventure…

Just imagine a company/brand wanting to continue to promote goodwill past the Thanksgiving holiday and through the Christmas season. Or rather let’s take Macy’s as an example. One of the commercials that have been aired on the TV today has been Macy’s desire to give money to a charity as a result of kids dropping off their letters to Santa Claus. Very commendable, but what if they took it one step further? For every tweet done through a site like ThankfulFor.com that has a hashtag like #macys and in which they give thanks, more donations would be given to a charity? See…there’s potential to help others – more philanthropic than commercial.

Started by a company called Shiny Heart Ventures (founded by Jen Consalvo & Frank Gruber), ThankfulFor.com is worth a shot especially if you want to try and humanize your life and online persona instead of being on the computer 24/7/365 just looking a code, designing, blogging or using social media to connect with one another. Make a different and bring back the most gratifying two words in the human language: Thank You.

So what are you thankful for?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.