Day of Action” is a common engagement tool to help rally people together around a specific cause.  “This Tuesday is Saturated Fat isn’t actually bad for you day.  Celebrate by eating some bacon and wearing your bacon love t-shirts to help convince the FDA to fix their anti-saturated fat policies.

It has some strengths (people like feeling as though they belong to a larger movement, sense of community, drives further engagement, etc.) and some weaknesses (tends to be one-off, works best if it’s about a time-sensitive issue, etc.).

In light of the event kit we’re creating (henceforth known as “the event page of hawtness”), we’ve been chatting about leveraging the upcoming summer break for kids as an opportunity to push our own day of action: a summer campaign to get kids to learn how to make things on the web using the super-simple kitchen table event type, and some hackjams or popups that might be happening near to them.

Take off your skeptical pants for a second (we’re all friends here), and don your imagination hat, and follow me into the explanation cave.

Imagine a single day of action, “Youth of the World, Making Cool Web Shit on ThisandThis Day“.  (Yeah, okay, I’m clearly not a marketing person.  Someone’ll come up with a catchier name.)  Do you know some basic HTML?  Want to show some youth you know?  Do you not know HTML?  Want to learn and then show some friends?

This single day of action would be a springboard: use the day of action to learn how to make things and get your hands dirty, share what you’ve built with your friends, and then keep working on it through the summer.  Tricky?  Yes.  But this is where leveraging the day of action “look at all the people around the world doing this!” can help.

As Ben Simon explained:

Telling the story of all these events — before, during, and after — will be crucial for keeping the excitement, making, and learning going after. At a minimum, we’ll want to make sure we put together galleries where people can share what they make and remix what others have done.

We’ll want to encourage sharing on social networks — hashtag for the day on twitter, etc. — and should come up with ways to aggregate that content.

There’s a real tension between the desire to get as many people in the door as possible versus the desire to make sure that participants keep on making and learning after the day — if all they do is get a taste without going further, we won’t be succeeding.

But the answer isn’t either/or. We can welcome people to one event at a time — we want them to come and have fun, because that’s what’ll make future events attractive — while consistently pushing the idea that you aren’t finished if you just do one thing.

We can incentivize future learning/events through badges and tangible gains from continuing on, and, most importantly, we can make sure people want to come back by making sure the events are *fun*.The specific asks/phrasing obviously remain tbd, but we’re definitely aware of and actively want to work through the tension in both goals.

A big part of this would be working with partners, like websites where we already know that youth hang out and wish they had more power to make their niche of the web into their own.

Another big part of this would be making it as easy as possible for people to participate.  That’s where our event kit page of hawtness would come in, as well as providing some sample curriculum for people who just want an out-of-the-box experience, with lots of flexibility for people who prefer to drive their own ship.

Okay, you can re-don your skeptical pants now.  Thoughts?

(Edit: if this is something you want updates about as we figure out details, feel free to sign up here.)