Brain Pickings

DoGooder: Do Nothing, Change Everything

How to bypass annoyance with slick design and serious dogoodness.

UPDATE: DoGooder is now available for Chrome, the Brain Pickings browser of choice. Perfect combo of performance and purpose.

This week, a new report found that the average American guzzles more than 34 gigabytes of data per day. And anyone who’s ever been online can attest that a hefty portion of this comes from advertising, which, with the exception of the best-curated sites (ahem…), can be anything from a distraction to a nuisance. This has led many to the infamous Adblock Firefox plugin, eliminating ads altogether. But why take your negative experience and turn it neutral, when you can turn it positive?

Enter DoGooder, an ingenious new browser plugin for Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer that turns your ordinary browsing into donations supporting sustainability initiatives and movements — with no cost to you and no change in browser performance.

Here’s how it works: DoGooder hides all the ordinary ads and swaps them out for simple daily green tips, health and wellness ideas, and well-designed messaging for meaningful initiatives from the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) category. Half of their profits then go to a thoughtfully curated list of charities and nonprofits — which means DoGooder has the potential to generate thousands of dollars a month for good causes.

If you’re a publisher, there’s nothing to fear — DoGooder doesn’t block ads from being served on your site, it just changes the end-user experience, so your CPM earnings remain unaffected. (Think of it as slipping a nice cover over a questionably designed couch.) If your run a charitable or sustainability-related site, you can even drop DoGooder a line and they’ll whitelist you and “exempt” your site from ad-blocking.

This is what a couple of popular sites look like goodified:

In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, you can even keep track of how many ads have been swapped.

And if for some reason you’re particularly enamored with the regular ads on some site, you can always disable DoGooder there simply by right/ctrl-clicking on the site and selecting “Show Original Ads.” The right/ctrl-click is also the way to let DoGood Headquarters know about a good cause they should consider featuring — just select “Suggest a Cause to Support.”

Genius, or what?

Thanks, Andy

Published December 18, 2009




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