PCWelt.de links Twitter, charities in holiday program

Munich, Germany – Jan. 13, 2010 – IDG Germany’s PCWelt.de introduced a charity program for the holiday season that has also expanded the community of people following PC-Welt on Twitter. The staff will donate 10 Euro cents (US$0.145) for every follower of twitter.com/pcwelt, and the nonprofit organization that receives the money will be determined by PCWelt.de’s Twitter followers.

Website Manager/Project Manager Markus Pilzweger and Editor Panagiotis Kolokythas came up with the idea, and Pilzweger and Senior Software Application Developer Martin Eckhardt have been the primary implementers of PC-Welt Charity-Aktion, which can be seen here.

“I love this project,” Pilzweger said. “As far as I know, this is the first time a company has tried to combine charity with attracting new Twitter followers. I think it expands the positive image of our brand in the market, and we have received tons of positive feedback.”

PC-Welt announced the project on Nov. 20, promoting it through a 600,000-person e-mail, PCWelt.de, PC-Welt’s main Facebook page, the Facebook page of its new Speedmeter test program that assesses DSL speed and on the PC-Welt Twitter feed itself.

To suggest an organization, a follower sends a tweet with the format “@pcwelt #Charityaktion” and then adds a hashtag (#) and the organizations’s URL and name. PC-Welt aggregates those tweets into a special database, and the suggestions are displayed on the landing page of PC-Welt Charity-Aktion. The follower who suggests a project automatically has their vote counted for that project; people can only vote once. The top five vote-getting organizations are displayed prominently on the Charity-Aktion home page, along with a list of all the other suggested groups. When a person clicks on the project’s special link on that page, and they are logged into their Twitter account, the vote-for-this-organization tweet will be integrated as a tweet on their Twitter account.

From there, when a PC-Welt follower sees that post and retweets “@pcwelt: #Charityaktion vote for #OrganizationName,” PC-Welt’s voting module counts the hashtag as a vote for that specific organization, and the vote is added to the tally on the Charity-Aktion home page. PC Welt’s staff hopes that when related friends or other people see the Charity-Aktion initiative on Twitter, they might be inspired to learn more about PC-Welt and become a PC-Welt Twitter follower themselves.

PC-Welt created a sweepstakes in which followers can register their contact information and enter a random drawing to win assorted gifts, such as a netbook, an iPod Touch and Windows 7 software, which has brought in new leads to PC-Welt’s database.

The growing number of PC-Welt Twitter followers appears at the top of the Charity-Aktion home page along with the current amount raised for charity. As of today, PC-Welt’s Twitter account had 3,066 followers, of whom more than 900 came in via Charity-Aktion. So far, the project has raised 306.6 Euros ($444.46) and will conclude on Jan. 31.