Tucked away in the “Education Life” supplement to Sunday’s New York Times was a brief article about the Orange Band Initiative. The idea behind Orange Band is opening up discourse between strangers about issues that interest them. It’s a decidedly low-tech approach to social networking.
Here’s the concept in a nutshell:
Have something you dare deeply about? Just get yourself some orange ribbon, write something about your issue on the ribbon and attach it to your person (or bookbag). Don’t want people to bother you? Don’t have an orange ribbon. Simple, huh?
The initiative has taken off at a few universities, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all over the place in a few months. Their website actually has directions on how to start an Orange Band chapter at your school, if you’re so inclined.
People have been clamoring for the next Livestrong bracelet, and this just might be it. I actually think it goes a step further. More than being a signal to other that you have a issue you care about, it has the potential to open up a dialogue about that issue. And, the issue can be anything—stem cell research, French New Wave cinema, dollhouses or Democratic politics. It’s completely up to you. It’s personalizable, self-selected and intended to promotes dialogue between strangers—a great, viral idea.
Check out this brief video about the Orange Band Initiative.