Greetings Messenger fans –
Let me first introduce myself as I’m new to MessengerSays. My name’s Dharmesh Mehta and I lead the Windows Live Messenger product management team. Although I’ve been a user for many years, I just joined the team that builds and delivers Messenger. It’s been a busy and interesting time as I’ve been learning a ton about the vast array of Messenger capabilities, features and initiatives – some of which I’d never seen before (for a cool game, check out Fishticuffs). So the reason I’m posting here today is to share progress we’ve made with what I think is one of our coolest initiatives.
Many of the things we build are geared at making Messenger better for you – our customers. However, this initiative is about a great thing that Windows Live Messenger lets our customers do for the broader community. The program I’m talking about is the i’m Initiative – where every time someone who has chosen to participate in the i’m Initiative has a conversation using Messenger, Microsoft shares a portion of our advertising revenue with the organization selected by the customer. We started this initiative a year ago, and we’re happy to report that thanks to the support of many great Windows Live Messenger customers, Microsoft has donated $1.3 million to ten of the world’s most effective social cause organizations.
Because of your enthusiasm, we’re also excited to announce that we will be continuing this program. And with no set limit on the amount donated to each organization, the more i’m conversations people have, the more money that goes toward addressing some of the world’s most urgent social issues.
That basic idea is that we believe every successful business has a responsibility to use its resources and influence to make a positive impact on the world and its people, and Windows Live Messenger is helping to further this commitment. The organizations currently involved in the i’m Initiative (and their emoticon codes) are the
- American Red Cross – ready to help, code = *red+u
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America – providing a positive place for kids, code = *bgca
- The Humane Society of the United States – saving animals = *hsus
- National AIDS Fund – fighting AIDS, code = *naf
- National MS Society – joining the MS movement, code = *mssoc
- ninemillion.org – helping 9 million refugee kids, code = *9mil
- Sierra Club – exploring and protecting the planet, code = *sierra
- StopGlobalWarming.org – stopping global warming, code = *help
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure – finding the cure, code = *komen
- UNICEF – helping kids survive, code = *unicef
There are of course many other organizations out there that are confronting our world’s urgent issues that we know people would love to see as a part of the i’m Initiative, and rest assured we’re researching others to add on in the future.
The i’m Initiative is currently open to all residents of the US and you can join at http://im.live.com. It’s completely free for you to join and use Windows Live Messenger, and it takes only a minute to get started. We’re also exploring possibilities for expanding the program internationally in the future, but for the time being this remains a US-only program.
Lastly, on behalf of all of the organizations involved in the i’m Initiative, a heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported the effort. Just by doing what you do every day, you are making a difference. Keep it up!