The promotion ad at Windows Live
Messenger's official site. [dayoo.com]
It seems that almost all your friends' names on MSN have added a little green
"i'm" symbol overnight. If you ask what is going on, someone will tell you it's
a charity initiative and send you an intro link.
Though this charity program has not yet officially launched for Chinese
users, this little green symbol has proven popular among chic Chinese Windows
Live Messenger users.
Windows Live Messenger's official blog announced on March 1 that Microsoft
was launching an "i'm" initiative program in United States. Every time someone
starts a conversation using i'm, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's
advertising revenue with nine organizations dedicated to social causes. With
every instant message a user sends, it helps address issues one feels most
passionate about, including poverty, child protection, disease and environmental
One only has to add certain codes next to one's names for the cause one would
like to support. "*red'u" is for the American Red Cross, "*bqca" is for Boys
& Girls Clubs of America and "*unicef" stands for the American branch of
After a Chinese blogger named "hung" introduced this program on his blog on
March 2, "i'm" has invaded the Internet in China with no actual promotional
campaign from Microsoft.
Beijing-based Youth Weekend reported that famous IT blogger Keso regarded
this program's rapid spread as a successful virus marketing case. He thinks that
the success of the "i'm" program is because it's spread by users without being a
bother to others. This answers why "i'm" has spread so rapidly across the
Internet like a virus with almost no promotion.
However, Feng Jinhu from the press company for Microsoft China told Youth
Weekend that the "i'm" project is only eligible for Messenger users in United
States. Instant messages sent by Chinese users would not count.
This has not affected Chinese Messenger users' passion for the little green
symbol. It is fashionable to have an "i'm" next to one's name on Messenger.
These users hope their instant messages will actually become donations to
charitable organizations someday.