Social media sites have quickly become a popular area for people to create, share, and exchange information and ideas. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have gained over one billion users and serve as one of the most visited sites on the web worldwide. Although it seems our only options are writing on a wall, “liking” or tweeting on social media sites, in fact there are many alternatives that provide a different platform for social interaction online.

One very interesting example of this is Talkic.com. Talkic.com is a free social media site where people can chat, post pictures, comment, and share their thoughts with others, while donating to a good cause. Every click on the site produces 1.1 cents in donations to a charity of the user’s choice. It’s social media for social good. The way it works is as follows: the funds are produced from advertisers, from which most of the money is donated to the charity. The advertisements on the website are generally not offensive or obtrusive, and are posted in bars around the site that is clearly distinct from the content.

Talkic.com sponsors a wide array of charities including Reena foundation, Children’s Craniofacial Association, Pencil’s, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Scouts Canada foundation, Alssla, Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR), New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF), and The S.A.F.E Foundation to name a few. Users have the opportunity to choose which charity they would like to donate to when signing up and then are able to browse, share and interact on the site for free.

Also, as a part of Talkic.com, the organization has a free indie music promotion service, talkicmusic.com, which promotes unsigned bands and musicians who drive change to the charities on Talkic.com. If a band or musician signs up on the website, the organization will put them on their homepage and also promote them through other social media sites when they post new content.

As such, Talkic.com is considered alternative as it does not seek to maximize profits (although it is not a not-for-profit organization) and is structured very differently from corporate or government institutions as it seeks to give back the funds that are generated through advertising. As well, the site is dialogic as the producers are the audience and people have the opportunity to suggest charities as well as choose the charity they want to donate to. Talkic.com is also collaborates with other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as they have their own accounts and use those platforms to promote artists that are on Talkic.com.

Talkic.com provides an arena for social interaction while being socially conscious. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?