Here There Be Dragons – HC SVNT DRACONES (#TBD)

HC SVNT DRACONES (hic sunt dracones) translated as Here are dragons, is part of the legend that early sailors would mark their maps with this latin phrase to indicate unexplored or dangerous territory. Roman and Medieval map makers used HIC SVNT LEONES translated as Here are lions, to denote unexplored territories.

This legend is fairly common knowledge, and every now and then I hear people using it as inspiration to others to explore those unknown and dangerous areas.

To go where no man (person) has gone before. And to conquer our fears and foes. Yada yada yada

It’s great content to add weight and depth to a stirring and moving call to action and bravery.

As I researched the phrase I discovered that there’s only one map (The Lenox Globe) in existence that has those words on it. Other maps have images of dragons, along with serpents, lions elephants, etc. And the Lenox Globe could be pointing to Komodo Dragons found on the Indonesian Islands. It’s quite possibly all myth and not legend? And the legend could quite easily have originated from some stirring motivational speech, and not actually reality. Bit of a let down really. I’ve always liked the legend, and it works better as truth in my head than fiction.

This little educational journey started as I added a little logo to my Twitter Profile yesterday. It was a TBD logo. And the TBD wasn’t an acronym for ‘There Be Dragons’, it was for Twitter Blanket Drive. In updating my image I caught up on what was happening with TBD, and realised that collecting 8000 blankets in 2011 was, for those involved in TBD, going into unexplored territory. Not dangerous, but unexplored. Lifting their game on last year, and going to places they hadn’t gone before. I was hoping to use the legend to add some gravitas to the post. Alas, all I discovered was that the legend may just be myth?

The Twitter Blanket Drive is certainly not myth, and is fast becoming a legend, so let me update you (only 19 days to go):

  • It’s a Tweet Up with a cause. On 4 June at various venues around South Africa, at a specific time, people arrive, greet, drink coffee (or whatever), drop their blankets, be part of things if you like, and leave. Simple.
  • So far there are 7 venues, with some obvious gaps (Cape Town, Bloem, Pretoria and parts of Jozi) wide open for volunteers to get a Tweet Up going on the day. You can RSVP to the venue event closest to you by visiting the TBD site.
  • You can add a badge to your Twitter Logo (very simple) by clicking here.

It’s an event we’re supporting at TomorrowToday. For a number of reasons:

  • It’s a great cause
  • It’s fantastic to be part of a social media campaign that is completely driven from grass-roots and doesn’t have a team or a budget driving it. If you’re wondering what social media can do and how it’s changing the way we do things, then get in on this. Watch carefully, participate and be amazed.
  • We’re a virtual business and having something like this is a bit of a ‘team building’ (I just cringed using that term) experience for us.
  • We get to meet some amazing people
  • None of us had something planned on 4 June, and now we do : )

Last year I got involved and this year invited the TomorrowToday team to participate as well. It really is as much about supporting a good cause, as it is participating in how the New World of Work operates. We read about stories like this from other other countries and in foreign media. We use them as case studies to make a business point or to entertain at a dinner party with the wonders of Social Media. Well this really is one of those events, and you get to be a part of it, and learn from it. If you stand back and observe how it’s arranged and organised, it is amazing. When you see it play itself out on the day, and when 8000 blankets are collected via Twitter (that’s 1% of SA’s Twitter population), it becomes very clear that it’s a fairly impressive show.

Go now. Sign up. I dare you. It’ll cost you a blanket and a cup of coffee (and the coffee is optional).

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