Act: MTV's New Take on Social Responsibility

Check out MTV's latest effort to combine positive change and a desire to watch Jersey Shore.

If you have a younger sibling or are, yourself, really into Jersey Shore, you might not imagine that MTV is also trying to take some of its capital with young viewers and make a difference. You might remember MTV Think from a few years ago (we profiled its leader, Ian Rowe, in GOOD 003). MTV has now done enough thinking, and wants to get something done. Hence, its new site, Act.

Act is a blog putting world issues into perspective for MTV audiences. It has the added feature of giving readers a chance to take action after reading each post. For instance, a post about New York City's new condom-finding iPhone app gives readers the chance to download the app and to learn about STDs. All the actions on the site are quantified (more than 5,000 so far). And sometimes taking action results in good things. Right now, your actions could get Justin Bieber to record your voicemail greeting, though I am pretty sure no Justin Biber fan uses voicemail. If Act can help motivate some of our notoriously unmotivated young people to learn more and take positive action, it might come close to making up for inflicting Snooki upon the world.