mtvU and Windows Live Messenger i’m Initiative Greenlight “Cause Effect” Spotlighting Standout Student Activists

NEW YORK — Nov. 7, 2007 — mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, teaming up with Microsoft Corp. through the Windows Live Messenger’s i’m Initiative, today premiered “Cause Effect,” a new multiplatform series profiling standout student activists on college campuses nationwide. Each episode spotlights two remarkable students, examining how they’ve used digital tools to effect positive, real-world change, and inspired others to take action and make a difference on pressing social issues such as poverty, child protection, disease, environmental degradation and animal rights.

“Cause Effect” premiered today on mtvU (broadcast to 750 colleges and universities nationwide), and, MTV’s new online community where young people can learn about, discuss and mobilize on the issues that most impact their generation. The “Cause Effect” section of enables students to check out every episode of the show on demand, connect with like-minded individuals on and off campus, access the digital tools profiled on the show, and take action to have a tangible effect on the causes they care about most.

The new mtvU series is an extension of the Windows Live Messenger i’m Initiative, in which Microsoft donates a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of several cause-related organizations every time a user has a conversation using the instant messaging software. The 10 organizations participating in the program are the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Humane Society of the United States, National AIDS Fund, National Multiple Sclerosis Society,, Sierra Club,, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and UNICEF. Microsoft joining forces with mtvU and takes the i’m Initiative well beyond the instant messaging window — stretching out online, on mtvU, to the heart of the campus quad and everywhere this generation’s best and brightest digital activists congregate.

“College students have long been catalysts for positive social change, and they’re once again leading the charge with a new arsenal of online tools,” said Stephen Friedman, general manager, mtvU. “By showcasing the innovative efforts of those spearheading the digital activism charge, mtvU and Microsoft aim to inspire and equip even more college students to mobilize on today’s most pressing issues.”

“College students are among some of the most active with instant messaging, and they have taken a special interest in the i’m Initiative,” said Tara Kriese, senior product manager, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft. “These students are the new face of activism and change, and many are making a huge impact in their communities, both on and offline. We’re excited to be teaming up with mtvU to highlight the positive actions students are taking to enact change on all levels, to show individuals they can make a difference through technology and their everyday activities.”

Episode one of “Cause Effect,” featuring Nathan Jones of Oregon State University and Ashley Echavarria of Northern Arizona University, debuted today and can be seen at Four more episodes will be rolled out in the weeks ahead, spotlighting the efforts of other outstanding change agents from within the college audience. Those who want to learn more about the show or join in Windows Live Messenger’s i’m Initiative can visit

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live are offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at Windows Live is available at MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Think MTV

thinkMTV is the umbrella for MTV’s on-air, off-air and online pro-social campaigns that engage, educate and encourage young people to take action on some of the biggest challenges facing their generation. The backbone for MTV’s pro-social efforts is, a new online community where young people, their friends and some of the biggest names in pop culture come together to effect positive social change.

The Think Community is dynamic, multimedia-driven and enables youth to easily learn more about the issues that matter to them most, share their opinions – via uploaded online videos, podcasts and blogs – and connect with others to make a difference. The site is one of the only to reward members for positive actions taken online or off, serving up chances to hang out with socially conscious celebs, access to exclusive MTV events, exposure on MTV and other national media outlets, as well as grants, scholarships and more. was built with the help of financial support and expertise from founding partners the Case Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Amelior Foundation. For more information or to build a profile and become involved, visit

About mtvU

Broadcast to more than 750 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of nearly 7.5 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are, through a three pronged approach – on-air, online and on campus. mtvU focuses on content including music videos from emerging artists which can’t be seen anywhere else, news, student life features, events and pro-social initiatives. mtvU is always on campus, with more than 500 events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and for a complete programming schedule, visit

In September 2005, mtvU became the first MTV Networks channel to also be distributed in its entirety online. The network is simulcast and available on demand at 24/7, featuring all of network’s on-air content plus exclusive new music, original series and student-produced programming for college students and music fans everywhere.

mtvU also owns and operates the College Media Network, the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the US, and, the Internet’s largest listing of collegiate professor ratings. The College Media Network comprises nearly 550 campus publications that serve institutions including Brown University, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University, with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students, reaching an average of 5 million unique users each month. reaches approximately 1.5 million college students each month, via the site’s more than 6.6 million student-generated ratings of over 1,000,000 college professors.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 140 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services – MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN/THE N, VH1 CLASSIC, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 300 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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