Akoha shutting down August 15 2011

Dear Akoha Community Member,

We’re writing today to tell you the unfortunate news that after 3 years of operation Akoha.com will be closing its doors on August 15th 2011. Please note that you will be able to sign-in and play missions up until that date.

In the fall of 2007 we set out to create a new type of community to highlight fun, real-world activities that would help people explore and enjoy life to the fullest. From all the amazing missions that the Akoha community has played over the past 3 years we feel comfortable in saying that we were able to reach that goal.

Unfortunately and despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to generate enough revenue to cover our expenses so we’re left with no other choice but to close the site.

We’d like to thank all the dedicated Akoha team members who have contributed their energy and talents to the project and also to our investors for the support that they have shown us over the past few years.

And finally, we’d like to thank you, our incredible community members, for being part of this journey with us. We have been delighted, inspired and moved by all the wonderful missions you have played. We hope Akoha has brought a little additional enjoyment and satisfaction to your lives.

For those who would like to save a pdf archive of all your Akoha activity please see below for instructions.

Thanks again for being part of this incredible journey with us!

Yours,
The Akoha Team

How to save your Akoha missions:

1) Log into Akoha.
2) Go to your profile by clicking “Profile” in the title bar.
3) On the right hand side under the title bar click the button “See All Your Activity”

(Hint: You can also visit this page directly using the following url:

http://akoha.com/profiles/all/your_user_name/)

To print to a PDF file on a Mac :

4) From the Edit menu choose “Print…”
5) Click the PDF button in the lower left corner.
6) Choose “Save as PDF…”
7) Choose a location to save the file
8) Click OK

The page will be saved as one long PDF file as it appears in your web browser.

To print to a PDF file on a PC running Windows XP/Vista/7 :

4) Download and install the Free CutePDF Writer here
5) If you are using IE 9 and the menu is not showing press the Alt key on your keyboard.
6) From the File menu choose “Print Preview…”
7) In the toolbar where it says “Shrink to Fit” choose “60%”
8) Click the print icon in the top left corner (it looks like a little printer).
9) In the dialog box select “CutePDF Writer” as your printer from the “Select printer” pane.
10) Click Print
11) Choose a location to save the file
12) Click Print

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New Gifts: Origami Crane, Zen Garden Bonsai, Miso Soup

We’re happy to announce new gifts on Akoha- check out the Origami Crane, Zen Garden Bonsai, Cowboy Boots and more!

Our Japanese-themed gifts for April reflect our continued support for the Japanese disaster relief efforts. Give an origami or delicate bonsai to promote awareness on the plight of the Japanese people, and continue showing your solidarity.

Although it’s been a month since the earthquake, the situation is still critical and the Japanese people need all the help they can get from us.

Thank you again for supporting the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. Domo arigato.

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Akoha: One Year and Counting

It’s been just over a year since the launch of akoha.com – thank you Akohans for sharing your dreams and experiences with us. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for being the awesome people that you are. We wish you peace and love. Namaste.

This past year, we’ve been marveled by your passion and your generosity. You celebrated birthdays. You shared stories of happiness and joy, as well as moments of couragestrength and kindness. You shared unique experiences relating to your culture. You share beautiful photos of friends, family and nature.

We learned a lot from you. We learned that you are talented, creative, artistic, witty, supportive, courageous, open, loving and generous.

You continue to surprise and inspire us. We’ve been honored to witness the beauty of human creativity at work. And we’ve been humbled by the generosity and warmth of so many of you.

Thank you.

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Celebrate Earth Hour this Saturday March 26

This Saturday, March 26th, join millions of people around the world in celebrating Earth Hour.

Organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Since then, Earth Hour has become a global movement, inspiring millions of people around the world. In 2010, a record 128 countries and territories joined the global display for climate action.

At 8:30 PM on Saturday 26th March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour. Join us!

Beyond Earth Hour

Earth Hour is just the start! Climate change is a huge challenge facing our planet, so we encourage you to explore what you can do beyond the event.

Together, we can make a difference and reverse climate change! Continue reading

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Thank You For Supporting Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts

Dear Akohans,

We’d like to thank you for sending your thoughts to the Japanese people and for doing your part in the relief efforts. From hosting video game nights to creating tsunami rolls, we are inspired by the wealth of creative fundraising efforts being put to help Japan. More importantly, we have been moved by the compassion shown to this disaster-stricken country.

Again, we’d like to thank you for helping out. For those who wish to continue contributing to the disaster relief, here is a list of organizations we suggest:
The Humanitarian Coalition (CARE, Oxfam & Save the Children)
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors without Borders
Plan International
Red Cross / Red Crescent

This is not an exhaustive list, as many non-profits and charities around the world have been mobilized to assist Japan. We encourage you to get informed with your local government, community centers or your local chapter of the Red Cross or Red Crescent and to do what you can to help.

Thank you for your compassion & generosity.

The Akoha team

For Akohans in the United States, the easiest way to donate is probably to text “Red Cross” to 90999. If you text in, $10 will be automatically charged to your phone bill as a donation. For the Canadian Red Cross, text the word ASIA to 30333 to give a $5 donation.

Also, please be vigilant for fake fundraising websites. We recommend always donating at the charity’s own website if you’re giving online. If you’re sending a text, make sure to confirm the details with the recipient charity.

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International Women’s Day 2011: Daniel Craig aka 007 James Bond in drag

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. Great strides have been taken in the past century since the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1909. Today, there are female astronauts and prime ministers, female CEOs and superheroes. In more and more parts of the world, women have access to education and choice. Let’s continue to make this world a better place for women by making everyday International Women’s Day.

In a short film directed by Sam Taylor-Wood (Nowhere Boy), scripted by Jane Goldman, with the voiceover narration done by Judi Dench playing her role of M in the Bond series, Daniel Craig reprises his role as Agent 007. Only this time, instead of fighting Machiavellic villains, James Bond is used on a mission to advance women’s rights and promote equality for women.

“Are we equal?”

Visit We Are Equals, who specially commissioned this video for International Women’s Day. We are Equals is a partnership of leading charities brought together by Annie Lennox to celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day.

Daniel Craig, star of the James Bond movies, dresses in drag to support International Women’s Day. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day today, March 8, 2011!

Director: Sam Taylor-Wood. Producer: Barbara Broccoli. Scriptwriter: Jane Goldman. Director of photography: Seamus McGarvey. Featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench.

Editor: Mel Agace
Post production: Michael Sollinger
Post production coordinator: Harriet Dale
With thanks to all the team at Ascent, including Patrick Malone, Dean Harding,
Grading: Robin Pizzey
Deluxe grade production: Rob Farris
Effects fix: Emily Greenwood
Sound producer: Hannah Mills
Sound: Simon Diggins and Peter Gleaves at Goldcrest

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Sleep and Technology: Missions That Will Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) released the results of their 2011 Sleep in America® annual poll. In the words of foundation CEO David Cloud, “This poll explores the association between Americans’ use of communication technologies and sleep habits“.

(photo taken by MaryLane on Flickr)

Study highlights:

  • 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights.
  • 63% of Americans say their sleep needs are not being met during the week.
  • 56% of generation Z’ers (13-18 year olds) and 42% of generation Y’ers (19-29 year olds) say they send, read or receive text messages every night or almost every night in the hour before bed

The study shows that Americans are very active with technology right before going to bed. Indeed, “almost everyone surveyed, 95%, uses some type of electronics like a television, computer, video game or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.”

There seems to be a significant impact of cell phone use on people’s sleeping habits. Indeed, not only are four in ten Americans bringing their cell phone into their bedrooms and using them before sleeping, 22% of them leave their cell phone ringers on. This results in about one in ten Americans being awakened at least a few times a week in the middle of their sleep by a phone call, text or email. That doesn’t sound healthy!

In response to today’s study results, here are three Akoha sleeping missions that will have a positive impact on your sleeping habits:

  • Back to the Caves: Respect a day without electrical devices.
  • Restful: Go to bed before your usual bedtime tonight.
  • Worry Book: Share a worry that has been preventing you from sleeping at night. Then write an action plan with concrete steps so that you stop worrying about it.

Sleep well tonight! Sleeping heals your body and reinforces your immune system, helping you stay healthy. Keep that in mind tonight when you feel the urge to reach for your cell phone or computer, and do yourself a favor, turn that ringer off :)

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