When People Care, They Go Social

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

It’s an old truism that people band together in times of grief. And the response to the disaster in Haiti is showing that is more true than ever, helped by the technology of social media.

Just look at the numbers: as Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, reported today on CNN.com:

“As of midday Thursday, the Red Cross had raised some $3 million in donations via its text message campaign: Text "Haiti" to 90999, and a $10 donation is added to your cell phone bill. The mechanism is so wonderfully simple -- removing credit cards and PayPal accounts from the equation entirely -- that donations have flooded in. Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti, meanwhile, is leveraging the same technology: Text "YELE" to 501501 to make a $5 donation.”

On Twitter, @RedCross is keeping donors and potential donors updated, while celebrities like @Alyssa Milano are sending out “Tweet Challenges” for matching donations.

On Facebook, over 91,000 people have joined the group “EVERY PERSON THAT JOINS WE WILL DONATE $1 TO HELP PEOPLE IN HAITI!.”

What’s also key is the interaction of mainstream and social media. While every news channel this morning reported from the ground in Port-Au-Prince, they also promoted text/donation options – far more than even the 800 number or web options, which until recently, were the most efficient ways to give .

Media working in concert to bring people together: now that’s social.

By the way, if you’re still thinking about a donation, check out this page at cnn.com for a list of fundraisers.

Hoping this finds you well,



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