Social Media Says: DIAL 90999 For Haiti

The Internet population is always on the top list of those reacting to a disaster. Sitting behind the safety of their computer screens, flustering the Internet world by tweeting, blogging, and digging in for news, and trying to take in the magnitude of the disaster. They also often try to organize digital relief campaigns and take action, complete with “Donate” buttons and “Send SMS Now”.

Having noticed this, charities are trying to utilize the social aspect of the Web, as we know it today, and get creative with their fund raising strategies. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are often used for creating a larger donor base and reaching a new, younger audience base. Recently, a non-profit working to provide safe drinking water to Third World countries raised more than a quarter million dollars using Twitter alone.

Live Example: The Internet Society for Haiti

Following the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti this Tuesday, the Internet population was looking online for ways to help. Many global relief efforts immediately started popping up on the various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said that since the quake, there had been over 1,500 status updates a minute containing the word “Haiti.” The Facebook applicationĀ Causes posted a video of the destruction in Haiti. On Twitter, one of the most prominent campaigns to gather donations is from the American Red Cross, which is actively encouraging people on Twitter to test “HAITI” to donate $10. A day later, this initiative raised over two million dollars for Haiti. The Huffington Post, CNN, and The New York Times are curating special lists to track events related to the disaster.

Screenshot of American Red Cross campaign

Screenshot of American Red Cross campaign

The Internet is indeed a fantastic “tool” to help others in need. We will leave you with this video that explains the magnitude of help that the Internet is providing for the Haiti disaster, beyond donatingĀ  money:

Have you ever donated online? Do you think that online charities are actually successful? Or is it just a few charities with cover stars?

For more places to give online, the San Francisco Chronicle has created a list of legitimate organizations seeking donations.

Comments and Reactions

  • I feel that disaster brings people closer… It always makes me wonder why they are fighting and hating each other otherwise!

    Maybe it's true how social media took out chunks from our time yet, a movement to aid such a this, makes up for it all! The communities we spend hours and hours building pay off here (not in the business leads we generate or the clicks and views to our blogs and sites).

    Thanks for the share…

    Together we stand, united we fall…

  • Good point on how communities that we build can also add value to our lives in instances where we do not expect them to, Beirut :)

  • Well i sure hope people donate to anything but the 700 club. Help Haiti

  • Everything is online, why not charities? This just makes it so easy to give, and is ideal for event-based, time-sensitive giving, such as disaster relief efforts like this one.

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