Using New Media To Make A Difference

In the last post I talked about how to stay safe on Twitter in the face of the wave of spammy, scammy users out there who are looking to sell, or worse, to harm you online and whilst there does seem to be more people using these technologies for malicious reasons, there is also a growing trend in the opposite direction. In fact I think more people online want to do good that otherwise.

Today I want to talk about the groundswell of philanthropic people using social media. Social media, by its very nature facilitates social action because it allows people in distinct communities all over the world to connect, to join forces to do good and to have an impact.

Here are some great examples of new media being used to make the world a better place:

  • Kiva – this online systems connects people who want to donate with entreprenuers in the developing world who need a leg up.
  • Social media is quickly becoming the go to communication channel in the face of adversity. Witness the wildfires raging in BC this week and the use of Twitter to communicate updates.
  • Another example of Twitter being put to good use was the Twestival earlier this year which used Twitter to bring people from all over the world together to raise money for Charity:Water and to spread awareness of the world water crisis. Twestival is organising another event on Sept 12th.
  • Blogathons – a bloggathon is a fundrasing event where bloggers post regularly (usually every half hour over a 24 hour period) with the goal of raising awareness and donations for a specified cause. This weekend local blogger Miss604 will be hosting Blogathon Vancouver the local Blogathon contingent along with other prominent local bloggers like Hummingbird604.
  • Awareness Hubs – these are sights that spread awareness of causes and allow people to congregrate and share examples include, Treehugger (sustainability), Facebook causes like or own Hippo Roller one and
  • Join a campaign. This summer Mashable is organising the Summer of Social Good aimed at using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc to raise money for charity.
  • Looking to volunteer in your community – then try searching a local sites like Volunteer Canada or All for Good that connect volunteers with opportunities.
  • Got too much stuff already? Get the gift you want and contribute to a good cause simultaneously. Dreambank lets you do this.

Technology is making it easier for people to connect with those interested in similar causes and together they can have more impact than they would individually. Thanks to social media doing your good deed a day just got easier. What good have you done today? Share your stories here please.


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