- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about this week in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
Tech and social networks play key role in Haiti aid, communication In the past year, from the Obama campaign to the Iranian election and the death of Michael Jackson, we've seen the incredible power of social networks and technology to share information and mobilize people into action during major world events. When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the capital of Haiti earlier this week, it was no different, and technology became central for people to get and share information on the quake's effects and mobilize fundraising efforts to aid quake victims. As the digits blog in the Wall Street Journal describes, "Twitter has proven to be an important tool for fundraising and relief efforts to help the disaster’s victims." Another helpful, but lesser known, tool that has played a role in helping people get information about the crisis is Ushahidi, a platform for crowdsourcing crisis information. As Nathaniel Whittemore puts it on the Social Entrepreneurship blog, the haiti.ushahidi.com tool is:
an invaluable resource for those trying to respond to the disaster and get the help they need. We should all be asking how we can help make it easier for deployments of Ushahidi to collect and then deliver the information people really need on the ground.
The Washington Post also cites Ushahidi in a roundup of websites that are helping people search for missing friends and relatives, and this BBC article provides a nice roundup of how social media and the web are taking a central role in the wake of the collapse of traditional communications channels in Haiti.
Of course, one of the biggest technology stories following the Haiti quake is mobile fundraising. Text to give campaigns from the Red Cross, Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation, the Clinton Foundation and others have raised millions in just a few days. According to this USA Today post, as of 9:30am this morning, mobile donations to the Red Cross have topped an astounding $8 million. As this Computerworld article notes, a Verizon spokesperson called the donations the "largest outpouring of charitable support by texting users in history." This Christian Science Monitor article also gives a good overview of the impact the texting campaigns have had thus far and discusses why some charitable organizations have shied away from mobile giving thus far, and BusinessWeek also has a nice recap. And over on our Social Citizens blog, Kristin Ivie poses the question, "Is the Haiti response a game-changer for mobile?"
The social media for social good world helps Beth Kanter celebrate her 53rd birthday This week, social media for social good guru Beth Kanter celebrated her 53rd birthday in true Beth fashion - as she described it:
I am combining raising money to send Cambodian youngsters to school, an action learning experiment on the art of retweet, guest teaching at Stanford Business School class on social technology, and eating chocolate.
Beth's goal was to raise enough money to send 53 Cambodian children to school (by covering the cost of uniforms at $10 per child) and she embarked on a campaign on Twitter (creating her own hashtag, #Beth53) to help spread the word and asking people to contribute. In addition, without Beth's knowledge, Amy Sample Ward and Stacey Monk planned an online surprise party for Beth, asking influential bloggers and tweeters not only to talk about Beth's birthday wish, but also to reflect on how she's impacted the sector. As you can see from this Google document, it was quite the surprise party with 68 folks signing up to celebrate Beth (we joined the party on our Social Citizens blog). Following the big party, Amy wrote her own "case study in crowdsourced action" and shared lessons learned; and Beth shared her always detailed insights from the entire campaign and the success she achieved in not only meeting her goal but raising nearly $5,000 for Cambodian children.
Google changes its stance on censoring search results in China One of the big stories in the tech world this week was Google's surprise statement revealing an attack on its infrastructure in China and that it will no longer censor search results in that country. As this Mashable post notes, in the eyes of many, this move helped Google reclaim "some of the mystique that once made it so special" (from its 'don't be evil' motto), but also cautions that:
It’s too soon to give Google a standing ovation — we’ll wait and see what kind of agreement, if any, it’s able to strike with the Chinese government before full adulation. But at least for a day or two, we can once again think of Google as a company that stands for more than a never-ending quest for marketshare and profit.
The New York Times, amongst an endless number of news outlets, also covered this story and noted Google's threat to potentially shut down all of its operations in China, noting that, "the move, if followed through, would be a highly unusual rebuke of China by one of the largest and most admired technology companies, which had for years coveted China’s 300 million Web users." Not everyone was ready to applaud Google's decision, however. In this TechCrunch piece, Paul Carr argues that the announcement doesn't erase Google's cooperation with China's censorship laws for the past four years, and he also features some great links to other posts and articles that are on both sides of the argument.
The Wall Street Journal featured a piece that focuses on the broader political and industry implications of Google's claims, which also notes that other large multinational companies were victims to the cyber attack that Google experienced, noting: "People familiar with the attack say at least 34 companies in the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors were hit by the cyber attacks."
The first official response from the Chinese government came on Thursday, when as outlined by this USA Today piece, it re-emphasized that while foreign Internet companies are welcome in China, they must obey the country's censorship laws. In Washington, the response to the back and forth was somewhat reserved, as this piece from Marketwatch outlines, economic advisor Larry Summers and other administration officials have been hesitant to comment on what this could mean for U.S. - China relations.
What stories were you following this week?