We’ve all been talking about how social media can accelerate the spread of news. But does it spread the rate of action among those who join or support causes? A recent Business Week Article speaks to the effect that social media has had on the relief efforts in Haiti.

To see actual change happen via the web makes my heart swell. Not only have many people donated money, but time as well. In this day and age, to see so many countries come together regardless of affiliation and status shows that we arent as different as we seem.

As a communicator and strategist, this effort speaks to connecting to people on their level. Being able to show visual footage of the aftermath of the quake in Haiti had to have a big impact in the relief that was sped their way. Not only were organizations able to set up quick communication outlets but also a way to process and receive funds.

For civilians who are reaching out YouTube and Twitter were ways to provide access to the torment worldwide. It was not a silent tragedy that we talked about,  yet did not see or feel: you can see and feel the pain visually  in real time.

If nothing else, what we can learn from the communication that brought us closer to our human companions in Haiti is that the web and social media can be used for good – not evil. Their purpose is to bring us all closer on a human level, not to divide, be it through money or belief.

What can you do with that thought? How can you apply social media to connect rather than monetize or sound off?

2 Comments

  1. I think the fact that things that happen around the world now are things we can connect to and spring people into action quickly is really endemic to the way social interacts have been easier to create (and break.) I think social media’s application as a tool of mobilization, rather than a tool solely to provide ways for people to make “easy” money or to tell us what they had for lunch is huge. We’ve noticed it in campaigns or when trending topics bubble to the surface of things said or done wrong.

    But all of that goes back to people’s willingness to communicate and that’s just a replication of what we already do, except it’s easier now to do it than before.

    But it’s situations like this one that remind us of the power of these tools to get people motivated into action in ways that they’ll do it impulsively, rather than putting it off or adjudging it to be too hard to do.

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