Thursday, January 21, 2010

Digital Media & The Haiti Appeal

The rise in usage of digital media technologies and increase in consumers being hyper-connected (Facebook, Twitter, Google Voice, Skype) has lent a helping hand to the opportunities available to share ways to help with the Haiti Earthquake Appeal. Through New Media image, print and text it has also helped us all feel a lot more connected to the situation.

Along with the sense of feeling connected, digital media has allowed people to:

• Easily donate
• Family members to connect with one another
• Locals to share their eye witness accounts via image and video and text
• Send relief to the right parts
• Share stories on Haiti to spread the word and convince others to donate

There are a number of digital brands also helping spread the word of the appeal including:
Apple, which allows people to donate directly through their iTune stores. Google have helped by providing a one stop resource for all things connected to the Haiti relief, with links to major charity organisations via their Google Checkout. Google have also teamed up with GeoEye a satellite imaging company to make available the most recent satellite imagery of Haiti.

The BBC have produced an online interactive map to show the routes that aid is getting into Haiti, view the interactive map here (also shown in above image), which illustrates each of the main routes for aid, from sea to air together with a short explanation on what is involved with each supply.

For more information on how social media has played a key part in the news from Haiti, we suggest you read this article from the Guardian.

The important part of writing this blog post is to point out, how much everyone in the digital age can have a huge impact on historical world events, whether it is sending out a tweet of the latest article you just read; encouraging your friends on Facebook to donate or sharing real time images from Haiti. We are certain that as digital media technology adoption increases the impact for future world events can only be greater.

For information on donating from the UK, we recommend you visit the UK Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organisation for 13 humanitarian aid agencies.

Along with uniting agency efforts in times of disaster - such as flood, earthquake or famine - wherever it happens in the world and maximising funds raised to ensure they are spent in an effective and fully accountable way, we would also like to praise the DEC for their use of Social Media. The Haiti Earthquake was just a week ago and they are spreading their charitable good will via appeal on YouTube, images on Flickr and they are providing the charitable with the ability to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

We hope this blog post has helped spread the news further.

Author: Sarah Griffiths


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