Relief for Japan

As you all already know, Japan was struck by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake Friday afternoon. I’ve been following it quite closely and today one of their volcanos began to erupt, further adding to the disaster. Shaking earth, tsunamis and now volcanoes, they’re being┬ádevastated, but I can’t help but think of the power of social media and clever devices in the role of spreading news, awareness and ultimately aid. I know this has been talked about a billion times, but just a mere 5 years back these platforms barely existed, if at all.

It was around 3 am (a mere 20 minutes after the event) on Friday when I first found out Japan was struck by such a huge earthquake. Guess where I received the news? Twitter. Within minutes #PrayforJapan was on trending topics, way before the news on TV would come. The speed of Twitter made Facebook seem slow. Did I mention that I don’t have TV at home? What surprised me even more was when I showed up to class the next morning, half the class still didn’t receive the news (including the professor), which came as a surprise to me, how slow TV and other mediums are.

Many corporations found their own way of approaching this matter, Apple put on iTunes that you can donate straight from the iTunes store. Microsoft asked people to retweet their message for $1 per retweet (which was ultimately not-well received by Tweeters because it seemed like a marketing ploy, eventually Microsoft just donated the 100k without the retweets as an apology). Red Cross started the text to donate thing again (similarily to the Haiti effort). I made my contributions the old school way, with a credit card online and did an occasional retweet and “like” on facebook. How did you do it? Can you imagine these things didn’t exist a few years back? It’s insane if you think about it, how we all collectively #PrayforJapan.

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One Comment

  1. Kari Silver
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    It’s crazy isn’t it? I also found out through Facebook the day it happened thanks to status updates and updates from companies I happened to be following. It’s really interesting to see how fast news can spread thanks to devices/innovations like these.

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