Phoning it in

By: Kyle Davis

The days of hearing about major events first on the 6 p.m. news or from the morning paper have been overtaken by the days of instant access from technology containing digital media. Now, along with allowing people to keep up-to-date on events such as the earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, those technologies such as social networking sites, digital music, and texting have become a forum for people to give back, and the response has been great.

The Red Cross started a text messaging campaign so that people could donate money by sending a text message to the Red Cross and $10 would be added to the person’s regular monthly bill. For those of us who are familiar with the cell phone keypad, this is as easy as it gets. No wiring money, waiting on the phone or excuse that it takes too long. It literally takes a minute, or 15 seconds depending on how fast you can type, to help people a continent away. And the results? A story on CNN.com reported the Red Cross had raised $21 million in the first six days after the earthquake, and $3 million after one day, from text messages alone. What helped spark this kind of success was the use of sites such as Facebook and Twitter to quickly pass along the information to a wide audience.

Apple and iTunes are also doing their part to give back. Not only can you donate to the Red Cross from the iTunes store, but consumers can purchase the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, which raised $58 million in the first day after the event, video and songs on iTunes. All of the proceeds from the purchases go to organizations aiding the victims on Haiti, and as of Jan. 28, more than $3 million was raised through iTunes. So just from people purchasing the music of their favorite artists, which they might buy anyway, millions of dollars was given to people in need.

The music industry is booming, and social networking sites and texting are great ways to connect with family and friends. Now all of these outlets can also help you connect with those in need.

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~ by dbozmedia on February 3, 2010.

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