Cafe Witness

Friday, August 03, 2007

TwitterAir and Your Capacity to Be a Good Person

I recently blogged about the hassles of a 90 degree week in Pittsburgh: my apartment is stifling, and it makes staying up late to work a problem.

Michael Bailey read my post and decided to be a Good Samaritan: he created the TwitterAir Project to raise the money to buy an air conditioner AND have it shipped to me, all using the power of Twitter.

Realizing I was about to become the recipient of unintended fortune, I commented on Michael's blog that it seemed even more altruistic to use Twitter for the power of change on a greater scale: why not purchase this fabled air conditioner and send it to a public school that really needs it?

Or, why not invite members of the TwitterAir project to submit their own suggestions for benevolent causes? Say, everyone who joins the projects submits:

- a link to the organization / issue / chairty of his or her choice
- a dollar value for a donation (or the value of an item to be donated), OR
- a NON-CASH donation (say, advice, web design, consulting, etc.)
- a blurb about why said recipient needs said donation

Then members could volunteer their time, expertise or services to help these causes as they see fit.

It seems to me like Michael has hit upon a great idea, and one that could be a huge proactive force in the social media world, but it would do best if it were applied to a wider scope of problems than my own air conditioning woes.

(Besides, it'll be cool enough in Pittsburgh in another couple weeks. But TwitterAir's ability to incite change shouldn't end so soon...)

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  • An interesting thing to note is that while I was Twittering for donations, is that Beth Kanter also send out a Twitter for donations and she was able to raise $200 in 10 minutes.

    I was able to raise $15 in one hour.

    Her noteworthy cause is going towards helping bloggers in Cambodia.

    A) people don't know me well enough to just donate when asked,

    or B) people don't care if you are sweating or not,

    or C) people feel better about making donations when they can help others who live in foreign lands.

    I think that it is some combination of all three.

    By Anonymous Michael Bailey, at 5:12 PM  

  • I really like the idea of TwitterAir(TwA). It is a great way to raise money for a cause. Unfortunately, it could be used for bad causes also. Like I could offer air-conditioned sleeping arrangements for gay Pittsburghers (or those who don't mind being gay for a night). :-)

    Seriously, we know how hard it is for a podcast or blog to raise money and it could be a way to reach out to listeners at times when they'd be willing to give a little money away for a good cause.

    By Blogger JasonCable, at 8:25 PM  

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