On March 11, I was running on the treadmill while watching the morning news when the headlines of the tsunami in Japan flashed. I felt completely lost on what to do or how to help. My bitching about dragging myself out of bed to exercise that morning seemed trivial and stupid. Sometimes, I feel like donating money somewhere isn’t enough. And realizing that got me thinking about how simply blogging or tweeting may be an even better way to spread awareness to get others involved in a cause.
There are already sites and blogging organizations in place coming together for various causes. Most notably, Bloggers Unite is a community of bloggers who post during specific days of awareness. After the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan, I noticed more and more bloggers posting their own personal stories and starting donation sites. A few bloggers have even been able to raise thousands of dollars!
So remember, ll those page views can go to a good cause. For example, if a blogger gets 5000 page views per month, and each person who viewed the blog donated $1, that would be $5000! Blogging may turn out to be the modern-day walk-a-thon. There was even a “Bloggers Day of Silence” on March 18th for respect and support which helped to add to the donation of over $50,000! A few blogs like Japan SOS have put together all the SOS messages they have found to help others be able to communicate. If you don’t want to ask for donations, you could let your readers know that all of your blog’s ad revenue during a specific time period will be donated to your cause.
On the other hand, some people use disasters and other people’s weakness to their advantage. Exploitation for another’s gain kills a person’s integrity and is a cheap move. There has been a lot of poking fun of and making light of the situation in Japan via Twitter and blogs. Even if they were as prepared as they could be, a tsunami is no one’s fault, and the indivduals shouldn’t have to suffer. How can you react negatively when then death toll is expected to reach 18,000? Pure evil.
Even if all blogging does is act as a sounding board and community of remembrance, that is still significant. There are bloggers tweeting updates in English and Japanese to communicate. Twitter streams have proven very effective for the crisis. People have been able to find out the status of loved ones. To be able to remember people that have died, or simply ask for prayers, shows that the blogging world cares.
As a blogger, do you feel it is your duty to post a response or do something to help in a time of crisis?
For more information on how to help Japan, here are some links:
Google Crisis Response — amazing what Google can do!
Lady Gaga is selling wristbands for $5 to donate to the relief
Buy a Tory Burch T-Shirt for $29 (100% goes to relief)
Sellers on Etsy are donating their profits as well