The Port-au-Prince Earthquake

(ReliefWeb)

The capital of Haiti has been struck with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that the Haitian government is estimating has taken the lives of 200,000 people. This tragic loss of life in the wake of horrific devastation has gripped my heart, and the hearts of many others, as the horrible images and stories pour out of Haiti.

International humanitarian aid efforts have been working around the clock since the beginning of the disaster and there always remains a need for private donations to help get aid out faster to suffering Haitians.

Google has donated $1 million to relief efforts and have a donation page where you easily donate to a charity of your choosing with a Google account.

Save The Children and World Vision are both accepting donations that will directly effect the people of Haiti.

Mobile customers can text from their mobile device the word “HAITI” to the number “90999” to make a $10 donation the Red Cross, as described in this press release:

According to AT&T officials, wireless customers of the company can send $10 donations to the Red Cross International Relief Fund by sending a text message from their mobile device. Standard text messaging rates may apply. The company officials said that a customer has to simply type the word HAITI and send it to 90999. A confirmation message will arrive within a few minutes, to which the customer replies “yes” to finalize the donation. 100 percent of all money donated will be passed on to the Red Cross, the company officials said.

(I am not certain if this works on all mobile networks, but apparently it does.)

Micro-blogging and Net-Culture

aaaThe Good Times (a free Santa Cruz weekly) just ran a cover piece on Twitter and general disgust at this idea of micro-blogging.

The phenomena is growing so fast that 2009 may come to be known not as the year America swore in its first black president or nationalized its banks, but the year America learned to think and communicate in 140 characters or fewer.
What was once just a colorful special-needs classroom on the Internet is starting to look like a steel spike aimed at the heart of what remains of our ability to construct and process complete grammatical sentences and thoughts.
– Alexander Zaitchik

While I agree the limiting communication down to one-hundred and forty characters is not beneficial to good human communications, I believe many simply fail to understand that Twitter has the ‘TINYURL’ feature to solve this exact problem.

I can write a lengthy weblog of much deliberations and manifestations … then I might Tweet of this link to the Tweeters that Follow this Twitter user.

And suppose someone is quite pleased with this confine of characters. Then they need never open a full-blown weblog, and be satisfied with micro-blogging to their heart’s content.

All else sounds like a natural side-effect of the impounding growth of Net-Culture.

Net-Snobbery.

I am also mildly offended that Zaitchik seems to not ever become familiar with the Terms of Service and Site Policies of the very topic of his article. It may not be so but it appears he simply didn’t do his homework.

Eric Lightborn
http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com
April 30th 2009