This is an example of a brilliant use of social media. I learned about this from one of may favorites Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change. Ushahidi are mapping crisis information from Haiti. They have integrated various data input sources, SMS, email, or web, and visually translated it onto a map. It’s extraordinarily impactful because 1) it visually translates data into a cognitively efficient communication form and 2) it’s interactive in both directions–you can get information and you can post new. If seeing it moves you to take positive action, there are ways to donate on the site. From Beth’s blog:
They [Ushahid] also have a list of charitable organizations/ngos doing work in Haiti that need donations – like Partners in Health. If you want donate, make sure you keep your scam filter active … You can also text to give to the American Red Cross: Text HAITI to 90999 donate $10 to the Red Cross for Haiti efforts. You can donate $10 up to three times, and 100% of the donations will reach the Red Cross Foundation. This effort is run by Mobile Accord. $3 million has already been donated. MobileActive has an aggregated list of places to donate or find additional information.
This is media psychology at its best!