Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Social Media used to Help Japan

It's been a few weeks now since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. with more than 12,000 dead and something like 17,000 people missing as well as an ongoing nuclear crisis, Japan is not in a good place! Obviously, people and governments around the world have been doing a lot to help this country. People throughout Canada, America and so many other countries are donating to charities, arranging relief supplies, starting fundraisers and volunteering to help Japan.

What has been especially interesting for me is to see how so many are taking hold of social media and using it to help. people have been spreading the word about what is really going on in Japan (often when foreign news agencies are getting it wrong). They are organizing fundraisers and charity events on Facebook. They are being creative on You Tube and blogging about it!

Some examples that have recently stood out in my mind are the "partners4japan" project on You Tube that was started by Japan-based video blogger Ciaela. Vloggers from around the world have been donating videos to spread the word about Japan. Also on You Tube, well-known vlogger "Gimmeaflakeman" has started a project called "Ganbare Japan" in which anyone anywhere can send him a video or picture to inspire Japan and he will put them all together into one collaboration video.

#Quakebook is another inspiring project. This book was the brainchild of Japan-based blogger "Our Man in Abiko." HE asked blogger via Twitter to write stories and of their experiences with the big earthquake. It will soon be printed and all proceeds will go to support the Japanese Red Cross.

Myself, I have just started my own fundraiser. I will be collecting funds for Save the Children and their relief efforts in northern Japan. I'll be running a 60km ultra marathon in June in order to do it and I plan to share my experiences leading up to that day through social media. You can check out my Running to Help Japan site here!

There are of course so many other examples of people helping using social media. these are just a few!

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