Posts from December 30, 2004

Up and down

Up and down

: If you’ve had trouble getting to the site tonight, it’s good news (insert punchline here). Hosting Matters is switching me to a new server and I’m glad for it.

Tsunami links

Tsunami links

: I’m going to be on MSNBC at regular intervals throughout the day tomorrow giving continuing reports on weblogs’ and the web’s response to the tsunami tragedy. Will Femia was doing that today.

Please leave new links in the comments below — any new stories of survivors, new resources for help, new and compelling responses to the tragedy, new photos and videos….

Tsunami: the political angle

Tsunami: the political angle

: Of course, it took no time at all for media to find the celebrity angle to the tsunami tragedy (see the pathetic NY Daily News cover on how the tsunami affected a model).

But it took three days for the pundits to find the political angle of the story, criticizing Bush for taking three days to speak out on the tragedy from his vacation. The NY Times argues today that the reason for Bush to take action is to make friends with Sri Lankan Muslims. Matt Lauer parrotted that on Today this morning.

Isn’t helping people the reason to take action?

Getaloadathis

Getaloadathis

: The Pacific News Services proposes an American tsunami surtax.

: Speaking of dumb ideas, Sen. Patrick Leahy proposes redirecting money earmarked for Iraqi rebuilding to South Asian rebuilding. It’s as if he is admitting that he does not care about the Iraqi people.

Connected charity

Connected charity

: Witness the phenomenal response to Amazon’s call for tsunami charity — $3.5 million at midnight — the Washington Post notes a fundamental shift in how charity works, thanks to online.

Like never before, people are turning to the Internet to donate money, the latest step in a revolution that has altered everything from shopping to presidential campaigns.

“This is like 1951, when television really took off,” Paul Saffo, director of the Silicon Valley-based Institute for the Future, said yesterday. “We are in the middle of a fundamental shift from mass media to the personal media of computers and the Internet, and charitable giving is a logical progression.”

At Amazon.com alone, more than 53,000 people had donated more than $3 million by yesterday evening after the company made an urgent appeal on its home page. Catholic Relief Services was so overwhelmed with Web traffic that its site crashed. Online donations to the Red Cross outstripped traditional phone banks by more than 2 to 1….

Much of that giving came from people sitting at their computers. That has happened before, primarily after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But relief officials said the scale of online giving has grown dramatically since then….

“It definitely came as a groundswell from our employees,” said Amazon.com spokesman Craig Berman. “As soon as it went up, we started seeing donations kick in. It was virtually instantaneous.”

The only other time Amazon.com made a similar posting was after Sept. 11, when it raised more than $6.8 million.